The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law in 1973 to protect animal and plant species at risk of extinction due to habitat changes or loss. The ESA is intended to conserve the habitats and to foster the recovery of threatened or endangered animal and plant species across the United States based on sound data and science. And though the ESA was never intended to be used by environmental organizations as a litigation tool, it has since been abused in order to halt development or destroy economic growth and job creation while diverting millions of taxpayer dollars away from species recovery.
Over the past few years, there have been numerous efforts in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, and elsewhere to list species as endangered and place hundreds of thousands of acres of land off-limits to economic development. And a new, stronger wave of threats is expected.
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Issues Dunes sagebrush lizard causing problems for Texas sand miners. A thin, three-inch long lizard, the dunes sagebrush lizard, inhabits one particular type of sand found in Texas’ Permian Basin – a region that supplies more than 20 percent of the nation’s oil. News reports indicate sixteen mining companies that sell sand to exploration and production companies for use in [...]
Issues House Committee wants less paperwork from federal agencies. The House Small Business Committee held a hearing this week to discuss what government agencies were doing to decrease the extensive reporting requirements that are currently imposed on small businesses. In his testimony before the committee, Stephen Guertin, deputy director for policy at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said that [...]
Issues Department of Interior makes sweeping changes to sage-grouse conservation and management plans. The Interior Department lifted a mining ban on Greater sage-grouse habitat in Western states this week, “formally nixing a nearly two-year environmental impact statement evaluating the withdrawal of 10 million acres of prime sage grouse habitat from new mining claims,” E&E News reports. Much of this land [...]