House Interior Department appropriations bill blocks new endangered species listings
WASHINGTON (July 6, 2011) – The following is a statement from Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen on the bill to fund the Department of the Interior just released by the Chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Mike Simpson (R-ID).
“No new plants or animals can be added to the list of endangered species if the chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee gets his way. That’s how radical the agenda of some in the House has become.
“The Interior Department funding bill put forth today by Rep. Simpson is nothing short of a special interest wish list. It takes an ax to countless environmental provisions aimed at protecting our public lands, water, and wildlife. Even critical efforts to protect the air we breathe by regulating greenhouse gas emissions are on the chopping block. But the prime example of just how far some in the House, including key leaders, are willing to go in their anti-regulatory zeal is what they are proposing to do to the Endangered Species Act.
“The Act is one of our nation’s most successful conservation laws and a prime example of good stewardship at work. Working with local communities and stakeholders, the Act has successfully saved animals like the bald eagle and grizzly bear from extinction and protected countless other species for future generations. But it has always been despised by oil companies, big developers, and corporate polluters. Now, Rep. Simpson’s bill is doing the bidding of these special interests and essentially blocking new protections for any additional imperiled species and halting the designation of new critical habitat protections for those already on the endangered list.
“The American people want their leaders to act responsibly as good stewards of our natural resources. And they want plants and animals that are facing possible extinction to be protected. Sadly today, this bill places the special interests above the desires of the American people and the interests of future generations.”
See Defenders’ analysis of several of the anti-environmental provisions.
(NOTE: page will be updated as additional information becomes available)