Legislation to Amend Endangered Species Act Cleared by House Committee
On September 27, four bills designed to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA), were approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources. The bills were passed on party-line votes, with Democrats on the Committee arguing that the bills would gut the existing law.
These four bills are:
H.R. 3608, the “Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act” allows for data from State, tribal, or county governments to be included in data used under the Act;
H.R. 6345, the “Ensuring Meaningful Petition and Outreach While Enhancing Rights of States Act” would require that states and counties be notified by petitioners who seek to list a species as threatened or endangered;
H.R. 6355, the “Providing ESA Timing Improvements That Increase Opportunities for Nonlisting Act” would give federal agencies the ability to establish prioritization categories for ESA petitions; and
H.R. 6365, the “Weigh Habitat Offsetting Locational Effects Act” would require that when a federal agency is considering an action, such as a permit for construction, that may jeopardize a species, all avoidance or conservation measures must be considered.
If the bills are taken up and advanced by the full House, it is likely that Senate Democrats will block the legislation.
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