October 10, 2015

As originally published by Western Energy Alliance

Environmental Groups Keep Suing Despite Vast ESA Settlement Agreements

Since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) passed in 1973, only a 2% of listed species have been successfully recovered, due in part to abuse of the statute. Environmental groups overload the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) with listing petitions and then sue FWS for missing deadlines, which diverts resources away from actual species recovery and into litigation and bureaucratic process.

In 2011, two serial litigants, WildEarth Guardians (WEG) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) reached settlement agreements with the Department of the Interior (DOI) on a combined 878 species. DOI’s justification for entering into the closed-door settlement agreement that excluded the public, elected officials, states, localities, and other stakeholders was to limit future listing petitions and litigation. If so, the result should have been a decline in petitions and lawsuits, but the reality is the opposite.

Using legal and FWS databases, Western Energy Alliance conducted an analysis of petitions and lawsuits filed since the huge settlements were reached in 2011 and discovered that:

Sue the government, get favorable settlement agreements, shut out the public, yet keep suing if 100% of your demands aren’t met. Sue-and-settle: a good deal for environmental activists, a bad deal for the American taxpayer, jobs, the economy and endangered species.

Reposted by  10/10/15


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