Date: November 4, 2005
Contact: David Godfrey
Or Dan Evans
Phone: (352) 373-6441
UPDATE: April 2006 – In a March news interview, Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) said he does not think there will be any Senate action on the ESA this year. Chafee pointed out five key issues that have been the prime sticking points in negotiations with the sponsors of legislation to weaken the ESA, among which are funding, critical habitat and the “jeopardy” standard — a critical provision that determines what actions would so reduce a species’ chances for survival and recovery that they should be prohibited. If the Senate fails to introduce and pass legislation this year, the problematic House legislation would die, though it will most likely be reintroduced in the next Congress.
Chafee is one of four senators — including Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Wildlife Subcommittee ranking member Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) — who have been working to draft a bipartisan compromise to revamp ESA. Negotiations are “stuck” on about five issues, Chafee said, including funding, critical habitat and the jeopardy standard. The House approved an ESA rewrite last fall drafted by Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.). The bill, which would eliminate the current act’s critical habitat provisions and give payments to landowners with species on their land, has been criticized by environmentalists and many Democrats. (From Allison A. Freeman and Dan Berman, E&E Daily reporters)
Representative Pombo’s Anti-ESA bill, ironically called the “Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005,” passes in the House of Representatives.
The next step for this bill is for a companion bill to be introduced in the US Senate. Call your Senator today to save the Endangered Species Act!
The Senate will now decide the fate of the Endangered Species Act, so it is important that Senators hear from their constituents asking them to support the existing ESA and oppose any bill that would weaken protections for endangered species and habitat.
Please call your Senator, and urge them to support the Endangered Species Act and oppose any companion bill to Representative Pombo’s Extinction Bill. The Endangered Species Act is a safety net that protects wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction.
US Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Just ask for your Senator’s office. To find out who your Senator is, visit www.senate.gov
Analysis of Pombo Bill
Problem with Pombo Bill
Sea turtles are facing a new threat – right in the halls of Congress. The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973 to prevent declining species, such as sea turtles, from going extinct, is under attack again from anti-environment legislators and lobbyists for industries that are inconvenienced with having to accommodate imperiled species. The ESA has been the single most important tool in the protection and recovery of sea turtles in the United States and its waters. Despite claims by those attacking this landmark legislation, the ESA helped bring back many species on the brink of extinction – including America’s national symbol, the bald eagle.
Led by long-term critic of the ESA, Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), new legislation has been passed in the US House of Representatives that would completely reverse U.S. policy toward habitat and species conservation. Conservationists, scientists and environmental regulators have quickly labeled Pombo’s legislation as the “Extinction Bill” and are gearing up for a major battle to save the Endangered Species Act. Blocking the “Extinction Bill” could be one of the most significant battles of the conservation movement in almost 30 years.
“If you write or call your legislators about only one bad environmental bill this year, this is the one to get mad about,” said David Godfrey, STC Executive Director. “Sea turtles, in particular, will be devastated if Pombo’s radical bill guts the Endangered Species Act.”
In an effort to get the word out about this threat to the ESA, STC arranged a tour for Florida reporters to visit the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, where the effectiveness of the ESA can be seen first-hand. Since its passage in the 70s, the ESA has led to fishing regulations that save thousands of sea turtles each year and encouraged the acquisition of important nesting habitat like that in the Carr Refuge.
Representative Pombo’s Extinction Bill would gut the Endangered Species Act on behalf of developers, oil companies, timber companies, mining companies and extreme property rights groups. The bill would:
The real purpose of this bill is to gut the Endangered Species Act. The ESA is a safety net that protects wildlife, fish and plants on the brink of extinction. It has been enormously successful in preventing the extinction of hundreds of species, including bald eagles, gray wolves, Pacific salmon and sea turtles. We must not diminish protections for these magnificent animals or for the habitats they depend upon to survive.
Please Contact Your Senator To Oppose A Senate Version of Rep. Pombo’s Bill!
It is critical that members of Congress stand up for our natural heritage and oppose this scheme to repeal the protections that the Endangered Species Act provides. Please call your Senator in Congress, and ask them to oppose any bill that would weaken the protections of the Endangered Species Act.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Legislator’s office.
Look up your Senators at: www.senate.gov
TheSea Turtle Conservancy is a member of the www.endangered.org. Thanks for their efforts and background information on this bill.