Friday, March 21, 2014

The Sue-and-Settle Racket

March 20, 2014 By Stephen Moore

For four years now, radical environmental groups have teamed with the Obama administration’s Interior Department and hijacked the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to bottle up development in many areas out West. The big villain that the Left is trying to thwart, of course, is the oil-and-gas industry. The ESA is blocking drilling operations in many prime energy-rich locations.

But now this scam may come to an end. On Monday Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt, filed what could be a landmark lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), arguing that the so-called “sue and settle” procedure for listing animals on the endangered list is a violation of the federal ESA statute. In the complaint, filed on behalf of the State of Oklahoma, Mr. Pruitt charges that “by entering into private settlements with special interest litigants, FWS has attempted to circumvent the legislative and regulatory process and make fundamental changes to its ESA-imposed obligations.”.....

Under sue and settle, left-wing environmental groups......petition FWS to list a species as nearing extinction, and then shortly thereafter — sometimes in a matter of days — sue the federal government for inaction........ Many small towns west of the Mississippi could be economically wiped out by the ESA. That’s why Mr. Pruitt’s suit is so important. If he loses in court, and if the prairie chicken is listed as threatened, the real endangered species will be Americans with good-paying jobs. The scary thing is that might just be the point......To Read More......

My Take - This is a good first step, but the real solution is to repeal the ESA and start over again.  One of the things we need to understand is that when this was first proposed and voted on by the Congress there was little discussion and few negative attitudes about ESA. Most had 'romantic' species such as elk, buffalo and the bald eagle in mind. However the stories about the deliberate decimation of the buffalo and the passenger pigeon were clearly on their minds and they wanted to stop people from deliberately destroying species. They never had a clue what was really behind the ESA. The greenies did.

Please review my articles,
ESA Outrages, Part 1, ESA Outrages, Part 2 and ESA Outrages, Part 3.

As for now the ESA is nothing short of a land grab by the federal govenment at the behest of irrational, misanthropic and morally defective nature worshippers in the green movement.  If this is to be fixed the ESA must be repealed and they have to start over again. Amendments to this act and court judgements are like putting a coat of paint on a rotten house and expecting it to be fixed.  While I applaud this effort we must understand - even if the court finds in the state's favor the activists, in and out of government, will either ignore the courts, appeal the decision to death, or find some new 'reasoning' that allow them to continue down their insane path or get the president of issue an order in support of their actions.  Repeal is he only answer. 

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