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The Resources Committee plans to mark-up HR 3824, the ESA reform bill,
today Mr. Peterson of Pennsylvania will offer an amendment
that would require an economic analysis and a national security analysis
at the time of listing. This amendment would not change the requirement
that listing be on the basis of science only. With critical habitat
slated for repeal in the bill, there is no place for such considerations
to be made. It is an issue especially in the south.
I would appreciate your calling your members on the Resources Committee
and asking them to support the Peterson amendment tomorrow. A copy is
attached. Thanks for your help.
Oregonians for food and shelter
DRAFT LETTER TO BE CIRCULATED TODAY
Dear Chairman Pombo:
We are aware that the Resources Committee is meeting tomorrow for a markup of H.R. 3824. We applaud you for the hard work that you have done to make the Endangered Species Act a common sense approach that works in a fair way on all matters concerned, including environmental protection, individual property rights, and economic development.
The draft which your committee will consider tomorrow deletes the Critical Habitat language from the current act. While we understand that action, we are very concerned that it also deletes the existing requirement that when a species is listed, there must be both an economic analysis and an analysis of the impact on national security.
As you may recall, the Alabama delegation sent a letter to you on July 12, 2005, asking for your consideration that the listing be concurrent with the economic impact and the national security analysis. The improvements in the recovery process are important, but they do not address the need for the economic impact and national security analysis to be at the front of the process, as is required in current law.
We respectfully ask that you include the attached amendment in your own package of amendments tomorrow at full committee markup. The amendment requires that concurrently with a listing of a species as endangered, there must be an analysis of the economic impact, impact on national security, and any other relevant impact.
Member of Congress
Amendment No. ________
A proposed amendment to H.R. 3824, as introduced.
Section 5(a) is amended to read as follows:
“(a) Repeal of Designation Requirement.—Section 4(a) (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)) is amended by striking paragraph (3) and inserting in its place the following:
“‘(2) The Secretary shall, concurrently with making a determination under paragraph (1) that a species is an endangered species or a threatened species, prepare an analysis of the economic impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact of that determination.’”
Explanation of the Amendment
Under current law, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) must designate critical habitat concurrently with the listing decision. ESA § 4(a)(3). FWS also must consider “the economic impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact” of designating critical habitat. ESA § 4(b)(2). The intent of the impact analysis is to notify affected land owners and others of the potential effect of ESA regulation at the front end of the process–concurrently with the listing decision.
H.R. 3824 would repeal critical habitat by striking the entirety of sections 4(a)(3) and 4(b)(2). See H.R. 3824 § 5(a), at page 7, and § 5(b)(2), at page 8. However, the bill also would eliminate the impact analysis that Congress sought to require at the time of a listing decision.
The proposed amendment would restore the requirement that FWS perform an impact analysis “concurrently” with the listing decision. Using language similar to that now found at ESA section 4(b)(2), FWS would be required to consider “the economic impacts, the impacts on national security, and any other relevant impacts” of the listing. The amendment does not restore critical habitat to H.R. 3824. In addition, the amendment would not affect the criteria by which a species is listed. Those criteria are found at ESA section 4(a)(1).
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