Interior Department “Funding” Bill Would Halt New Additions to ESA

The current draft of the Interior Appropriations Bill, released by Chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Mike Simpson (R-ID), essentially guts an unbelievable number of environmental programs, and includes a provision prohibiting legal challenge to delisting gray wolves in Wyoming or the western Great Lakes Region.

If passed, the bill would cut EPA review of mountaintop mining projects, amend the Clean Air Act to weaken air pollution requirements for the oil and gas industry, reduce public ability to appeal Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management actions, weaken protection for bighorn sheep, and threaten the enforcement of the Clean Water Act on several fronts.

Possibly the most alarming content of the bill is its neutering of the Endangered Species Act, prohibiting the addition of any new species to the Endangered Species List.  The bill places a complete moratorium — via disallowing any Fish and Wildlife Service funds being spent on the activities — on processing any new listing petitions, designating new or revising existing critical habitat, or revising the status of a species from threatened to endangered.  Under this bill, the Fish and Wildlife Service will not be able to use any of its funds to list any of the over 260 current candidate species.

Click here to read the current draft of the bill.

Source: Defenders of Wildlife

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