Tuesday, March 12, 2013

CBD in the national news, name of the game,"sue and settle"

Protect and save this endangered species !
The Wall Street Journal/ Review and Outlook, 3/10/13. "Fishing and Wildlife Lawsuits."  The Interior Department revives the game of 'sue and settle'.  A version of this article appeared March 11, 2013, on page A16 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Fishing for Wildlife Lawsuits.

.... "The Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service has resurrected a Clinton-era tactic known as "sue and settle." With this strategy, outside green groups friendly to the Administration sue the government, demanding a particular regulatory action. The agency happily forswears court and sits down with the plaintiffs to reach a settlement.

....  This tactic reached a zenith in Fish and Wildlife's 2011 mega-settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and other green groups over the species act. That agreement allowed Fish and Wildlife to claim it must take action on some 750 species covered by 85 legal actions. The deal's immediate effect was to tee up 250 species for full protection, including sweeping "critical habitat" designations that will restrict commercial or other use of millions of acres of private property. Among the 750 species is the lesser prairie chicken, a bird whose listing could devastate farmers and ranchers across five states. Oh, and the greater sage grouse, which could shut down oil and gas development and cattle grazing, for starters.

What the heck, either way its billable hours, or let's settle.
...  Louisiana Senator David Vitter, ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has demanded that Fish and Wildlife provide details of its interactions with the suing green groups. The agency refused. Mr. Vitter is calling on Congress to cut off money for the enforcement of these settlements. That's a start. 

The 40-year-old law has an undistinguished record of restoring species. Its main effect now is simply to terminate economic activity. Mrs. Jewell could make a mark at Interior by initiating a modernization of the species act, and it's a shame no one in the Senate thought the issue mattered enough to inquire about."   Read article.

References from the article -  US Department of the Interior,  Center for Biological Diversity,  WildEarth Guardians.

Submitted by Jim Wagner

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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