Rep. Hastings: ESA Needs Updating to Work Better for Species, People

The federal Endangered Species Act must be updated to work better for both species and people, writes House Natural Resources Committee Chair Doc Hastings in a Washington Post editorial May 18.

With just 20 of the 1,391 listed species recovered, the law is failing to achieve its primary purpose of recovering endangered species, he writes. At the same time, too many economic projects are delayed or abandoned and too many frivolous lawsuits are filed due to the burdensome nature of the law.

“Updating the 24-year-old Endangered Species Act will help ensure that the law works better to recover endangered species,” Hastings writes. “Congress can no longer kick the can down the road while millions of dollars are wasted on frivolous lawsuits, resources are diverted away from true species recovery, and jobs are lost due to regulatory red tape that does little, if anything, to protect species.”

Hastings’ committee has begun a series of hearings to review the ESA and look for ways to update, improve and strengthen the law. The last update occurred in 1988.

Read the full piece.