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SENATORS INHOFE, BOND, CRAIG & THOMAS CALL FOR ESA REGULATIONS TO BE MADE PUBLIC
May 2, 2007

Posted by Marc Morano - Marc_Morano@epw.senate.gov - 3:48 PM ET

SENATORS INHOFE, BOND, CRAIG & THOMAS CALL FOR ESA REGULATIONS TO BE MADE PUBLIC

Senators Reject Partisan Politics and Support a Transparent and Open Public Process

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, along with fellow EPW Committee members Senators Kit Bond (R-MO), Larry Craig (R-Idaho), and Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), today sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne urging the expedited publication of proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations in order to support a transparent and open public process. The joint letter is in response to some recent comments by Senators criticizing obsolete versions of proposed ESA regulations.

"The regulated community, advocacy groups, and Members of Congress alike ought not seek to influence rulemaking before the process begins. To the contrary, interested stakeholders should and are in fact encouraged to fully engage in the public review process, ask the appropriate questions, and voice their concerns and views," wrote Senators Inhofe, Bond, Craig and Thomas in the joint letter to Secretary Kempthorne.

"From all accounts, the draft document, to which my colleagues referred as ‘troubling,’ is an internal working document that has undergone considerable further review and thus is no longer relevant. Therefore, in order to allay continued misunderstandings and the unfortunate injection of politics into the transparent public rulemaking process regarding one of the most powerful environmental laws in the world, we strongly urge you to publish the proposed regulations in the Federal Register as promptly as possible," the Senators concluded.

Full Text of letter: (Click here for PDF Version)

May 2, 2007

Dear Secretary Kempthorne:

Recently some of our colleagues on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works sent you a letter advising the Department to stop its work toward promulgating regulations concerning the Endangered Species Act. We read their letter with great disappointment and are writing to urge you to publish the proposed regulations expeditiously and in full compliance with the law.

The Administrative Procedure Act guarantees a transparent and fair process with full opportunity for public comment and involvement. The regulated community, advocacy groups, and Members of Congress alike ought not seek to influence rulemaking before the process begins. To the contrary, interested stakeholders should and are in fact encouraged to fully engage in the public review process, ask the appropriate questions, and voice their concerns and views.

From all accounts, the draft document, to which our colleagues referred as "troubling," is an internal working document that has undergone considerable further review and thus is no longer relevant. Therefore, in order to allay continued misunderstandings and the unfortunate injection of politics into the transparent public rulemaking process regarding one of the most powerful environmental laws in the world, we strongly urge you to publish the proposed regulations in the Federal Register as promptly as possible.

Sincerely,

Senator James M. Inhofe

Senator Christopher S. Bond

Senator Larry E. Craig

Senator Craig Thomas

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