WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held a committee oversight hearing on “Modernization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).” The hearing focused on the need to modernize the ESA in order to better improve recovery rates and the eventual delisting of recovered species. At the hearing, committee members and witnesses, on a bipartisan basis, agreed that the ESA can be improved and modernized.
For more information on the witnesses’ testimony and to watch the full hearing click here.
On the Need to Examine the ESA on a Bipartisan Basis:
“As our committee explores the need to modernize the Endangered Species Act, I hope we can emulate the bipartisanship leadership that we had here on this committee and that the Western Governors Association has demonstrated in this Act. And when I talk about the bipartisanship in this committee, I hope we can replicate last year’s bipartisan success when the entire committee joined together, Republican and Democrat, to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act, achieving the first major environmental reform in that area in roughly 40 years.” – Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, February 15, 2017)
“We have got to amend it (the Endangered Species Act) in a way that protects the original goals but makes it so that it functions.” - Former Gov. David Freudenthal (D-WY) (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, February 15, 2017)
“This act (the Endangered Species Act), it just has too much sand in the gears to get where it needs to go. And some of these things need Congressional adjustment so that we actually get to where we want to go, as Dan Ashe indicates, that in a more logical and efficient kind of fashion to employ the resources that are there…. I think the opportunity now is to arrive at some compromise to address the portions that could function better.” - Former Gov. David Freudenthal (D-WY) (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, February 15, 2017)
“I would echo what I am hearing on this panel that certainly the Endangered Species Act could work better. Absolutely…. As long as we are working to strengthen its goals and vision, absolutely it can work better.” – Jamie Rappaport Clark (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, February 15, 2017)
“I do agree that the Western Governors Association resolution represents a good step forward and the statement you made earlier about a bipartisan effort on this committee, I think that is obviously what is going to happen and will need to happen if we are going to have an effective debate about the future of the Endangered Species Act. Hats off to Governor Mead and Governor Bullock and the leadership of the WGA. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, under my leadership, supported that effort…. I would encourage bipartisan communication and discussion about the future of this law.” – Daniel Ashe (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing, February 15, 2017)