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Lummis, Newhouse Warn New ESA Rules Will Wreak Havoc Across the West

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U.S. Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and House Western Caucus Chair Dan Newhouse (R-WA) raised serious concerns Friday about the Biden administration’s reversal of key reforms to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the Trump administration that increased stakeholder engagement, defined critical habitat and ensured species recovery plans were effective.  According to a media release from Western Caucus Chair Lummis, the administration’s new rules will empower D.C. bureaucrats to enact one-size fits all regulations and levy a hefty burden on landowners, businesses and workers throughout Wyoming and the west.

The new rules put forth by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) undo three key reforms to the Endangered Species Act implemented by the Trump administration in 2019. On May 11, 2023, the United States Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution introduced by Senator Lummis that would overturn the Biden administration’s ESA rule related to critical habitat. The CRA is awaiting consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives. On September 14, 2023, Chairman Newhouse and Chair Lummis introduced legislation to prevent the Departments of the Interior and Commerce from finalizing these rule proposals and retain the Trump-era regulations within the ESA.

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