Congressman Markwayne Mullin joined members of the Western Caucus this week to introduce legislation to modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The Endangered Species Act creates unnecessary burdens and red tape for Oklahoma’s small business owners, farmers, and ranchers.
“For 45 years, the Endangered Species Act has created burdensome red tape and unnecessary obstacles for landowners, small businesses, and communities to comply with,” said Mullin, “all without making species any safer from extinction.”
The Endangered Species Act is responsible for placing and keeping the American burying beetle and the lesser prairie-chicken on the Endangered Species list, despite a rise in conservation efforts. Oklahoma has made unprecedented efforts to expand acreage for the species conservation, taking in over 13 million acres and developing an effective conservation plan. These proactive measures to keep species off the extinction list should be rewarded, not punished by the Department of Interior, particularly if a species is no longer endangered.
“With the introduction of these nine bills, Congress has an opportunity to modernize the Endangered Species Act by increasing transparency in the listing and delisting process as well as giving states a seat at the table when discussing in-state conservation efforts,” continued Mullin. “I look forward to the House’s consideration of these bills in order to streamline the Department of Interior’s conservation efforts in a practical, responsible way.”
Congressman Mullin is an original cosponsor of the LIST Act, the EMPOWERS Act, WHOLE Act, and H.R. 3608, the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act.
The Less Imprecision in Species Treatment Act of 2018 (LIST) Act gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to remove species from the list when there is scientific proof that the species has been restored. The Ensuring Meaningful Petition Outreach While Enhancing Rights of States Act of 2018 (EMPOWERS) Act ensures that federal agencies consult with states before making a final decision. The Weigh Habitats Offsetting Locational Effects Act of 2018 (WHOLE) Act ensures that conservation measures underway are taken into consideration before additional federal actions impacting species are taken. H.R. 3608, the Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act, mandates that data used by federal agencies for ESA listing decisions is made publicly available and accessible online.