Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the final Endangered Species Act rule change issued last Friday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration that will not include a full economic analysis in the process of designating critical habitat for endangered and threatened species.
"Designating critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act creates massive financial burdens for private property owners and state and local governments. Friday's rule allows the Agencies to avoid doing a full economic analysis of these financial burdens and allows them to hide the true costs of a species listing. It's disturbing to see the Obama Administration ignore the call of Congress and the American people for more transparency and accountability with its most recent proposal," said Vitter. "This rule change is another example of this Administration moving forward with a dangerous precedent to ignore economic impacts when implementing expensive rules and regulations. They are pulling wool over our eyes and hoping we won't notice."
Twice this year, Vitter lead 22 Senators in asking the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to change the proposed rule to include a full economic analysis. The agencies' final submitted rule may provide for an incomplete representation of the economic impacts on private and state lands. In some cases, the economic impact analyses included in the agencies' final submitted rule would only show administrative costs instead of actual data.