ESA revision bill unlikely to go to vote

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1996:

WASHINGTON, D.C.––
The Biodiversity Legal Foundation
on April 1 led a coalition of grassroots
groups in filing suit against
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
for alleged violation of the
Endangered Species Act and
Administrative Procedures Act on
February 27, when in keeping with
the moratorium on listing new
endangered species agreed to by
President Bill Clinton and
Republican Congressional leaders,
about 4,000 species were dropped
from consideration as “formal candidates”
for protection.


A motion to lift the moratorium
failed by just two votes in the
Senate on March 14, as the Clinton
administration failed to back it, but
the momentum reversed two weeks
later when Senator Bill Bradley (DNew
Jersey) threatened to filibuster
a bill that would have protected two
million acres of Utah while opening
more than twice as much now- protected
habitat to mining and development.
This time a motion to block
the filibuster failed by two votes.
The Endangered Species
Coalition, a consortium of environmental
and animal protection
groups, on April 17 outlined via the
Gannett News Service the highlights
of a proposed Endangered Natural
Heritage Act. “We’ve seen moderate
Republicans band together to
oppose efforts to gut the ESA,
we’ve seen enormous public outcry,
and we’ve seen a president who
stumbled but came to realize the
environment is an issue he can win
on,” said Brian Vincent of the
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance.
“We’re taking advantage of that by
launching an offensive strategy.”
House Resources Committee
chair Don Young (R-Alaska)
on April 17 held a hearing on the bill
to drastically curtail the ESA that he
introduced last fall with Richard
Pombo (R-California).
“Although Republican
leaders say there is still a chance that
the bill could reach a floor vote in
the House,” Timothy J. McNulty of
the Chicago Tribune reported, “the
likelihood of that is slim.”

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