Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive! - Vol. XIV No. 4 - October 2005

Save The Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is endangered. The US House of Representatives voted in late September on a revised ESA that guts many of the fundamental strengths of this landmark legislation. The vote was carried by a vote of 229 but opposed by 158 Democrats and 34 Republicans. Was your Representative among them? Please call your Senators now to tell them your opinion of the ESA, and how they should vote. Their numbers are in your phone book. The Senate may seek changes in the ESA bill they will consider, but without your direct and immediate opinion they may be left to the mercy of industry lobbies. The Senators need to be able to say: "my constituents want me to support a strong ESA, not some bill that destroys it".

The ESA was created to ensure no species is lost forever, long before biodiversity and other scientific advances gave us other reasons. The National Research Council cites that the ESA has saved hundreds of species from extinction. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) touts the ESA as having saved 99.3% of its listed species from extinction.

HR 3824, the ironically named "Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act" eliminates habitat protections, repeals protections against hazardous pesticides, politicizes scientific decision-making, eliminates the vital check and balance of consultation, and requires taxpayers to pay developers, oil and gas companies, and other industries for complying with the law. Once again, it's all about short term costs and profits.

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