Gutting the Endangered Species Act.

Fiscal Year 2012 – House Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill – Part 2

In an another example of paying for tax cuts to billionaires with deregulation and spending cuts, the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill released yesterday, which limits judicial review of future wolf delisting rules in Wyoming and the Western Great Lakes, would also effectively gut the Endangered Species Act and make it impossible to list any new species.  The bill would restrict funding for activities which would add a species to the Endangered Species List or change the status from threatened to endangered. It would, however, allow funding to be allocated for activities which would downlist the status of a species from endangered to threatened or delist a species entirely.

For necessary expenses of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, as authorized by law, and for scientific and economic studies, general administration, and the performance of other authorized functions related to such resources, $1,099,055,000, to remain available until September 30, 2013 except as otherwise provided herein: Provided, That none of the funds shall be used for implementing subsections (a), (b), (c), and (e) of section 4 of the Endangered Species Act, (except for processing petitions, developing and issuing proposed and final regulations, and taking any other steps to implement actions described in subsection (c)(2)(A), (c)(2)(B)(i), or (c)(2)(B)(ii) of such section):

In effect it would make it so that it the items highlighted in red from the Endangered Species Act would not be funded:

(c) LISTS.—(1) The Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register a list of all species determined by him or the Secretary of Commerce to be endangered species and a list of all species determined by him or the Secretary of Commerce to be threatened species. Each list shall refer to the species contained therein by scientific and common name or names, if any, specify with respect to such species over what portion of its range it is endangered or threatened, and specify any critical habitat within such range. The Secretary shall from time to time revise each list published under the authority of this subsection to reflect recent determinations, designations, and revisions made in accordance with subsections (a) and (b).
(2) The Secretary shall—
(A) conduct, at least once every five years, a review of all species included in a list which is published pursuant to paragraph (1) and which is in effect at the time of such review; and
(B) determine on the basis of such review whether any such species should—
(i) be removed from such list;
(ii) be changed in status from an endangered species to a threatened species; or
(iii) be changed in status from a threatened species to an endangered species.

Extractive industries have been clamoring for this type of legislation for years because they would rather externalize the costs related to their destructive practices to taxpayers or simply not be held accountable at all.  They benefit, we pay with our money or our wildlife and landscapes.

From Wikipedia: In economics, an externality (or transaction spillover) is a cost or benefit, not transmitted through prices, incurred by a party who did not agree to the action causing the cost or benefit. A benefit in this case is called a positive externality or external benefit, while a cost is called a negative externality or external cost.

It seems as if the American Taxpayer is where industry and our political leaders go to dump external costs.  We end up paying regardless of whether the costs are paid for with taxes, or with environmental health or personal health.  Industry doesn’t pay but they have people fooled into thinking that it is in their best interest to do so.

Fiscal Year 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill






  1. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    Your average american isn’t interested enough in this type of stuff given the state of the economy and current budgetary woes. These opportunistic politicians are taking advantage of the american people for the benefit of a few. Make hay while the sun shines, right?

    This is unfortunate and makes me angry.

    1. Nancy Avatar

      +Your average american isn’t interested enough in this type of stuff given the state of the economy and current budgetary woes+

      Daniel – I’m thinking the “average american” plain and simple, just isn’t very well informed, thanks to a news media thats more consumed with covering events, stories etc. like the royals from England (and “OH MY GOSH” what’s Kate wearing today!!!) while stretching their legs on the west coast, and the Anthony trial (my child is dead, I’m a liar and its time to party hardy til someone finally takes notice) and that sad verdict, over there on the east coast.

      There is hope though….Last summer I met a delightful couple from Florida, who spent a month vacationing here in Montana. They had no idea how “politically” charged the atmosphere was out here when it came to wildlife, public lands, wilderness areas, megaloads etc.

      Since their visit last year, I’ve received countless forwards (of emails) that they’ve personally sent to politicians here in western states with their concerns BECAUSE they do care and they do pay taxes and should have a voice when it comes to how our dollars are spent (or wasted) regarding public lands, wilderness areas and Wildlife DisServices etc.

  2. Mike Avatar

    What is wrong with Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana politicians that makes them hate wildlife?

    You’d almost think these people were molested by wolves or ermines when they were young.

    1. Elk275 Avatar

      We were all molested by gophers at an early age and it left a lasting impact.

      1. william huard Avatar
        william huard

        There it is- we knew it was something other than just a defective gene pool – those darn varmints

      2. JimT Avatar

        Don’t you mean picas? ;*)

      3. Nancy Avatar

        Gophers or ground squirrels Elk? There’s a BIG difference….

        1. Nancy Avatar

          Yeah but Elk, are they the 25 lb. short tailed Richardson’s ground squirrels or the long tailed (with much more hair on the tail) Richardson’s ground squirrels?

          Again, there’s a BIG difference. I’ve seen both species within a two mile area, the closer you get to mountainous areas.

    2. timz Avatar

      In Idaho it’s mostly that they have been bought and paid for by the livestock industry, IMHO.

  3. JimT Avatar

    So, do you think our Western Dem Senators will show up this time when it gets to the Senate, or betray the environmental community again. Forget Tester..we know where his head is at; it is Udall and Bennet that we should focus on…

  4. Kayla Avatar

    Now I predict that nothing will be done and Obama will
    sign the bill like usual. It is in reality one party
    which tries to seem as two parties to fool the American
    Sheeple. And this one party is bought and paid for by the
    International Bankers and is a slave to the Military
    Industrial Complex. I really seriously doubt anything
    will be done. It is now all about the budget and the debt ceiling so who cares for the environment it seems.

  5. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    I just got an email alert-FEDS agree to Wyoming’s shoot on sight plan in 90% of the state.”

    1. Elk275 Avatar

      Go to the Casper Star Tribute, there is a article about it.

      1. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg


    2. Kayla Avatar

      The FEDS agree to Wyoming plans with shoot on sight ….. Wow! Have Not heard this as yet. Wow!

  6. timz Avatar

    More of Obummer’s “Hope and Change”

    1. timz Avatar

      If this is allowed I don’t see how they could stop MT. & ID. from doing the same thing.

    2. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      This Democratic administration is weak and pathetic. I will stay home in 2012 and if the hostage takers on the right win the election there are plenty of other places to relocate to.

    3. Daniel Berg Avatar
      Daniel Berg

      I’m having a hard time keeping up with all the groveling by the tin man and his posse.

    4. Kayla Avatar

      Guess Obama and the administration is really caving in now with the desire to be reelected along with the still going sour economy.


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ken Cole