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E-M:/ Dingell - Endangered Species Act



News From Congressman John D. Dingell

Serving Michigan’s 15th Congressional District


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Contact: Adam Benson, 202.225.4071 (office) / 202.271.8587 (cell)




Dingell Outraged Over Proposed ESA Changes

Congressman Was Original Author of Important 1973 Law


Dearborn, MI - The original author of the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA), Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) made the following comments after learning from newspaper reports that the Bush Administration plans a regulatory overhaul of the ESA, allowing federal agencies to decide if their own projects posed a threat to species. This would eliminate independent scientific reviews required for more than three decades.


“We must always be concerned when an Administration seeks to rewrite the rules months before they leave office.  This is especially true for the Bush Administration – which has a long and dedicated history of arrogant behavior in its dealings with Congress, a coequal branch of government – and which has consistently shown its hostility to our cornerstone conservation laws.  Make no mistake, there is a reason they chose to do this in August when Congress is out of session and Members are in their districts working.


“I wrote the Endangered Species Act and seeing it signed into law was among my proudest moments as a Member of Congress.  The changes sought by the Bush Administration would seriously weaken the law, eliminating the requirement that scientists be the ones making decisions regarding science, instead giving political hacks and unsympathetic bureaucrats another opportunity to attack the scientific community. It is remarkable that this bill, signed into law by Richard M. Nixon and accepted for decades as a pillar of American conservation would be destroyed by George W. Bush in the final months of his Administration. It is most peculiar that a statute which has done so much good should be now jeopardized by the stroke of a hostile Presidential pen.”