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Federal Agencies’ Selective Enforcement of the Endangered Species Act
As told by Endangered Species Themselves.
Posted by Committee Press Office on July 30, 2015

Replay the Environmental Protection Agency’s apparent disregard for the Endangered Species Act requirements through the very animals they are affecting.

The EPA thought they had it all figured out. They were going to shut down some power plants, solidify the President’s climate legacy, and nothing was going to stand in their way.


Unfortunately, they forgot one minor detail: the law.


Under the Endangered Species Act, federal agencies must make sure their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy critical habitat.


Had the EPA followed the Endangered Species Act, it would have gone something like this:
Step 1) Check to see if a threatened or endangered species or critical habitat is present



Step 2) Check to see if the agency’s plans may affect listed species or critical habitat. 



Step 3) Check to see if the agency’s plans may “adversely” affect the listed species or critical habitat. 


However, the EPA appears to have skipped all of those steps and did not consider the affects their power plant rules may have on listed species. Had EPA simply followed the law, it would have realized the rules may affect listed species, including endangered manatees and sea turtles



Congress saw what was going on and decided to do something about it. They sent multiple letters asking the EPA why it did not follow the Endangered Species Act when it developed these wide-ranging and hugely impactful rules. 

The questions went unanswered.


When Congress asked the agencies involved to come testify and explain their rationale, the EPA declined, claiming "EPA does not have a witness that could speak thoroughly on this topic.” 


In summation: If you find it troubling that the agency responsible for the proposed rules is not fully equipped to discuss them, you are not alone


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