Rep. Pfluger introduces legislation that would reform current Endangered Species Act

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Rep. August Pfluger (R) – District 11

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) recently introduced H.R. 4370, the Listing Reform Act, to modernize the Endangered Species Act, or ESA.

In a statement from Pfluger’s office, he says the new legislation would prevent the ESA from being used as a weapon against critical agriculture and energy industries.

The statement also lists supporters of the bill: the Texas Farm Bureau, the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), the Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA), the National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition (NESARC), and Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA).

“Extreme environmental groups regularly wield the outdated Endangered Species Act as a weapon against the agriculture and energy industries. We have seen this play out numerous times in the Permian Basin, with past attempts to list the Sagebrush Lizard, and current threats from the Biden Administration to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken. This legislation reforms the ESA to deliver reasonable, common-sense protections for endangered species while preventing overbearing regulations coming from Washington, DC. Notably, the bill also requires the federal government to analyze the actual costs that ESA listings impose on our communities and critical industries. We can protect important species without devastating our local and rural economies,” Pfluger said.

The statement also provided remarks from supporters of the bill. Those remarks can be seen below:

“Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) appreciates Congressman August Pfluger for introducing the Listing Reform Act, which creates commonsense solutions to streamline the Endangered Species Act,” Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening said. “Easing regulatory burdens on farmers, ranchers and landowners has long been a priority for Farm Bureau, and we are proud Congressman Pfluger is working to help achieve this critically important goal. TFB looks forward to working with him and other leaders of Congress to pass this legislation.” 

Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) President Ben Shepperd said, “As long time partners of the federal government as well as state and local entities, PBPA knows first-hand the importance of conservation of species while maintaining balanced energy development. Unfortunately, there can be no doubt that the important and well-intended purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has been distorted — and at times misused — in its application over the years. PBPA commends Rep. Pfluger’s thoughtful, commonsense legislation.  This bill represents exactly the kind of changes that supporters of true reform, including PBPA, have been calling for. This legislation stands as a shining example of how incremental, but important, changes can go a long way towards the modernizing and updating of the nearly-50 year old ESA, that the nation so desperately needs.”   

“On behalf of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s more than 17,000 members, I applaud the introduction of Congressman Pfluger’s legislation to reduce the burdens of the Endangered Species Act on ranchers and landowners,” said Hughes Abell, TSCRA president. “The legislation will provide much-needed flexibility for regulators, and most importantly, allow them to consider the often severe economic costs that result from the listing of an endangered species, threatened species or designation of critical habitat.”

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