In Support of Endangered Species Act Reform
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Sponsor: Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Colorado River Energy Distributors Association
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 and was last reauthorized in 1988. While the law’s authorization expired in 1992, funds have been provided to administer the provisions of the Act. Since its enactment, and particularly over the last 25 years, it has become apparent that there are problems with the administration of the law. These problems undermine the credibility, effectiveness, and public support for the ESA and need to be addressed. The law was originally enacted to conserve threatened and endangered plant and animal species, while ensuring a balance between the economy and the environment.
The American Public Power Association (APPA) supports the goals of the ESA and recovery of threatened and endangered species. Many public power utilities have direct experience with the administration of the ESA, and firmly believe it can be reformed to more closely adhere to its initial goals and objectives. Maintaining the status quo of a law that has not been reviewed in over a quarter of a century is simply unacceptable. A number of bills in recent Congresses have been introduced, and several in the House of Representatives have passed, but nothing has become law. However, APPA is encouraged by renewed efforts and interest in both the House of Representatives and Senate to enact improvements and updates to the ESA.
APPA and its members, working with the National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition (NESARC) and Western Governors Association (WGA), have offered proposals to the Administration and Congress that we believe will make the ESA more workable for all stakeholders. We have participated in administrative and legislative processes to provide recommendations on how the ESA can be modified to help the recovery of threatened and endangered species while minimizing potential adverse effects on the economy.
NOW, THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: That the American Public Power Association (APPA) believes it is important to identify and enact improvements that support the recovery of threatened and endangered fish, plant, and wildlife populations while ensuring responsible land, resource, and water management through actions such as voluntarily creating and supporting healthy habitats and working cooperatively with public and private partners at the local, state, and federal levels; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That APPA supports efforts in Congress to update and improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to make it more workable for all stakeholders while continuing to support the recovery of threatened and endangered species; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That APPA will continue to actively engage with federal agencies through the public rulemaking process on any proposed ESA regulations and policies that impact public power utilities.
That APPA will continue to actively engage with federal agencies through the public rulemaking process on any proposed ESA regulations and policies that impact public power utilities.