Endangered Species Act Reform Introduced

by Colter Brown

Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11) reintroduced The Listing Reform Act, a bill to modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and prevent the ESA from being used as a weapon against America’s critical agriculture and energy industries.

The bill, supported by the Texas Farm Bureau, Permian Basin Petroleum Association, and Plains Cotton Growers Inc., modifies requirements concerning the review of petitions to add or remove a species to (or from) the list of endangered or threatened species. Currently, the ESA requires that a list of species is reviewed simply based on when the petition was received, instead of due to a thorough analysis based on science. 

In the past, this arbitrary process has impacted producer’s ability to produce agricultural products. “The Biden Administration and radical environmental groups are using the Endangered Species Act as a weapon against our critical agriculture and energy industries. We are seeing this play out in real-time with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s recent decision to list the Lesser Prairie-Chicken under the Endangered Species Act — a move that will have a disastrous impact on American energy and agriculture production,” Pfluger said.

Under the iteration of this bill that Pfluger introduced in 2021, he began pushing that the deadline for the appropriate department to decide on whether or not a petition to list or remove a species should be granted is changed from within 12 months to as expeditiously as possible. Additionally, the appropriate department would have been given authority to preclude the listing of a species as threatened due to the likelihood of significant, cumulative economic effects that would result from the listing or designation of critical habitat of the species.

“My 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.

“Texas Farm Bureau 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.”


Rep. Pfluger/TX Farm Bureau

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