And with the five new bills that Bishop has ferried out of the Natural Resources committee that he is in charge of, he could very well have his way in the coming future.
Under one bill, called the Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act, regular citizens alongside conservation groups would no longer have the ability to file court claims against the government when they believe that the protections it is offering for animals is simply not enough. This bill alone would be a massive shot fired against endangered animals that would no longer give a voice to the people who speak out for them.
Another bill, The Gray Wolf State Management Act of 2017, would entirely remove protections for gray wolves in midwestern states and would once again block courts from making any rulings that fight against the federal government’s decisions.
Not only is Bishop trying to remove the Endangered Species Act, but he is also trying to make it impossible for anyone to question the government’s decisions on the subject.
“This will be a battle royal,” said Bob Dreher, vice president for conservation programs at Defenders of Wildlife, a nonprofit group in Washington. “You’re going to see a strong, strong movement opposing cuts to the ESA. I don’t want to sound overly confident or cocky that we’re going to defeat this. It’s going to be the fight of my conservation career.”
Now that there is Republican control over both Congress and the White House, it has made Bishop’s goal a lot more realistic because the people in power are now agreeing with his motives and are willing to actually make them a reality.
The measures that Bishop has now introduced were all approved by voting that took place on October 4th, and they are now simply waiting for the approval of the full House of Representatives.
Bishop has been vehemently opposed to the law which has saved species like the bald eagle, grizzly bear, and the humpback whale throughout all eight terms of his tenure as a congressman.
“It has never been used for the rehabilitation of species. It’s been used for control of the land,” Bishop claimed this year. “We’ve missed the entire purpose of the Endangered Species Act. It has been hijacked.”
When chances arose for scientific experts to dispute the claims of Bishop in witness panels, they were not given the opportunity to share their findings about what would happen if the Endangered Species Act was removed. The Interior Department even went as far as banning U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service members from giving any supporting information for the act.
“The bias and the setup begins at the hearing,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (Ariz.). “We get one witness, they get three or four, and the drumbeat begins with the onerous things that are wrong with the act: It’s too cumbersome, it allows too many radical lawsuits, the states can do a better job, let them make the scientific and biological opinion of when wildlife should be listed.”
Right now, there are currently more than 2,000 species of animals and plants that are classified as threatened and endangered, and if this one congressman gets his way, those animals may very well leave the Earth entirely.
To try and ensure that the Endangered Species Act stays in place, check out the link below and see how to help.
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