The House Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a full Committee markup of four bills intended to bring additional transparency to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The markup, which involves committee debates, amendments, and rewrites of the proposed legislation, is scheduled for this Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The Committee will be reviewing four ESA reform bills introduced last month. As we reported here, the bills would amend the ESA as follows:
H.R. 4315 (“21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act”) – Introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash); the bill would require online publication of the “best scientific and commercial data available” that is the basis for ESA decision-making.
H.R. 4316 (“Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act”) – Introduced by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.); the bill would require federal agencies to disclose certain expenditures, including the amount of funds expended in ESA-related lawsuits, the number of employees dedicated to ESA litigation, and the amount of attorneys’ fees paid to successful ESA litigants.
H.R. 4317 (“State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act”) – Introduced by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.); the bill would require use of information provided by state, tribal, and county governments in decision-making under the ESA.
H.R. 4318 (“Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act”) – Introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.); the bill would impose a cap of $125 per hour on the governments’ reimbursement of attorneys’ fees under the ESA.