CEI Opposes Miller-Boehlert Amendment to ESA Reform Bill

Washington, DC, September 29, 2005—The Competitive Enterprise Institute strongly supports property rights protections in the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (H. R. 3824), and opposes the Miller-Boehlert amendment which would gut those provisions.  The bill, sponsored by House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, is scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives today. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“The Miller-Boehlert amendment would strengthen all the things that are wrong with the Endangered Species Act,” said <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Myron Ebell, director of International Environmental Policy at CEI and a longtime advocate for ESA reform. “The provisions in the Pombo bill that the amendment would strip out are key to making sure property owners are treated fairly and not forced to bear all the costs of providing a public good.  It is outrageous to call respecting people’s constitutional rights an entitlement program. The Bill of Rights is not an entitlement.”


“Most landowners love wildlife and are not afraid of having wildlife on their land.  But the ESA has made landowners afraid of having federal regulators on their land telling them that they can no longer farm or ranch or harvest trees,” said R. J. Smith, Senior Environmental Scholar at CEI.  “By not penalizing landowners for being good stewards, Chairman Pombo’s ESA reform bill would for the first time in the 30-year history of the Act begin to create a win-win process where landowners will voluntarily offer to share their land with endangered species and wildlife habitat.  If the environmental pressure groups truly want to save endangered species, then why are they opposing a bill that will make landowners partners with wildlife?”