SEATTLE (AP) — Veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who represented central Washington for two decades and was a key voice in public lands and energy policy, announced Thursday he'll retire at the end of the year.
As chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Hastings recently took on the Endangered Species Act, calling for an overhaul of the law to curtail environmentalist lawsuits and give more power to states. Hastings and other GOP critics contend the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.
"The biggest problem is that the Endangered Species Act is not recovering species," Hastings said at a news conference last week where 13 GOP lawmakers proposed "targeted reforms" for the law that protects imperiled plants and animals.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Republicans in Congress on Tuesday called for an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act to curtail environmentalists' lawsuits and give more power to states, but experts say broad changes to one of the nation's cornerstone environmental laws are unlikely given the pervasive partisan divide in Washington, D.C.
A group of 13 GOP lawmakers representing states across the U.S. released a report proposing "targeted reforms" for the 40-year-old federal law, which protects imperiled plants and animals.
Proponents credit the law with staving off extinction for hundreds of species — from the bald eagle and American alligator to the gray whale. But critics contend the law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.
House Natural Resources Committee meets to consider authorizing subpoenas for documents sought by the committee on Secure Rural Schools sequestration, stream buffer rule drafting, enforcement of wildlife and endangered species laws and suspected conflicts of interests among current and former Interior Department employees.
Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski and House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings, dispute President Obama's claim that his policies have played a role in surging domestic oil and natural gas production, The Hill reports.
The House approved an amendment to a bill speeding permit decisions for onshore oil drilling that would halve Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management funding for wind and solar energy permits, The Hill reports.
Dozens of mostly western lawmakers on Wednesday urged the Interior Department to quickly complete its plan to de-list the gray wolf as a federally protected endangered species.
The bipartisan group said in a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe that packs are roaming between areas where protections remain in place and where they have already been removed.
Limited by his status as ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana has increased cooperation with House committees to challenge President Obama's environmental regulations, E&E reports.
Americans support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by a margin of nearly 3-to-1, although many have concerns about its environmental impact, according to a new poll commissioned by ABC and The Washington Post, the Post reports.
The major concern for the world's top oil company executives, gathered in Houston for the CERAWeek conference this week, appeared to be the soaring costs of exploration and production, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Administrator Gina McCarthy wouldn't say whether the EPA might consider a carbon rule for refineries, telling the CERAWeek conference Thursday that her agency's focus now remains on power plants, National Journal reports.
Oil companies aren't publishing all of the information they should in the FracFocus registry, according to a draft report by an Energy Department advisory panel, which also found errors in some of the data, FuelFix reports.