2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 21 May 2003 18:42:58 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Pombo sets sights on habitat law
Pombo sets sights on habitat law
By Mike Taugher
May 21, 2003

For the first time since taking control of a key congressional post, an
East Bay lawmaker who for years has railed against one of the nation's
pre-eminent wildlife protection statutes has moved legislation to
significantly weaken the law.

Tucked into a defense spending plan that is expected to be considered
this week by the House of Representatives are exemptions for the
military to portions of the Endangered Species Act and a law that
protects whales, dolphins and other marine mammals.

But the legislation goes far beyond a tailored exemption for the
military, throwing into question whether the federal government would
designate new critical habitat for endangered species.

Restrictions on seafaring industries that might run afoul of the marine
mammals protection statute could also be eased.

The proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act would be the most
significant in 25 years.

Environmentalists said such modifications have been sought for years by
real estate developers, the oil and gas industry and cruise lines.

"We are living in a surreal climate where, in the guise of national
security and defense readiness, we are seeing a broad-based attack on
our environmental laws," said William Snape, the chairman of the
Washington, D.C.-based Endangered Species Coalition. "I don't think it's
going to end."

Pombo, a Tracy rancher whose political career has been in large part
defined by his attacks on the Endangered Species Act, leapfrogged more
senior Republicans at the beginning of the year and took the reins of
the House Resources Committee, which has primary responsibility for the

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