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House committee approves revisions to Endangered Species Act

[JURIST] The US House Resources Committee [official website] Thursday approved [press release] the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act [PDF text; committee backgrounder], legislation that would overhaul the Endangered Species Act [PDF text] by limiting the government's ability to protect plant and animal habitat while giving new development rights to property owners. The House Committee says that the new legislation is needed because "the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has failed to achieve its purpose of recovering endangered species to healthy and sustainable populations. In addition, the unintended consequences of this law have caused a tremendous amount of conflict with landowners and local communities alike." However, environmental protection group Oceana [advocacy website] has criticized the proposed legislation [press release], in particular provisions that would repeal parts of the ESA that ensure protection for endangered and threatened species. The bill now goes to the full House where a favorable vote is anticipated. However, it is unclear whether the legislation would be approved by the US Senate. AP has more.

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