July 31, 2007 - MARKEY WANTS TO SEE SCIENTIFIC BACKING FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES DECISIONS

Concerns Over Political Influence in Government Science Lead Rep. Markey to Introduce Bill Requiring Full Disclosure on ESA Decisions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced today that he will introduce legislation to require increased transparency for decisions made by the Department of the Interior regarding endangered species. Rep. Markey’s announcement comes as the Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing entitled “A Crisis of Confidence: The Political Influence of the Bush Administration on Agency Science and Decision-Making.”

Rep. Markey said, “As reports of political interference with scientific Endangered Species Act decisions within the Bush Administration continue to surface, increasing the transparency of the decision-making within the Interior Department will help ensure that politics do not trump science.”

Rep. Markey’s legislation, the Transparent Reporting Under ESA Listing Act or the “TRUE Listing Act,” would require that within 48 hours of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) approving a decision regarding the listing or de-listing of an endangered species, the Director of FWS publish a summary statement of the scientific basis for the decision. This requirement would also apply to decisions not to list a species. This decision summary would be available to the public and would list the agency employees who participated in the decision-making process, any difference of opinion and how those differences were resolved.

The legislation will be formally introduced shortly.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836