Bishop Looks to Overhaul ESA

Rep. Rob Bishop plans to introduce a package of Endangered Species Act reform bills aimed at making the law more transparent.

Reports E&E Daily:

[Natural Resources] Committee Republicans plan to reintroduce a package of ESA reform bills that were recommended by a GOP working group last session, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) told reporters yesterday. The bills, which Republicans say would make the law more transparent, cleared the House but were never taken up in the then Democratic-controlled Senate.

“We will redo those four bills, and then we’ll go beyond that,” Bishop said in an interview between votes on the House floor. He is also planning hearings “to enunciate what the problems are.”

“What we’ll try to put out, at least in my mind, is a kind of syllabus of how we’d like to accomplish things,” said Bishop, a former history teacher.

But the chairman is in no rush to push any major ESA reforms through. “I’ve got six years to do this,” he said. Bishop just assumed control of the Natural Resources Committee gavel in January.

At the same time, Bishop made it clear he would welcome any bill he can get from Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), whose Environment and Public Works Committee held a legislative hearing on ESA reform bills last week.

“If he can get something passed in the Senate, I’d be more than happy to pick it up over here,” Bishop said.