Victory for the environment: House rejects “Extinction Rider”
As published in the Seattle PI:
In a rare victory for the environment, spearheaded by Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected an amendment to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act.
The so-called “Extinction Rider” would have prevented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service from spending any money to list new species under the act, despite a backlog of 260 species needing protection.
The prominent species awaiting protection include two predators found in the North Cascades — the wolverine and Canadian lynx — as well as creatures ranging from the Pacific Walrus to the Sonoran Desert Tortoise.
“They would have also blocked designation of critical habitat necessary to a species survival,” said Dicks.
The move by Dicks to strike the “Extinction Rider” passed 224-202, with 37 House Republicans breaking ranks to support it.
Marjorie Mulhall, of the environmental group Earthjustice, said: “The majority’s vote today affirms that we absolutely don’t have to let our imperiled species die off in order to balance our budget. Anyone who says otherwise, deeply underestimates our nation.”