Protecting Endangered Animal Species Cost US Taxpayers 100’s of Billions
- President Trump is moving to reform the ESA’s management of endangered species
- Democrats are slammed the President’s attempts to correct this over regulation.
- Factoring in the taxpayer cost of blocking dams, roads, pipelines
Protecting endangered species likely costs the economy hundreds of billions of dollars more than the federal government’s official estimates, according to a new study released Tuesday.
The libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which conducted the study, explained that the government does not factor in broader economic cost, such as lost investment opportunities for energy development.
The study stressed that “The economic impact of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is so large that states often impose regulations and management regimes as part of an effort to prevent species from being added to the endangered species list,” citing as an example several Western US states which negotiated with the federal government to prevent an endangered listing for the chicken-sized sage grouse, which would have cost an estimated $5.6-B in annual economic output.
The Supreme Court ruled in Y 1978 that the ESA was passed to prevent and reverse the decline of endangered species at “whatever the cost,” which has given federal agencies broad power to block projects such as dams, logging and pipelines.
But the CEI report stated that “Whatever is hardly a standard that encourages fiscal responsibility, and as any bureaucrat knows, unquantified costs cannot be used as a yardstick to judge the effectiveness of a program.”
The release of the report comes as The Trump Administration is considering proposed regulations to reform the ESA’s management of endangered species, which are expected to be more beneficial for industry.
Democrats have slammed these attempts and are warning that the changes would threaten the conservation program’s successes.
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