Here’s the link.
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 19, 2012 – According to data recently obtained from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in response to document requests, the federal government has defended more than 570 Endangered Species Act (ESA)-related lawsuits costing U.S. taxpayers more than $15 million in attorney fees – in just the past four years. This data provides further evidence that the ESA has become litigation driven, where money and resources are spent addressing endless, frivolous lawsuits instead of species recovery.
Environmental groups are filing the vast majority of litigation, with the Center for Biological Diversity and the WildEarth Guardians leading the charge.
These groups, and their lawyers, are making millions of taxpayer dollars in profit by suing the federal government. According to DOJ, some attorneys are reimbursed up to $500 an hour and two lawyers have each received over $2 million in attorney fees from ESA cases.
The hearing can be found here:
OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:
“Taxpayer-Funded Litigation: Benefitting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools
This hearing follows a number of transparency request letters (3/19/12) and (5/31/12) sent by Chairman Hastings to help determine the cost and impact of taxpayer-funded attorneys fees and time spent on Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation. The goal of the ESA is to conserve key domestic species, yet it’s increasingly being used by special interest groups to file lawsuits – or file petitions threatening lawsuits – to drive federal agencies to make agenda-driven decisions not based on verifiable data or sound science or priority, but to block economic and job-creating activities. With a one percent recovery rate, and hundreds of more species being forced onto the ESA list, federal taxpayers and existing endangered species deserve better. Transparency and accountability are helping shed light on how ESA is being abused by litigation and the facts distorted by advocacy groups.