Posted by | April 22, 2011 23:37 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed at the height of the environmental movement in the early 1970s.  In the budget deal just passed, Congress for the first time removed a species from the list.  This was widely cited as a threat to the act but it is not nearly as big a problem as the ones cataloged here:

In its 2012 budget request, the service estimated that in 2011 it will be able to make final listing decisions on only 4 percent of warranted petitions within one year as required by law, down from 12 percent in 2010.

If you read the whole article, you see there are a lot of actors at fault.  Congress routinely underfunds the agency charged with implementing the ESA, The Fish and Wildlife Service.  The agency moves very slowly on each determination.  Environmental groups have tried to make it move faster by filing even more petitions, leading the agency to fall even further behind.  Meanwhile, with global warming threatening more and more habitats, more and more species threaten to go the way of the dodo (pictured).

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.