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From 2009-2012, Department of Justice data shows American taxpayers paid nearly $53 million in so-called environmental groups’ legal fees.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has asked for a six-month delay in making a final determination on whether to list the Gunnison sage grouse as an endangered species — moving the decision past the November elections. An E&E report states: Colorado elected leaders “fear the listing could have significant economic impacts.”
The report continues: “WildEarth Guardians is not opposing the latest extension after Fish and Wildlife agreed to some extensive new mitigation measures that will be made in the interim, including increasing buffer zones around sage grouse breeding grounds, called leks, and deferring coal, oil and gas leasing.” It goes on to say: “But the Center for Biological Diversity, which is a party to the settlement agreements with WildEarth Guardians, said the latest extension is a bad move for the grouse, which it says has needed ESA protections for years.”
Two important items to notice in the Gunnison sage grouse story: One, the power the environmental groups wield. Two, part of appeasing the environmental groups involves “deferring coal, oil and gas leasing.”
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