For Immediate Release, February 13, 2014
Contact: Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121
Anti-Endangered Species Republican "Doc" Hastings to Retire
Led Efforts to Gut Endangered Species Act
WASHINGTON— Rep. “Doc” Hastings (R-Wash.), who engineered a failed Republican push to dismantle the Endangered Species Act and limit the right of citizens to hold their government accountable, announced today he will not seek reelection this November after nine terms in office. For the past three years, Rep. Hastings has vilified endangered species, attempted to eliminate funding to protect additional species, and most recently put forward a plan that would gut key provisions of the law, including the ability of citizens to participate in the identification and protection of species.
“Good riddance,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Doc Hastings has stood as an example of the worst anti-environmental sentiments of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. His record as chairman of the Natural Resources Committee is one of profound disregard for the plight of our nation’s most endangered species and the health of the planet we all share.”
Last week, Rep. Hastings released a report with a series of proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act. The report’s recommendations specifically target the Center’s historic 2011 agreement to speed up protection decisions for 757 imperiled plants and animals around the country. The report was riddled with countless errors, industry talking points, and hysterical, unsubstantiated anecdotes from fringe members of the anti-environmental movement.
In a letter to Rep. Hastings, the Center noted 12 particularly egregious falsehoods that illustrated how little interest Rep. Hastings has in actually protecting endangered species.
“Hastings’ retirement is an opportunity for Congress to step into the 21st century and appoint committee leaders who understand that the great majority of Americans support the Endangered Species Act and its power to protect not only our nation’s long-term environmental interests, but also our long-term economic interests,” said Suckling.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 675,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.