(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Erstwhile "Area 51" Congressman Cory Gardner is anti-science and he wants to be your next Senator, whatever it takes. There is no other explanation for two actions he took this week between his campaign stops and fund raisers, while working his tax-funded day job as a U.S. Representative.
In one bill that he sponsored he is working to tie the hands of biologists trying to recover one of the West's iconic species. In the other he is trying to tie the hands of the U.S. military in its effort to prepare for the effects of a rapidly changing climate. Both efforts are sure to please some of his primary funders–the fossil fuel barons and Koch Brothers.
The potential listing of the Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act is a hot topic across the West, the subject of both controversy and concern with hyperbolic hand-wringing predicting calamity should it occur. The U.S. Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service is obligated under law to designate the bird if it finds that its extinction may be imminent, and to designate critical habitat to increase the chance of the species' survival. The ESA was signed into law by renown leftist tree-hugger President Richard M. Nixon.
I HAVE today signed S. 1983, the Endangered Species Act of 1973. At a time when Americans are more concerned than ever with conserving our natural resources, this legislation provides the Federal Government with needed authority to protect an irreplaceable part of our national heritage–threatened wildlife.
This important measure grants the Government both the authority to make early identification of endangered species and the means to act quickly and thoroughly to save them from extinction. It also puts into effect the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora signed in Washington on March 3, 1973.
Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans. I congratulate the 93d Congress for taking this important step toward protecting a heritage which we hold in trust to countless future generations of our fellow citizens. Their lives will be richer, and America will be more beautiful in the years ahead, thanks to the measure that I have the pleasure of signing into law today.
Rep. Gardner–promptly joined by go-along congressman Scott Tipton–last week introduced legislation that would prohibit any listing of the bird for 10 years. Not based on science, or recovery chances, or habitat protection or really anything, other than the notion that it might hamper oil and gas drilling, tar sands mining, oil shale dreaming and Craig-America's never-dying hope for an Inland Empire where there should have been a reservoir any ways. Ten years might seem like a random number, but Rep. Tipton says it is because of 'real science,' which presumably means findings that oil and gas companies have signed off on rather than that prepared by field biologists who have studied the matter for decades.