Attorney General Pruitt Praises Victory in "Sue-and-Settle" LawsuitFri, 20 May 2016 16:12:25 CDT
Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Friday released the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s recent decision to abandon its efforts to list the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species.
“The Obama administration’s unlawful attempt to list the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species was not based on sound science but a hastily put together effort by federal agencies, colluding with environmental groups, to engage in ‘sue-and-settle’ tactics designed to stifle oil and gas exploration in Oklahoma and other states,” Attorney General Pruitt said. “That is why I brought suit challenging the listing, and arguing that science and facts-on-the-ground unequivocally prove the chicken is not endangered, and that the State's conservation efforts are working. I’m pleased to report that the federal government has finally realized the error of its ways and has ended its efforts to list the bird as endangered.”
In 2014, the Attorney General’s Office filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging the USFWS engaged in “sue and settle” tactics when the agency agreed to settle a lawsuit with a national environmental group over the listing of the status of several animal specials, including the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
In September, a U.S. District Judge ruled the USFWS failed to make a proper evaluation of state conservation plans when determining whether the bird should receive protection under the Endangered Species Act.
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