U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) has introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution disapproving of the northern long-eared bat’s endangered listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The House version of the CRA was introduced by Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08).
“This decision will have serious consequences for ongoing infrastructure projects across the state,” said Senator Mullin. “There is no reason to disproportionately increase regulatory burden and hinder economic development when this rule will not affect the primary cause of decline for the northern long-eared bat. I am strongly against one-size-fits-all regulation from Washington bureaucrats, and this is no different. We must stop this reclassification and ensure our state and other impacted states can continue efforts to protect this species without the heavy hand of the federal government getting in their way.”
“The listing of the northern long-eared bat is an example of the ESA being used to stifle development rather than its intended purpose, which is to protect species from human-caused harm,” said Congressman Stauber. “The northern long-eared bat unfortunately suffers from white-nose syndrome through no fault of humans whatsoever. The listing of the bat due to this disease declares open season for environmental groups to target desperately needed development across the bat’s entire range, which covers most of the continental United States. If we’re to build infrastructure, permit electricity transmission, mine for resources needed for everyday life, and properly manage our forests, we need commonsense habitat conservation plans that protect wildlife without harming our economy. And we need to overturn this listing.”
Mullin led this CRA resolution with 10 cosponsors: Senators Capito (R-WV), Lummis (R-WY), Marshall (R-KS), Budd (R-NC), Boozman (R-AR), Lankford (R-OK), Cramer (R-ND), Sullivan (R-AK), Wicker (R-MS), and Hoeven (R-ND).
Full bill text can be found here.
On November 30, 2022, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published its final rule listing the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
After Republican opposition, FWS announced it would delay the effective date for the final rule to March 31, 2023.
On March 6, 2023, FWS announced interim guidance to assist stakeholders in the transition to the reclassification.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) was enacted in 1996 and provides Congress with a tool to overturn Administrative regulations. If a CRA joint resolution is approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the President, the rule at issue cannot go into effect or continue in effect.