GOP says Obama ignoring local input on Endangered Species Act coverage

"[T]he Administration continues to neglect useful input from local constituents in these land and species management decisions and has shown a reluctance to rely on the best available data for proposed conservation plans," the two members wrote in a letter released Monday. The letter added that their constituents have seen the "obstruction of responsible resource management caused by the ESA," and warned that "misuse" of the law will harm energy development in their states and others.

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They said more than 11 billion barrels of oil and 11 trillion cubic feet of gas are trapped in lands stretching through both states but said the extraction of these resources is threatened by the Endangered Species Act.

"As domestic energy development continues to be one of our highest priorities, potential federal actions under the ESA could decimate our domestic energy potential," they wrote. "Additionally, misguided federal actions could impact our livestock and outdoor recreation industries which are both important aspects of our states' economies."

Back in March, Hastings pressed the Department of the Interior for details about its decision to list the sage-grouse under the ESA.

"This potential listing of the sage-grouse could restrict grazing, farming, mining and energy production on as much as 160 million acres throughout eleven Western states."

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