February 23, 2004
US Representative Sam Graves is "grandstanding"
Carla Klein, Director of the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club received an invitation to present a statement at a hearing to be conducted in St. Joseph today by US Rep Sam Graves (R-Tarkio). The second paragraph of the letter states:
The purpose of this hearing is to hold a forum to discuss the devastating economic impact of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has had on small businesses
It is apparent from the tone of the letter that Representative Graves is NOT seeking objective, unbiased information, but rather that his mind is already made up. The purpose of the hearing is NOT to gain information on the effects (if any) of the ESA on small business, but to obtain information about how small business is harmed by the ESA.
According to last year's publication of Governing.com, Missouri ranks 50th among states in expenditures per capita on environmental enforcement and regulation. The claim being made that the overbearing regulatory agency is responsible for job loss doesnt quite hold up.
After receiving this invitation, the Sierra Club sought information on the impacts of the ESA on projects in Missouri. The answer is one that Rep. Graves will not want to hear: Every project that would have an effect on an endangered species has been approved. There have been modifications to ensure that construction or other activities would not harm an endangered species, but NO PERMIT has been denied due to the ESA in the State of Missouri. None.
Additionally, the Office of Management and Budget, the federal body charged with evaluating the economic impact of legislation recently released a report asserting that environmental standards return benefits five to seven times greater than their costs.
Read the report: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/inforeg/regpol-reports_congress.html
Therefore, the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club has respectfully declined to appear at Rep. Sam Graves alleged hearing.