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Endangered salamander listing hurts Texas jobs

Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. John Carter authored the Salamander Community Conservation Act in an attempt to get ahead of a federal listing proposal.

Key Texas Republicans are pushing legislation to block the listing of four salamanders as endangered species in their home state, which they say would stunt economic development and hinder the creation of new jobs.

Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. John Carter authored the Salamander Community Conservation Act in an attempt to get ahead of the federal listing proposal and allow locals to begin their own preservation efforts.

???Our bill will head off a premature listing, allowing conservation efforts already under way to continue without hindering Central Texas from growing and creating jobs,??? Cornyn said in a statement introducing the bill.

The Fish and Wildlife Service are pursing several new listings in response to massive requests and a lawsuit from environmental groups over the last five years to add 1,230 species to the endangered list.

???Endangered species listing decisions should be made with peer-reviewed sound science after ample input from state and local governments and researchers,??? Carter said. ???The ongoing attempts by environmental extremists to circumvent this process through court action cannot be tolerated. This legislation can restore common sense and due process to environmental issues, provide better species protection results and recognize the needs of human beings as well as salamanders.???

The federal government in June backed down from listing the sand dune lizards in Texas as endangered, and instead allowed the state and local communities to address the creatures needs while still allowing for oil exploration.

???Just as they hastily tried to list the sand dune lizard in west Texas, the administration is again putting the cart before the horse,??? said Cornyn.

The candidates to be listed include the Austin Blind, Georgetown, Jollyville Plateau and Salado Springs salamanders.

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events??? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey???s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co