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HPPR Government & Politics

Endangered species settlements prompt lawsuit by Oklahoma AG and energy group


The Oklahoma Attorney General and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance recently filed a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for “colluding” with environmental groups to bypass public procedures for rule-making to enact endangered species regulations said a recent article by StateImpact Oklahoma.

The lawsuit is Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s latest barrage against “sue and settle” techniques use by agencies accused of reaching friendly lawsuit settlements filed by special-interest groups.

Domestic Energy Partners represents oil and gas companies and royalty owners. 

In 2010, Wild Earth Guardians “alleged the Fish and Wildlife Service did not meet deadlines in determining the listing of 251 species.”  The current law suit was prompted by this case.  Pruitt argues this type of settlements undermine the $26 million conservation plan the “State of Oklahoma, along with other states and private industry” were considering for the Lesser Prairie Chicken.

Pruitt says,” Oklahoma has indicated its willingness to protect the lesser prairie chicken but it seems increasingly clear this issue isn’t about sound science or saving endangered species. Using the courts to impose regulations undermines the rule of law.”

The rest of the story as well as the legal document can be found here.