Letter from Senator Johanns dated December 20, and received Jan. 9 2014:
Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 1731, the Federal Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act. I appreciate having the benefit of your views.
On November 19, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced S1731, which was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on which I no longer serve. If enacted, the bill would increase state flexibility for regulating endangered species within its borders. For example, the bill would allow governors to regulate any intrastate threatened species within their borders. The Governor of a State would be allowed to (1) promulgate or enforce any regulation or guidance; (2) designate a critical habitat (sic) (3) issue a permit; (4) develop or implement a recovery plan; and (5) establish any goal with respect to the recovery plan. If the Governor of a State decides to regulate an intrastate endangered or threatened species, this action would not be subject to judicial review by the courts.
The bill would also make substantial changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) at the federal level. Any new species added to the federal endangered species list would require approval of a joint resulution by Congress. In addition, all species would be automatically de-listed from the federal list after five years. The bill would also allow private property landowners to seek compensation if their land use is diminished by regulatory actions pursuant to the federal ESA statute. Representative Mark Amodel (R-NV) has introduced similar legislation, HR 3533 in the House.
I believe that common sense and sound science must be applied to policies designed to protect the environment and its inhabitants. I will continue to draw on those principles when monitoring federal protection of certain species and if S 1731 or related legislation is considered by the full Senate
Then follows Johanns' standard message of how much he loves representing us etcâ€¦
Two things need to be noted: 1) The letter really does not firmly state what Johanns believes about the proposed legislation although past experience would indicate he is in favor of the ideas put forward. 2) It is a solid example of the belief of Rand Paul and many many of his Liberitarian buds that the environment is a non-entity as to care and concern when "Liberty" is the god and "freedom" to act in the Ayn Rand model is the goal.
Of course, the same group generally discredits the Global Climate problems as some kind of conspiracy. When Johanns speaks of "sound science" you can bet his concept and Paul's are far from that accepted by the vast majority of the scientific world. One last shot at the "Gold Standard" concept: Gold has flucuated massively over 50 years and indeed many more. I wonder how such fluctuations really relate to the image some invoke of steady solid currency based upon Gold. As a cute aside I read recently that all the gold from the beginning of time could be contained in a single cube 20 m on a side.