MOBILE, Ala. (Legal Newsline) — Texas Attorney General Ken
Paxton has announced that Texas and 17 other states have filed a lawsuit against
the federal government alleging overreach when it comes to new rules expanding
the definition of “critical habitats”
for endangered and threatened species.
According to the states involved, the stringent new rules
would allow the federal government to designate areas as occupied critical
habitat without evidence the areas are occupied by the species or contain the
necessary features required.
“This is nothing more than yet another
end run around Congress by [President Obama] who is desperate to establish his
environmental legacy by any means necessary before his time in office ends in
less than 60 days,” Paxton said. “The
Obama administration is hiding behind bogus rules to perpetrate land grabs,
kill energy projects and block economic development.”
The lawsuit specifically challenges the U.S. secretary of
the interior, National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. secretary of commerce and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Alabama is the lead state in the lawsuit. Joining Alabama
and Texas are the attorneys general from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South
Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. New Mexico is represented by
its Department of Game and Fish.