Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, voted against President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday, in a Senate committee, in part because of Inhofe’s concerns that the Lesser Prairie Chicken may be put on the Endangered Species List, which could block wind power development.
Here’s the senator’s statement about Dan Ashe:
“I have great respect for Mr. Ashe-as a 16-year veteran of the Fish and Wildlife Service, he is undoubtedly a committed public servant. I also appreciate his honesty. Nonetheless, I still have significant concerns with his nomination, which is why I voted ‘no’. And I reserve the right to stop this nomination if my concerns are not addressed. I hope that they will be.
“I remain troubled that Mr. Ashe did not provide sufficient answers about the potential listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken, which affects jobs and economic development in Oklahoma. I believe Candidate Conservation Agreements and other public-private partnerships should run their course before listing is considered. I hope Mr. Ashe comes to share that view.
“The nominee is also committed to the Service’s statement, recently expressed in a strategic plan, that it will examine ‘everything we do, every decision we make, and every dollar we spend, through the lens of climate change.’ The Service also stated, in the same document, that it will address the ‘causative factors’ of climate change. This posture transforms, without Congressional authorization, the basic mission of the agency. Mr. Ashe indicated these statements are merely ‘aspirational.’ That’s fine, but I need a commitment that climate change, whatever one’s view of its underlying causes, will not become the overriding concern governing the agency’s day-to-day affairs. More to the point, the agency must respect the legal bounds clearly established by Congress.”