American Samoa – Strong opposition to coral listing

More than 20 residents attended the meeting and the majority expressed concerns about the economic, social and cultural impact the listing would have on fishing activities in the territory. The opponents were even more disheartened after hearing that the ESA process does not take economic impacts into consideration in their review. The listing was prompted by the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group based in Arizona. Read more here, audio

  • Dick Grachek

    From the House Natural Resources Committee Website, regarding inquiries into Center for Biological Diversity and taxpayer dollars:

    http://naturalresources.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=301242

    “DOJ Documents Confirm Center for Biological Diversity Received Millions in Taxpayer Funds from ESA-Related Lawsuits”

    “WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2012 – The Center for Biological Diversity today sent a letter to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings claiming their organization had only received $553,000 in taxpayer funds resulting from Endangered Species Act (ESA) related attorney fees and court cases. This claim conflicts with data obtained from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which shows over $2 million in taxpayer dollars have been paid out to the Center for Biological Diversity and their attorneys for cases open between 2009-2012.”

    “The Center for Biological Diversity appears to have derived their erroneous number by including only checks made out directly to the Center for Biological Diversity over a select period of years. Attorney fees are typically paid out to the attorney of record. The Center for Biological Diversity is conveniently failing to include the majority of funds that were paid directly to their hired lawyers. Nine of the lawyers who have received payouts are currently employed by the Center for Biological Diversity.”

    “According to this document from the DOJ containing 276 pages of case information, the Center for Biological Diversity was involved in over 50 individual cases, open between 2009 and 2012, where they were the lead plaintiff. The amount of attorney fees and court costs associated with these cases is $2,286,686.91. Of this amount, $138,114.45 was in court costs and $2,148,572.46 was in attorney fees.”

    “American taxpayers have a right to know how much of their money is going to pay attorneys and settlement costs for lawsuit-happy organizations that make a living off of suing the federal government. The numbers from the Justice Department speak for themselves,” said Chairman Hastings. “One frequent collector of taxpayer dollars spent a week inventing a way to misconstrue and hide data to make it appear as though they haven’t received millions in taxpayer dollars. The most direct way to have openness and transparency on exactly what funds a group has taken from taxpayers in ESA-related settlement and attorney fees is for them to publicly reveal all of their data for the past two decades.”

    Now Doc Hastings is not my idea of a great American Statesman and actually some of the issues the Center for Biological Diversity tackles I can’t argue with, i.e., fracking, keystone pipeline, Arctic drilling etc.; but let’s face facts here, the harvesting of legal fees, “Eco-Fund” investments, and tax-free “donations” from the likes of the Oceana Sunset-Cocktails-by-the-Monterey-Sea set is big big business.

    Non-Profit does not mean Non-Revenue or Non-Huge Coffers or Non-Huge Salries. Pew “Charitable” Trusts is capitalized with over $5bn of mostly major oil money, and Fred Krupp of Environmental Defense “Fund” and other “investment officers” and presidents of these Enviro-capitalist organizations rake in millions per year in “individual compensation”. Non-Profit means Non-Tax not Non-Money; and in the case of Center for Biological Diversity and Conservation Law Foundation, government collected taxpayer money is being paid out to these ivy-league scam artists who turn around and sue the very same government’s agencies, getting rich claiming to save the planet and the seas while they put working communities on the bread lines. This looks like what’s setting up for American Samoa in this article. It’s the same industry devastating con that these Eco-Frauds have brought to New England. Here they’ve managed to squash an entire fishery by pushing agenda-driven “science” and the resulting bogus fishery regulations while they get fat on legal fees.

    • – Moderator

      What a bunch of slippery sea slugs!
      Great comment Dick, and as always, PACKED with information.

  • Dick Grachek

    I tried to post a similar comment, even shorter and milder, on the http://www.Talanei.com Samoan website, the origin of the above article; but,they did not put it up. I guess NOAA and Center for Biological Diversity can’t take opposition.
    http://www.talanei.com/news/Strong-opposition-to-coral-listing/15533506

    • – Moderator

      I’m digging like a dog to get in touch with someone out there, Dick.
      They need to know that people are aware and in their corner.

      • Dick Grachek

        Good Work! Keep us posted.