Environmental lawsuit abuse is destroying thousands of American jobs, eroding common sense and family budgets, and hurting America’s economy.

Rather than protecting the environment, the Endangered Species Act and other state and federal environmental laws are increasingly being used to advance political agendas against farming, energy development, transportation, manufacturing, water storage, and other needed infrastructure projects, threatening millions of American jobs and costing billions in lost economic activity.

Since its passage in 1972, the Endangered Species Act and other laws have been used to file thousands of lawsuits across America — a harvesting operation generating millions of dollars for environmental activists to fund their operations and file additional lawsuits, regardless of the impact on families and the economy.

As a result, dams have been removed; new water storage projects have been blocked; solar, wind and other renewable energy projects have been derailed or delayed by years; American manufacturing jobs have been forced to other countries; and millions of acres of farmland have been taken out of production.

Ironically, the eco-activists driving these lawsuits seldom suffer the impact of their policies. Instead, low- and middle-income workers and their families are the primary victims. In addition to their jobs and livelihoods being threatened or destroyed, they’re forced to pay an increasingly greater share of their household incomes for goods and services as prices rise for food, energy, transportation, clothing and other consumer products — forced higher and higher by an ever increasing burden of environmental laws, restrictions, fees and taxes.

It’s time to strike a responsible balance.

The National Alliance for Environmental Reform is committed to protecting our environment in a way that preserves jobs and fosters healthy economic growth, and which values workers, their families and our economy equally with fish, wildlife and the environment.

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© 2016 National Alliance for Environmental Reform