Veteran Republican US Rep Doc Hastings to retire

first_imgSEATTLE — Veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who represented central Washington for two decades and was a key voice in public lands and energy policy, announced Thursday he’ll retire at the end of the year. As chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Hastings recently took on the Endangered Species Act, calling for an overhaul of the law to curtail environmentalist lawsuits and give more power to states. Hastings and other GOP critics contend the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.“The biggest problem is that the Endangered Species Act is not recovering species,” Hastings said at a news conference last week where 13 GOP lawmakers proposed “targeted reforms” for the law that protects imperiled plants and animals.“The way the act was written, there is more of an effort to list (species as endangered or threatened) than to delist” them after declaring they are no longer threatened, Hastings said.Born in Spokane, the Pasco-based lawmaker was first elected to the U.S. House in 1994 after beating then-congressman Jay Inslee, the current Washington governor. Before his career in the nation’s capital, Hastings served in the state House from 1979 to 1987.last_img read more