Much to the likely chagrin of Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) the EPA has agreed to protect the threatened California Red-Legged Frog, according to a settlement reached this week in a lawsuit filed in 2002.
Pombo once blamed the species for causing nearly $500 million in "regulatory costs" for homebuilders and held Twain's frogs up as Exhibit A in his Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act, a deceptively-named bill that would eliminate mandatory habitat restrictions for any species. The settlement agreement will protect Rana aurora draytonii by prohibiting the use of 66 pesticides in and near red-legged frog habitats.
Read more about Pombo's battle against these amphibians in the name of development in Dick Russell's story in the current issue of Mother Jones.
And according to poll numbers released today Pombo is neck and neck with his Democratic opponent Jerry McNerney, with Pombo at 41 percent and McNerney at 40 percent.
Frogs should be the least of his worries.