“Endangered” Bumble Bee May Slow/Stop O&G Projects in Northeast

rusty-patched-bumble-beeOver the years MDN has watched various threatened and endangered species get listed, which impacts drillers and midstreamers. Most notably in the northeast has been the northern long-eared bat (see US Fish & Wildlife Fixes Wrong Problem for Northern Long-Eared Bat). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is responsible for recommending and listing varies species, empowered to do so under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). USFWS admitted the long-eared bat is threatened because of something called white nose syndrome–which has nothing to do with habitat destruction. Yet drillers and midstreamers are hamstrung with regulations to “save the bats”–even though they are not the ones causing harm to the bats. It’s a typical Washington solution: “fix” the wrong problem. The USFWS is about to do it all over again, this time with the lowly bumble bee. On September 22, 2016 the USFWS published a proposed rule to list the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as “endangered” under the ESA. The rusty patched bumble bee is found in the Midwest and eastern parts of the country. If it gets listed, it will have SIGNIFICANT impacts on drillers and midstreamers, according to the lawyers at top international law firm Locke Lord…

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