Marcellus/Utica Drillers Ask for Special Permit to Kill Some Bats

In April 2015 the Obama administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) did a disservice to not only the drilling industry, but the wind industry, farmers and the construction industry. USFWS listed the northern long-eared bat as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (see US Fish & Wildlife Fixes Wrong Problem for Northern Long-Eared Bat). USFWS says a fungus is spreading through the bat population, killing it. The northern long-eared bat is found in pretty much the eastern two-thirds of the country, minus Florida. The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) pointed out that USFWS has admitted the the bat is threatened because of something called white nose syndrome–which has nothing to do with habitat destruction. Yet drillers and midstreamers are now hamstrung with new regulations to “save the bats” even though they are not the ones causing harm to the bats. There are other bat species also on the threatened and endangered list, including the Indiana bat, eastern small-footed bat, little brown bat and tri-colored bat. All five species are in decline because of white nose syndrome. Drillers and midstreamers can’t cut down trees from April 1st through October 31st of each year for fear of killing a bat that may be roosting in the tree. This is nuts! Cutting a few trees here and there will not further deplete the bat population–but the thugish USFWS won’t budge. So a coalition of Marcellus/Utica drillers and midstreamers have asked the USFWS to grant them a special permit to allow them to inadvertently kill the odd bat between April and October. USFWS is now conducting a full environmental impact statement, which won’t be ready until next year…

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