ICYMI: Listing the northern long-eared bat as threatened won’t help its recovery (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

ICYMI: Listing the northern long-eared bat as threatened won’t help its recovery (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“The decision to list the bat as threatened under the ESA imposes unnecessary and burdensome costs on myriad U.S. businesses, including natural gas development in Pennsylvania”

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Listing the northern long-eared bat as threatened won’t help its recovery
By Barry Russell, Independent Petroleum Association of America President
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Letter to the Editor
April 15, 2015

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (“Major Pa. Bat Species ‘Threatened,’” April 6) imposes unnecessary and burdensome costs on a myriad of U.S. businesses, including natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

The real threat to the northern long-eared is a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome — and a listing does absolutely nothing to address this underlying problem. Every reasonable effort should be made to halt the spread of this disease, but preventing highly regulated oil and natural gas activities from moving forward will have no tangible benefits to its population or the management of white-nose syndrome.

Oil and natural gas producers are strongly committed to habitat conservation and protection. Not only do these companies abide by numerous federal and state rules to minimize their impacts on the surrounding habitat, species and environment, but they also utilize new technologies and individualized restoration techniques to limit surface disturbances.

Natural gas development has transformed Pennsylvania’s economy, providing clean-burning energy, creating thousands of jobs for the state’s workforce and contributing $34.7 billion to the state’s economy.

The Fish and Wildlife Service should avoid implementing restrictions that would stifle this economic growth and should instead work to find a solution to this unfortunate disease. That would ensure that species conservation and economic growth can thrive together across Pennsylvania and the nation.

BARRY RUSSELL
President and CEO
Independent Petroleum Association of America
Washington, D.C.

Barry Russell is the President and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the leading, national upstream trade association representing oil and natural gas producers that drill 95 percent of the nation’s oil and natural gas wells. These companies account for 54 percent of America’s oil production, 85 percent of its natural gas production, and support more than 2.1 million American jobs.

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