Tags: Fox News | prairie | chicken | threatened | oil | drilling | five

Prairie Chicken Listing Threatens Oil Drilling in Five States

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 06:01 PM

By Melanie Batley

The Obama administration announced Thursday that it has added the lesser prairie chicken to its list of threatened species, sparking criticism from lawmakers and energy producers who say the move will undermine oil and gas drilling, wind farms, and agriculture, and take a toll on state economies.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has classified the bird, a type of grouse, one step below "endangered" status, giving it a wider range of protections under the Endangered Species Act, Fox News reported.

The new regulation, set to take effect May 1, will impact five central and southwestern states, including Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas, raising concerns from elected officials about its impact on the states' economies.

"This is an overreach on the part of the federal government," Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement, according to Fox News. "We are looking at possible responses on this issue."

Brownback's spokeswoman Sara Belfry said a lawsuit is a possibility, and attorney general Derek Schmidt said in a statement that his office is "assessing our legal actions," Fox News reported.

Oil companies, meanwhile, say the new regulations would impede their operations and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in foregone oil and gas development, adding that the decision undermines America's energy future.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp said the administration's decision will also threaten the property rights of farmers and ranchers. The Kansas Republican said in a statement: "An effective conservation effort must be strictly voluntary if private property is to be respected and our rural way of life to be protected," Fox News reported.

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe acknowledged the decision would be unpopular but said it was based on the best science available. Data indicates the prairie chicken has lost more than 80 percent of its traditional habitat mostly due to human activity, and its population in the five states declined to fewer than 18,000 birds, according to Fox News.

Environmentalists are welcoming the decision.

"We are talking about a species whose population has plummeted to half its numbers in just one year," Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, told Fox News. "This bird deserves effective federal protection, and the government recognized that over 15 years ago."

Related Stories:

 

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Cosmic Puzzle Settled: Comets Give us Shooting Stars

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 22:20 PM

Suspicions that shooting stars come from comet dust, transformed into fiery streaks as they hit Earth's atmosphere, have . . .

Spain: Cervantes Searchers Find Casket With His Initials

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 07:42 AM

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes have found a casket bearing the initials M.C. with bones insi . . .

NASA Spacecraft to Start Sending Photos of Icy Pluto

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 07:34 AM

After a nine-year journey of three billion miles, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is only months away from the planet Plu . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved