The Obama administration's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken
as a threatened species wasn't done to protect the bird, says Ken Klemm, president of the Kansas Natural Resources Coalition. It was done as a "sue and settle" tactic.
"The administration has attempted to shut down the oil and gas industry in Kansas, and they have done a very good job of it," Klemm said on Newsmax TV's
"America's Forum" Friday. "The science is not clear that the bird is threatened or endangered."
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Already, said Klemm, oil and gas companies are idling their rigs, which can cause economic hardship for more than just the industry, as the companies are "a significant source of income for farmers and small towns that support the industry."
Meanwhile, Klemm says that as a rancher, he has not signed up for a federal fund that would pay him to build a habitat for the birds.
"I don't like extortion services," Klemm said. "Quite frankly, I am making a prairie chicken habitat and making money doing it." The government program, he said, "is a protection racket."
In addition, Klemm said he and other members of his coalition are concerned that the prohibitions for the birds will extend to how farmers use their land for agriculture.
"We're just struggling to do what we've always done: to provide goods," said Klemm.
"We're looking at a progressive blitzkrieg… the administrative branch has been harnessed to do what progressives can't do through the voter's booth."
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