Another “obstacle” to the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania may be removed.
Pending legislation — House Bill 1576 and Senate Bill 1047 — known together as the Endangered Species Coordination Act, would take the ability to identify and protect populations of endangered species out of the hands of the Game Commission and Fish & Boat Commission and put it instead in the hands of politicians.
The bill would also require that politicians approve any new additions, animal or plant, to the state endangered species list.
The people at the two commissions currently responsible for the endangered species list are professional biologists who have relevant experience. The politicians don’t have any knowledge about the subject at all.
This bill also would create a database, accessible by the public, that would list the locations of every population of endangered species. This would contradict the entire purpose of the Endangered Species list. It was created with the intent to protect these fragile populations from those who might wish them harm, including the gas industry.
This bill, which is supported by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association, would remove an obstacle that might obstruct their industry. Currently, these companies cannot create a well pad, access road or pipeline in an area that is home to an endangered species.
This bill would allow them to disturb and even move these species. This bill is terribly destructive, and is another blatant patronization of the gas industry. This is a huge step backward, not a step forward for Pennsylvania. This bill is a disaster and needs to be defeated.