The Sage Grouse is a chicken.
Half of the West belongs to the federal government, including 48% of California, 69.1% of Alaska, 53.1% of Oregon, 48.1% of Arizona, 42.3% of Wyoming, 41.8% New Mexico, 36.6% of Colorado, 62% of Idaho, 66.5% of Utah and 81% of Nevada. It’s not enough apparently, as the government moves to stop oil and gas production by taking control of wide swaths of land throughout the West using the Endangered Species Act as an excuse.
Map via the Washington Post
The Department of the Interior in cahoots with extremist environmental groups is looking to classify 757 new species as endangered including the Sage Grouse and the prairie chicken, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The reason is to limit oil and gas production, not to save a couple chickens.
Prairie Chickens apparently need five states to roam.
They are first looking to declare the prairie chicken, which inhabits five states, as threatened. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are considering suffocating laws to protect the sage grouse which inhabits 11 western states—California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The prairie chicken roams as much as 100 million acres of private land.
The land is used for farming, ranching, water projects, building, and oil and gas drilling.
This is another excuse for the government to steal and/or control private land.
The government sidesteps legal channels and requirements to produce scientific evidence by using the “sue and settle” method. The government gets environmental groups to sue them and they allegedly settle, but it’s all preordained. The upcoming EPA ban on 80% of wood burning stoves is based on this scheme.
The scheme works like this according to Senator Vitter of Louisiana:
A far-left environmental group sues a federal department or agency, like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), claiming that the government is not satisfying its regulatory obligations. Then, after the group and the EPA plan and discuss the matter – without the involvement of any others, including affected business, landowners, and state and local governments – they draft a settlement agreement committing the agency to regulate a certain sector of the economy or type of private property. All that’s left is to get the presiding judge to bless their friendly agreement.
There’s even a bonus prize in this scheme. Because such a settlement is counted as a “win” for the environmental group plaintiff, that suing group is awarded all of its costs and attorney’s fees, creating a revolving fund for its continuing activity, courtesy of our wallets.
Presto: the left, including the Obama Administration, advances its aggressive environmental agenda. No need for messy Congressional hearings or opposing arguments.
The prairie chicken sits atop Texas’s Permian Basin oil bonanza, and the sage grouse is near the Bakken Shale in North Dakota.
The rules passed by the government are always draconian and will create a de facto ban on drilling. After lawsuits and millions of dollars, drilling may be stopped or at least it will be severely restricted.
Even if they don’t steal the land, which they often do, they make the laws so brutal, it’s impossible to do anything on the land.
Even Harry Reid said a listing for the grouse “will have major ramifications on rural life and the economies in Nevada and throughout the west.”
Colorado Senator Mark Udall who is facing a tough election wants the sage grouse listing delayed.
The Center for Biodiversity is behind this along with other extremist groups. The Center is behind most of these suits.
The Endangered Species Act is being used to steal land and to stop oil and gas production. The damage to mankind will be severe.