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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Can Pennsylvania's Threatened and Endangered Species Survive House Bill 1576?

SurviveCan Pennsylvania's Threatened and Endangered Species Survive House Bill 1576?
Controversial legislation to change the designation process for threatened and endangered species in Pennsylvania moved forward this week when the members of the House Game and Fisheries Committee voted 16-8 to approve House Bill 1576, also known as the Endangered Species Coordination Act. Republican Representative Garth Everett of Lycoming County made the motion for the bill and voted for its approval. According to Rep. Everett, (as quoted by Democratic Representative Greg Vitali of Delaware County), "Every group and industry I know that moves dirt wants this done."
Vitali: Bill Weakens Wildlife Protections
 Rep. Greg Vitali explains the problems of HB 1576 at last week's press conference.
Opposition is fierce between supporters who claim the bill provides better transparency, consistency and needed oversight through the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), while those opposed insist that the bill adds politics to a scientific process and lessens the authority of the agencies charged to protect Pennsylvania's wildlife.
Supporters of the legislation predictably include those who would benefit from relaxed regulations concerning the protection of sensitive species--commerce groups, home builders, and mineral extraction companies. Last August, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Associated Petroleum Industries of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association sent a joint letter of support for the bill, commending its Republican sponsor Representative Jeff Pyle of Armstrong County for his legislation.
Mirabito: Don't Weaken Endangered Species Protections
Rep. Mirabito: Don't Weaken
Endangered Species Protections
That comes as little surprise, as it is clear from his comments where wildlife stands with Rep. Pyle. According to a WITF article, Pyle indicated after Wednesday's committee hearing that "conservationists shouldn't get carte blanche if the result is stifled industry." He referred to the charters of the Game Commission
and Fish and Boat Commission, pointing out that "they're not allowed to make any decisions based on economic reasons." Pyle opined that "in today's economy, and with jobless figures the way they are, it [the economy] has to be considered. There's a balance to everything."  Pyle expressed his sentiment more clearly on conservation last May in reference to the possible listing of three bat species by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He was quoted in a Lancaster news publication as saying, "I'm not willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of jobs to save their little bats."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course, once again..the environment and wildlife will be sacrificed for the sake of the almighty dollar. The need for shopping centers far exceeds the need for the beauty of nature for future generations. Pyle is exactly that...a PILE!

Anonymous said...

The animals will survive! They don't need mans intervention!

Anonymous said...

"The animals will survive. They don't need man's intervention."... like the eastern elk and passenger pigeon survived?... Just saying...