August 1, 2012


Forget finding alternatives to Middle East oil, or national security concerns, economic concerns, unemployment, jobs, etc., as nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of the American burying beetle (see below).

Read it and weep (and note the Center for Biological Diversity).

Sorry folks, but it doesn’t get any dumber than this....  |  August 1, 2012

Beetle Could Delay Keystone Pipeline

by Adam Wilmoth

An American Burying Beetle is seen in this close-up shot.

tiny insect could delay construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline by up to a year, the Omaha World-Herald reported Wednesday.

Pipeline company TransCanada Inc. had planned to trap and relocate hundreds of the endangered American burying beetles along Keystone’s proposed path, but new rules by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prevent the pipeline developer from moving the hiding bugs until the project receives federal approval.

An official with the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued the federal government last year and prompted the rule change, said the decision could set back Keystone’s construction by up to a year because the insects can only be moved in the spring and summer.

A TransCanada spokesman told the World-Herald that it is too soon to know how the new rules would affect construction, but that the company will work with the new regulations.

There’s a lot of ways to deal with this,” TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said.

Construction of the Keystone XL is expected to take two years, and work could be adjusted to allow for removal of any beetles without affecting that timetable, Howard said.

In Oklahoma

The American burying beetle has been causing heartburn for oil and gas companies in Oklahoma for more than a decade.

The insect has been listed as an endangered species since 1989, but regulations were expanded in 2002 when it was discovered that drilling and pipeline operations can harm the species by disturbing larvae even though the adult beetle is only active from May to September.

To ensure the insect’s safety, environmental regulations require companies to hire biologists and survey areas for the beetles before they dig in areas where they may be found. If any of the species are found in an area, biologists must trap or bait them away.

Unlike most endangered species, the burying beetle is not limited to a specific habitat. The bug once thrived in 35 states and three Canadian provinces, but decades of development have driven the species to near extinction, conservationists say.

Over the past 15 years, the American burying beetle has been found only in seven states along the periphery of its former range.

Original article here.


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