IPAA asks FWS for Endangered Species Act public forum

The Independent Petroleum Association of America asked the US Fish and Wildlife Service for a public forum on the agency’s future plans involving the Endangered Species Act.

IPAA made the request after a federal district court’s September approval of the US Department of the Interior agency’s settlements of lawsuits filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Earth Guardians.

The settlements require FWS to complete reviews of 250 candidate species for possible ESA listing and conclude critical habit petition, listing, and other actions by 2016, IPAA Pres. Barry Russell noted in a Nov. 5 letter to FWS Director Daniel Ashe.

“IPAA understands that FWS is obligated to meet certain deadlines as part of the court approved settlement; yet there is very little transparency afforded to the public on which species are coming up for review,” Russell said.

“The pure depth and breadth of these settlement agreements could harm our membership and create uncertainty in the development of domestic oil and natural gas,” he warned.

In its announcement about the letter, IPAA also said it recently formed an ESA taskforce comprised of independent producers as well as state and regional trade associations.

The Washington, DC-based trade association also is a member of the National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition, which represents a broad range of business, agriculture, and consumer groups, it indicated.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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