Target: Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Don’t allow oil and gas companies to build pipelines and drill in areas that will endanger bats.
Endangered bats could be at risk of extinction should the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approve applications from nine oil and gas companies asking for a 50-year exemption from the Endangered Species Act. This will allow the companies to extract gas in areas that are home to endangered species. The companies want to begin fracking, well development, and building pipelines in rural Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. These areas are home to one bat species that is already on the Endangered Species List: the Indiana bat. The area also has three types of bats that have been proposed for Endangered Species Act protection. All of these species will be put at risk by new oil and gas drilling.
In recent years, the bat population in North America has been decimated by white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed an estimated 6 million bats. In order to bring back the bat population, the animals need more protected habitats. New oil and gas drilling could lead to depleted food resources, contamination in streams, and clearcutting that will remove trees that bats roost in. This will all be completely devastating for the already endangered bats.
If the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepts the oil companies’ applications, they will be giving them a free pass to kill bats for 50 years. Sign this petition to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decline the companies’ applications.
Dear Director Ashe,
I’m writing to ask you not to accept the proposals you recently received from nine oil and gas companies that ask for a 50-year exemption from the Endangered Species Act. This proposal will be disastrous for the native bats of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This includes the Indiana bat, which is already endangered, and three species of bats that have been proposed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
If the oil and gas companies are allowed to frack and build pipelines, it could result in bats losing the trees they need for roosting and foraging. Streams could also be contaminated by oil spills. The loss of habitat would be a disaster for the bats, who have already had their numbers depleted by white-nose syndrome.
Allowing oil and gas drilling will be devastating for the bats in the area. Please do not let oil and gas companies decimate the natural habitat of endangered bats for 50 years.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Kdsphotos