American Elephants


This Beetle Could Provide Another Delay for the Keystone Pipeline. by The Elephant's Child

I had seen rumblings of enthusiasm about the construction of the Southern part of the Keystone XL pipeline — the prospect of more good jobs is something practically everybody in today’s economy is looking forward to. Not so much the Greenies. They will pull out all the stops to put a halt to it. Perhaps Fish and Wildlife found this one all on their own, but an unseemly number of projects that the Greenies don’t like, have been halted by an “endangered species.” In this case the ‘endangered’ species is a beetle: the American burying beetle, so called because it buries dead rodents to protect its food. As beetles go,
it’s a fairly large one at 1.5 inches long. The orange   bands are distinctive, but the dead rodents thing is a little off-putting. Carrion beetles. There are known populations in South Dakota, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island, and even Kansas.

The record of official endangered species listings is not a good one. Many species have turned out not to have been endangered after all, some listings are a sop to some environmental activists for the specific purpose of stopping a project.

This beetle could delay the Keystone XL for up to a year, because new rules by US Fish and Wildlife prevent the pipeline developer from moving the hiding bugs until the project receives federal approval. I’m a skeptic about endangered species, perhaps unjustifiably so, but I’m unaware of any great success stories, and have seen a lot of species that have been declared endangered still thriving elsewhere.  Creatures are pretty good at adapting, as they have been doing  for thousands of years.

President Obama’s policies seem to come accompanied with job losses. The auto bailout killed thousands of jobs. Cash for Clunkers killed jobs. The promised infrastructure jobs never appeared. Administration actions in the Gulf with the Deepwater Horizon crisis killed thousands. Refusing the cross-border portion of the Keystone XL cost thousands. All the ill-conceived solar manufacturer bankruptcies killed thousands. Raising taxes on medical device manufacturers has killed thousands. Unnecessarily shutting down coal power plants is killing thousands. There never were thousands in wind farms. Excessive government regulations have killed many. The list goes on and on. Actions have consequences.

Neither jobs nor the economy have been the president’s primary focus, but if you expect unemployment checks and food stamps to be the best way to help the economy recover, you’re not going to get very far anyway.

*(photo by Doug Backlund, Wildphotos Photography)

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[…] a project that environmental activists don’t like, they will fan out over the land involved, searching for a species that might be useful to delay or halt the […]

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