The FWS gives up on an endangered species as a favor to the fossil fuel industry

Credit: USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to downgrade the listing status of the American burying beetle from “endangered” to “threatened”—and its absurd reason is one for the books. According to the agency's proposal, rising temperatures will render the beetle’s southern habitat range so inhospitable that efforts to save the orange-splotched insect aren’t worthwhile. That’s an interesting twist, considering just last year government scientists said the administration pressured them to downplay climate threats to the beetle. The agency seems to be grasping for any rationale that would open doors for oil and gas developers to drill in what was previously protected habitat. The irony, of course, is that boosting fossil fuel development would exacerbate climate change...and further endanger the beetle (among many, many other things). 

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