The Indiana bat went on the endangered species list in 1967, and 45 years later, there are half as many bats as there were then.
The largest concentration of the endangered Virginia big-eared bat, its population down to less than 400,000, lives in caves in West Virginia.
Their numbers could soon fall even lower. Maryland-based Beech Ridge Energy is seeking a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would
allow the accidental killing of bats at its 67-turbine wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties
As part of a settlement with environmental groups, the company has already agreed to operate turbines only during daylight hours between April 1 and mid-November, when the bats go into hibernation.
It’s illegal under the Endangered Species Act to harm animals on the threatened or endangered list. Yet wind energy companies that received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the name of environmentalism are seeking permission to do just that.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking comments on the company’s proposed conservation plan and environmental impact statement through Oct. 23.
West Virginians should not waste the opportunity.
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