Here we go … (article supplied text in bold)
A proposed West Virginia wind power project will harm a tiny, endangered bat and its developers should be [sic] should be required to obtain permits under the Endangered Species Act, attorneys for two environmental groups argued Wednesday in federal court.
Can’t kill endangered species, that’s illegal!
The developers admit bats will be killed by the turbines, but refuse to acknowledge the endangered Indiana bat will be among them, plaintiffs attorney Eric Glitzenstein argued in his opening statements.
Refuse to acknowledge? Is that anything like – they know for sure?
“Is there some reason to think Indiana bats will escape the fate” of the other bats expected to be killed, Glitzenstein asked District Judge Roger Titus, who is hearing the bench trial.
Good question, your Honor!
Defense attorney Clifford Zatz said the $300 million, environmentally responsible, renewable energy project is in “limbo” because of an untested hypothesis “over a rare bat that no one has ever seen at the site.”
“Never seen?” You mean like there’s proof the rare and endangered little critters never have, aren’t now and never will be – no reason for them to ever show up here – not even remotely possible they’re here kind of “never seen”, Attorney Zatz?
Penn State University bat researcher Michael Gannon said surveys using nets at the site have not captured an Indiana bat, but recordings indicate the endangered bat is at the site.
He sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, but is that all you’ve got Mr. Gannon?
Gannon told the judge that of the 160 recordings that he reviewed, he was able to make an identification of 42, including three he thought were the endangered Indiana bat, although he could not say whether the recordings were of three separate bats or the same bat on three occasions.
Under questioning by Glitzenstein, Gannon said he thought bats were at the site based on the location, habitat and recordings and he felt it was likely they would be harmed by the project.
OK Counselor what have you got to say about that?
Under cross-examination by (Attorney for the developer) Zatz, who questioned the accuracy of audio recordings, Gannon acknowledged Indiana bats had not been captured during netting survey, but added that the netting efforts were not intense enough.
Gee, could it possibly be that none landed in the net during the tests because they’re rare?
Zatz said the burden of proof rested with the plaintiffs and a better solution was what he called “adaptive management” of the project if it is found to affect the Indiana bat.
Adaptive management? You mean like you would put up the wind turbines, chop up some bats and, just in case they aren’t carted off by night foragers, tossed off-site by the impact or lost in the tall grass you would check out the ones you find to make sure none in the mess are Indiana bats, and if you find one, you’ll report it. Then, if there is no other way to, “without a doubt,” solve the kill issue, you will tear down the turbines, yank down the transmission lines, haul all the scrap away, pay everyone back, plant some grass seed and leave?
Darn, I think I’d be getting a permit. I mean, if there are no Indiana bats there and you can prove it, how hard can it be?