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Congressman Liz Cheney

Representing Wyoming

Congressman Liz Cheney's Amendment Added to SECURE American Energy Act

November 8, 2017
Press Release

For Immediate Release:

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Liz Cheney's statement regarding an amendment that was added to SECURE American Energy Act:

"My amendment clarifies congressional intent with respect to the migratory bird treaty act, the MBTA was enacted in 1918 to protect migratory bird populations from over-hunting, poaching, and illegal sales but ambiguous language within the MBTA has caused confusion to as to whether otherwise lawful activities are also prohibited simply because they potentially result in the unintended or incidental death of birds. This ambiguous language has led to overzealous BLM guidance and regulations on energy operators in my state. It's not just oil and gas, this is also hindering our wind turbine operators as well as home builders and coal mines. The guidance now delays or restricts routine maintenance from occurring, can lead to completely unjustifiable delays or in permits being denied altogether. Our operators take multiple precautions to ensure migratory birds, as well as other wildlife, are not injured during operations but if these precautions fail, the current language could impose criminal liability for the taking of the bird even though it's accidental. The amendment, I offer today, Mr. Chariman, does not change the law, it simply clarifies congressional intent so that individuals, companies, and agencies, have the benefit of knowing that the law does not and was not intended to criminalize otherwise lawful activities that may result in accidental or incidental bird deaths. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I urge adoption of this commonsense amendment."