The Obama Administration’s War Against Coal economic impact on the State of West Virginia is well known.  But  has the Obama Administration actually declared war on the entire State of West Virginia?  It certainly seems like it now that the Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to place the “Diamond Darter” on the endangered species list.   Moreover, the Energy Law Blog reports:

The FWS also is considering land use restrictions for the tiny fish, proposing critical habitat designation in an area of West Virginia that has seen increased exploration and production activity during the Marcellus Shale gas boom. If the FWS proposal is finalized, federal agency actions such as issuance of Clean Water Act permits or Federal Highway Administration approvals would require conference or consultation if they may impact species or their habitat.

In other words, it will become harder and more expensive to undertake projects where the habitat of the Diamond Darter may be impacted and, therefore, less attractive for natural gas drilling.  I have never seen a Diamond Darter and would not know one if I saw it, however the picture above which comes from the FWS website it pretty much appears to be a minnow.

We will see what impact this minnow will have on energy development in West Virginia and other areas.

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