Energy Bill Loses Steam

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) filed anti-wildlife amendments to the energy bill that reached the Senate floor in early February. He, too, proposed removing gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes states from ESA protection, and prohibiting the US Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the ESA. This latter amendment was (in a rather literal sense) overkill, since the Service had already bowed to political pressure by listing the bat as threatened rather than endangered—despite the science outlining exceedingly grim prospects for the species’ survival. AWI immediately notified senators of our objections and our intention to include any roll call votes on these amendments on our Compassion Index, which scores legislators’ voting records on animal welfare issues. In the end, what was intended as a show of the Senate’s ability to get things done dissolved into bitter rancor over efforts to deal with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and the energy bill was pulled from the floor.

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