Legal Fight Looms After Industry Wins Big On FWS Bat Rule

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez (January 13, 2016, 8:30 PM EST) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's final rule allowing tree clearing near key habitat for the threatened northern long-eared bat is a huge win for energy and construction companies, but experts say environmentalists will force the courts to decide if the rule sticks.

Since April when the service first proposed the Endangered Species Act Section 4(d) rule for the northern long-eared bat, industry groups have been lobbying for big changes, most of which they got in the final version. A crucial change for business was changing the FWS' focus on which industries could or could not cut down trees near the...

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