From: The Honorable Jeff Duncan
Sent By:
caleb.paxton@mail.house.gov

Date: 2/18/2014

Dear Colleague,
You shouldn’t be criminalized for birds flying into your living room window, and neither should energy companies. Section 707 of the Energy Exploration and Production to Achieve National Demand (EXPAND) Act would update the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) to ensure energy producers – or anyone else –  are not held criminally or civilly liable for accidental avian deaths resulting from an otherwise legal activity.
Specifically, my language would treat all energy producers, from wind to oil, equally by ensuring that accidental avian deaths resulting from an otherwise legal activity are not prosecuted under the MBTA and that incidental take permits are actually granted under BGEPA. Under current laws, enacted in 1918 and 1940 respectively, energy producers could be held criminally and/or civilly liable for deaths of protected birds that result from collisions with energy producing equipment.  Complicating the problem, the federal government doesn’t always enforce the laws equally.
Duke Energy’s Senior Vice President Heath Shuler recently reviewed the EXPAND Act, noting that “As our nation’s energy sector transforms the way we produce, transmit and distribute domestic energy supplies, Congressman Duncan’s Expand Act starts a much-needed dialogue about how we update our avian resource laws to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy.”
In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce this legislation as a stand-alone bill, the Clarification of Legal Enforcement Against Non-criminal Energy Producers Act – or the CLEAN Energy Producers Act of 2014. In short, energy production shouldn’t be held hostage to outdated laws that don’t take the realities of energy producing into account.
If you would like to join me in updating our avian protection laws in order to support an all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy, contact Caleb Paxton in my office at
caleb.paxton@mail.house.gov by COB on Thursday, February 27.
                                                                                Blessings and Liberty,
                                                                                Jeff Duncan