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API: Interior Department action upholds protections for migratory birds while providing legal certainty

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WASHINGTON, December 22, 2017 – API applauded the U.S. Department of the Interior’s announcement today of a legal opinion that states the Department’s interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“The U.S. oil and natural gas industry supports protection of migratory birds, and this opinion makes clear that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act should not be used for overzealous enforcement of criminal penalties on those engaging in otherwise lawful activities,” said API Upstream and Industry Operations Group Director Erik Milito. “The Department’s approach is an example of astute governance that provides certainty for responsible owners and operators of oil and natural gas facilities. The opinion reinforces the original intent and text of this law and provides assurance to many others who engage in everyday and commercial activities like farming, mining, and operating wind turbines and solar facilities.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.