Oil Company Caves To Partisan Federal Shakedown
Former Democrat National Committeeman, and current Obama administration prosecutor for North Daktoa, Tim Purdon launched a series of transparently political prosecutions of oil companies in North Dakota earlier this year under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act. Some of the oil companies – there are seven total – are being prosecuted over one dead bird even as wind power companies, which aren’t exempt from the law, slaughter thousands of migratory birds annually.
Today comes news that one of the seven companies has decided to cave to Purdon’s shakedown and make a not-at-all voluntary contribution to a federal wildlife fund.
BISMARCK, N.D.—One of seven oil companies charged with killing migratory birds during drilling operations in North Dakota has agreed to plead guilty and pay $12,000.
Slawson Exploration Co. Inc., of Wichita, Kan., was charged under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with for killing 12 birds that died after allegedly landing in oil waste pits in western North Dakota from May 6 through June 20. Under a plea agreement filed in federal court Monday, Slawson will pay $12,000 — or $1,000 per bird — to the nonprofit National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The maximum penalty for each misdemeanor charge under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is six months in prison and a $15,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said he could not comment on plea deal because it still must be approved by U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland in Bismarck. Stu Kowalski, an attorney for Slawson, also declined to comment.
Not one of the birds found on the oil company’s property were endangered, meaning that the number of dead ducks found amount what most North Dakotans would consider a good hunting trip.
The other six companies are due to file pre-trial arguments by today, but it doesn’t appear so far that any of them will be backing down. We can only hope that they’ll fight the charges, and embarrass both Purdon and the Obama administration in court.
The law should be equally applied to all. Seeing oil companies put on trial for a trivial number of bird deaths while wind power companies – who, again, are not exempted from tis law – go unprosecuted for much larger numbers of dead birds speaks to an application of the law that is entirely political.
And thus, entirely inappropriate.
Regardless of whether or not you feel these oil companies deserved prosecution, Purdon and the Obama administration deserve our scorn for an unfair application of the law.Tags: migratory birds treaty act, North Dakota News, tim purdon