Mead seeks Preble’s mouse exemption for drillers

Wyoming’s oil and gas industry should be exempt from some restrictions imposed by a potential Endangered Species Act listing of the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse here in the Cowboy State, according Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead.

Speaking at the Petroleum Association of Wyoming’s annual meeting in Casper on Wednesday, Mead said his staff is drafting a proposal that it will send to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, asking to apply the “4(d)” rule of the ESA law to oil and gas drilling. Mead said the rule is often used to allow agriculture to continue many of its normal operations under an ESA listing, but it is not often used for oil and gas activities.

“We want to be on the start of that process rather than the back end of that process,” Mead told a crowd of oil and gas industry officials.

Responding to a court order, the Fish and Wildlife Service reinstated protections for the mouse in Wyoming earlier this month.

— Contact Dustin Bleizeffer at 307-577-6069 or

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Dustin Bleizeffer

Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 25 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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