CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Indiana bat went on the endangered species list in 1967, and 45 years later, there are half as many bats as there were then.
The largest concentration of the endangered Virginia big-eared bat, its population down to less than 400,000, lives in caves in West Virginia.
Their numbers could soon fall even lower. Maryland-based Beech Ridge Energy is seeking a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would allow the accidental killing of bats at its 67-turbine wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.
As part of a settlement with environmental groups, the company has already agreed to operate turbines only during daylight hours between April 1 and mid-November, when the bats go into hibernation.
It's illegal under the Endangered Species Act to harm animals on the threatened or endangered list. Yet wind energy companies that received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the name of environmentalism are seeking permission to do just that.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking comments on the company's proposed conservation plan and environmental impact statement through Oct. 23.
West Virginians should not waste the opportunity.
WHILE the national media has already declared that this could be the nastiest presidential campaign since 1800, there are signs that the most effective advertisements may be the mild ones.
Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz had a focus group of mainly 2008 supporters of President Obama review more than a dozen ads for this campaign. The most effective ad was one that featured Obama voters who said they were disappointed in him.
"I can almost see myself in that ad," said one reviewer. "It seemed the most real."
The ad came from Americans For Prosperity, an independent group. Congress tried to ban independent political speech in the McCain-Feingold campaign "reform" law.
Citizens are taking a higher road than the politicians.
The best way to have more civil campaigns is have more voices in politics. Candidates sometimes go negative, but voters want to talk about issues.
THE 88-mile West Virginia Turnpike has been a toll road since it opened on Sept. 2, 1954. The people who use it pay for its construction, maintenance and expansion.