Obama administration putting birds before jobs?

Lawmakers cry 'fowl' over attempts to protect the lesser prairie chicken


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Another animal could make its way to the list of endangered species soon. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that it might list the lesser prairie chicken -- that's what we call Greg -- as threatened because the bird and its habitat are evidently in decline.

The chicken lives in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado. But putting it on the list could mean fewer jobs and a weakened economy.

So, is a lesser prairie chicken worth the cost?

The administration did not seem to do anything on conservation -- it didn't list any species, I'm aware of -- during the first term. But, all of a sudden, after the election, you've got job-blocking things happening all of a sudden, because this chicken -- let's talk about the chicken first. He would -- this chicken deals with energy jobs.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Yes, it does.

PERINO: That's the problem. There is a way for the private sector to help protect the chicken and also create jobs.

GUTFELD: This always happens. We are entering American energy renaissance, which means you're going to enter a renaissance for environmentalist whackos to kill this renaissance.

I will say this -- the prairie chicken is sexy in a Kathy Griffin kind of way. But I say prairie chickens should be prairie Chick-fil-A. Kill them all and let Colonel Sanders sort them out.

PERINO: Let me ask, Eric, though, because -- let me ask him a free market question. The private sector has every incentive to keep the land preserved so that it could actually be productive. There are ways for the private sector to get involved. But instead, the government keeps being more punishing, as we talked about in the last block, on energy companies in the West.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: If it's not -- what's this thing called? The lesser prairie chicken?

PERINO: Lesser prairie chicken.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Not even the greater.

BOLLING: It's that west Texas lizard that shut down --

PERINO: Oh, but the lizard is that the private sector helped figure out how to protect the lizard.

BOLLING: Right, they figured out a way to actually increase the number of those lizards. Remember the Delta smelt in California that diverted water away from farmers and farmers were going bankrupt. We have our own endangered species right here on "The Five."

PERINO: Which one?


GUILFOYLE: Bob Beckel.

BOLLING: It's called the greater studio bison.

PERINO: Bob, have you ever eaten a lesser prairie chicken?

GUILFOYLE: I've had a bison burger.


BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: I don't want to eat one. But let me make a point. I think you want to check that. I can't be absolutely certain, but virtual every president's declared -- every president I know --

PERINO: No, but Obama hasn't really had to deal with any of these issues in his first time.

BECKEL: No, but I bet you that you did --


BECKEL: Reagan did, Bush did. I think everybody does.

PERINO: Don't you think it's odd that they didn't make this announcement?


PERINO: Oyster farm.

BECKEL: About the chicken. But let me just say this, it says here that west Texas will be decimated economically because of these chickens and oil. What are they going to go do, go up to oil rigs to stuff themselves into it? And stuff --

BOLLING: No, no, they can't drill --

PERINO: No, you can't do anything.

GUILFOYLE: The land area is protected.


PERINO: Every activity has to stop.

BOLLING: Bob, you are 100 percent right. You're solving it. Talk to the environmentalists right now, can't they move next door. You're talking about moving the chickens, right?

BECKEL: No, move the oil.

BOLLING: Move the oil?

PERINO: Move the oil?


GUILFOYLE: Bob, that makes absolutely no sense.


BECKEL: Let's put up the fence --

PERINO: Let me ask Kimberly about something that is near to where you grew up in Cal -- there are two stories here in California. You get environmental whacko stories out there.

But there was an oyster farm in Drakes Bay. Secretary Salazar called them this week and said, sorry, guys -- even though Senator Dianne Feinstein would like to keep this here, we're actually not going to renew your lease. You're going to have to shut down, 30 jobs gone.

GUILFOYLE: Seven families are going to lose their home as well.

PERINO: And all the baby oysters that they have on the farm right now, they could be at risk, too.

GUILFOYLE: I mean, you have to be really concern when you see this kind of government overreach, saying, we're going to shut you down. We're going to take your jobs, we're going to take your homes, and you're not going to be able to do anything about I, even though your own senator in the same political party is opposed to it.

BECKEL: But what is about the oyster that's a problem? I don't understand.


PERINO: No, no, that's actually another one. This one was about the seashore, and about -- because people go there and it's -- basically it's just overwrought.

GUILFOYLE: That's La Jolla.

PERINO: From 2004, he said was shocked when the Secretary Salazar called him and said they weren't going to renew their lease.


PERINO: No, it's all about development.

GUTFELD: There are 10 million oysters that are going to be basically killed. Where is PETA? Because you can't hug an oyster. Oyster isn't fussy and cute and doesn't look up --

GUILFOYLE: Doesn't have a face?

GUTFELD: -- with big Jasper eyes.

BECKEL: Where are the right to lifers?

GUTFELD: There you go. That's terrible.


GUTFELD: All of this comes down to elevating animals to that of human. And every time you elevate humans or animals, you denigrate human life. You're making everything relative.

In Germany right now, there is a movement to legalize bestiality because they don't believe there's a difference between humanity and animals.

PERINO: Gross!

GUTFELD: Once you equate animals to humanity, you lose out in the industry. You lose out in food. You lose out on land. That's how it works.

GUILFOYLE: What were you reading?

BOLLING: Where have you been?

GUTFELD: I happen to be at a cafe with Jasper that made me very, very ill.

PERINO: Let me bring up one last point. There's -- in La Jolla, California, we hear a lot about that.


PERINO: So, they have -- there's seal cove. They all go down there and you have to protect those. But the thing is, there's all these different government agencies and nobody can get to clean the rocks of all the birds now. So, the bird poop.

BECKEL: The bird and seal poop.

PERINO: And so, now, business owners are shying that some of the tourists are turning away because they don't want to go there and eat outside and have to smell it.

GUILFOYLE: Well, do you blame them? I mean, they should clean that up. I've been down there. It's super smelly.

BECKEL: It's seal's poop and birds.

PERINO: No, it's bird poop.

GUILFOYLE: Birds in the area are pooping. But they can't go down into the area to properly clean it.

BOLLING: Correct, which means -- and they won't allow the businesses and private ownership to go and clean it on their own terms.

GUILFOYLE: They want to pay for them to do it. Exactly.


BOLLING: Environmental services.

GUTFELD: I have a question, though, for Bob. If lion's share of fracking were in blue states, would the federal government try to shut it down?

BECKEL: Well, if it were in blue states. Most of these are blue states.


BECKEL: New York.

PERINO: North Dakota -- well, yes. North Dakota went blue.


BOLLING: A lot of them went blue.

PERINO: All right. We could do a story about environmentalist good intentions turning to bad consequences nearly every day, but we won't. We just did it today, which was fun.

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