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Category — Dunes sagebrush lizard

A West Texas Lizard vs. Oil and Gas Production (Controversial government evidence with consequences)

Most People have never heard of the dunes sagebrush lizard, but it may soon hit them where it hurts: the wallet.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to classify the lizard as an endangered species. This could stop production of more than 1,000 oil wells and reduce annual oil production by at least 7 million barrels.  The resulting burdens and lost opportunities for America’s working families would be outrageous on their own, but they are especially outrageous in this case given how paltry the evidence is underlying the federal government’s proposed action.  

The agency considers five factors in designating a species as endangered. These include whether the habitat is threatened, overutilization of the species, disease, inadequacy of existing regulation mechanisms, and natural or manmade factors that hinder the existence of the species.

Out of these five factors, the agency primarily focuses on how the habitat of the lizard is threatened and manmade causes, particularly from oil and gas production.

This lizard‘s habitat is in the shinnery oak dune system, which consists of short shrubs and sandy dunes. That system is found in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas, where there is at least 140,000 acres of habitable private land that covers four counties in Texas.  [Read more →]

August 5, 2011   5 Comments