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Saving the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Could Endanger Oil Production, Lawmakers Say

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posted on Jun, 14 2012 @ 12:32 PM
Edit-I realize this article is from last year, but this still an ongoing legal battle and still very much an issue here.

This is an issue that I would like to bring out to the forefront for a moment because I feel like it would have big impact on things, at least in our little part of the world. This is a problem that I can see both sides of, but I stand on the opinion that it is a farce by the EPA to halt drilling in this part of the US. If that happens, then there would be substantial job losses for many companies (not just the oil companies, but the little companies that depend on the money made in the oilfield here. I just wanted to share this and wondered what others thought about it and where you would stand and what you would do about it.

The push for federal protection of the dunes sagebrush lizard -- a tiny 3-inch reptile -- is causing big headaches for oil drillers and ranchers who say doing so will kill their livelihood. Oil company owners say they support conservation, but fear what will happen to the economy if the brakes are put on local oil production. “This could cripple what is now a very healthy job environment,” said Douglass Robison, president of ExL Petroleum in Midland, Texas. The dunes sagebrush lizard lives off of a shrub called shinnery oak in the Permian Basin, which cuts through New Mexico and West Texas -- and is also one of the richest resources of oil and gas in the United States.

“They have only looked at 1 percent out of potential habitats,” he said. “The science is weak,” he added. He says giving the dunes sagebrush lizard federal protection status wouldn’t be threatening just Texas, it would be damaging to the entire United States because of less domestic drilling, resulting in higher gas prices. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) said if the lizard ends up on the list, it would shut down any industry that interrupts the land, including oil drilling and ranching. “Almost every job [in the counties] is at risk,” Pearce told “Workers will have to go someplace else.” The Center for Biological Diversity and another conservation group, WildEarth Guardians, says Pearce’s claim that the oil and gas industry would be devastated is blown out of proportion. Lininger said the lizards are at great risk. “The science is clear that the species require protection now.” In October 2001, the lizard was added as a candidate to be listed as endangered. Under the Bush administration a decision was delayed, but last year the lizard moved up the list.

On the one hand, I can understand the potential impact of jobs and the economic infrastucture. But on the other, is it worth making a certain animal go extinct? ( I really dont believe they lizards would be effected that much) but anyway, thought I would share because this is a huge problem here in the permian basin and will most likely affect other states.
edit on 14-6-2012 by Veritas1 because: (no reason given)

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