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Sand Dune Lizard Not Put On Endangered List

From a quietly seething Reuters:

Conservation deal keeps sand dune lizard off US endangered list

"Right thing" for conservation and economy – Salazar

Notice how Reuters went so far as to put this quote from Obama’s Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, in the subhead of their article. The White House and their media minions are clearly concerned about the optics going into the elections.

By Jim Forsyth
June 13, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, (Reuters) – U.S. officials ruled on Wednesday that a tiny lizard would be kept off the endangered species list after agreements with Texas and New Mexico landowners intended to protect its habitat and preserve oil and gas production in the region.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife ruling that the 3-inch-long (7.5-cm) dunes sagebrush lizard is not endangered ends years of effort by landowners in the region including oil companies and ranchers to keep it off the list.

Oil and gas companies said endangered species protections would eliminate drilling across the Permian Basin, which produces more than 1 million barrels of oil a day, or about 20 percent of all production in the lower 48 U.S. states

Owners of some 600,000 acres (240,000 hectares) in Texas and New Mexico, which covers about 88 percent of the lizard’s habitat, have agreed to take steps to remove threats to the lizard by removing farm roads, water lines, roadside drainage ditches and other infrastructure items.

Landowners also agreed to refrain from drilling and surveying for oil, natural gas, and other resources in some areas for the rights to drill in other parts of the region.

"My goal is to implement a 21st Century conservation agenda, and when I see 600,000 acres plus, and I see most of the lizard habitat protected, that is a major victory for conservation," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

"This is the right thing for conservation, and the right thing for the economy," Salazar said.

Vibrations from oil drilling and heavy oilfield trucks and herbicide use by ranchers are among the threats facing the lizard, which lives in what is called the shinnery oak, the short, stubby shrubs that dot the sandy southwestern desert.

"An endangered species listing for this lizard would have had devastating consequences for Texas jobs and for the nation’s energy security," U.S. Senator John Cornyn said.

Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said 27,000 oilfield jobs in Texas would have been lost had the lizard been listed as endangered. A pipeline planned to bring water to drought-stricken Midland, Texas, also would have been halted, he said

Which is exactly what the environmentalists wanted, of course.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, Mr. Salazar said he was “100 percent confident” the agreements would be effective. But if it is not, federal officials said, they would re-evaluate placing the lizard on the endangered list.

Which probably means that once Obama is safely re-elected and he has more ‘flexibility’ the dunes sagebrush lizard will be put on the federal endangered list and all oil production in the area will be stopped.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 14th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Sand Dune Lizard Not Put On Endangered List”

  1. BigOil says:

    If I were one of the landowners – I would not be celebrating. Even if Barry loses, I fully expect the lizard to suddenly become endangered on November 7 (and countless other species as well).

  2. canary says:

    They are getting tax breaks for saving the worthless lizards. Plenty of bigger lizards for eating bugs.

    If the bleeping scientists want to say humans morphed from sea creatures deciding water came first, then
    can they not see something becoming extinct. domain and people are more important.

    Soon, human beings will have to let termites and carpenter ants eat your homes down and live in the desert?

    And grass clippings composting being enforced is leading to different type beetles and there will be plagues.

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