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Texas Roadrunners and oil industry eagerly await feds Dunes Sagebrush Lizard decision

Texas Roadrunners and oil industry eagerly await feds Dunes Sagebrush Lizard decision

This is an update to my prior post about the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, which may shut down a lot of the oil exploration and production in West Texas if the lizard receives endagered species status.

Via reader, photographer (also here), and music impresario Danelle, the decision may come as soon as Thursday:

A day of decision is finally near for the West’s most-publicized reptile.

The Obama administration probably will announce Thursday if the dunes sagebrush lizard will be listed as an endangered species, said Tom Buckley, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque.

An occupant of wind-swept dunes in oil country, the lizard exists only in four counties of southeastern New Mexico and four others in West Texas.

Buckley said today the announcement on the lizard’s status probably would be made in Washington. He expects either Interior Secretary Ken Salazar or Daniel Ashe, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, to make the finding public.

Danelle further comments:

The ruling has huge economic and political ramifications covering the Permian Basin and Eastern New Mexico oil fields.

I can’t even begin to describe how great the economies are in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Grocery store clerks are earning upwards of $15 an hour with all the hours they want. Waitresses/Waiters are pulling in several hundred a day in tips. Cooks with experience who can start today are getting cash bonuses on the spot. Entry level roustabouts can easily get $29 an hour with guaranteed overtime and paid on the job training.

Long story short – Every person who wants a job has one and not just in the oil field.

Listing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard sets in motions a chain of costly regulation and significant increases in property usage restrictions that will create an effective shutdown of the entire region.

So the question is will Salazar and Obama disappoint their leftist base, the EPA and the environmentalist agenda on this one? Or does he prove once and for all that he will do whatever it takes to disrupt the energy industry, kill jobs, and drive up energy prices? The Romney ads would write themselves.

The only safe play here is to punt the decision to January, but the opportunity to throw the government yoke onto one of the most historic and prolific energy fields in the US might be too much to resist.

Remember the greatest threat to the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard is not the oil industry (photo courtesy of Danelle):


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Poor Obama: He has to decide whether to screw Texas or part of his radical core.

Having built, worked on, and reclaimed West Texas drilling locations, I know that they comprise a TINY fraction of the space out there.

No self-respecting lizard would be the least discommoded by that incursion.

Not. At. All.

    parteagirl in reply to Ragspierre. | June 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Not drilling because of a little lizard? In the words of Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate, Greg Parker, “Sounds like a reptile dysfunction to me!”

    SmokeVanThorn in reply to Ragspierre. | June 12, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I’m sure that’s correct – but unfortunately similar facts made no difference re: ANWAR.

This is an easy one… Texas is very high on the administration’s enemies list.

With a booming economy, (they’re even building new homes here), what better way to reverse the trend than to invoke a nonsensical regulation.

I jis cain’t unnerstan’ what they have against feeding roadrunners???

Don’t you people realize that humans and their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is SOOO old school?
Remember, that document is living and breathing, and was written for scaly creatures not human beings.

Liberals truly are insane.

TrooperJohnSmith | June 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

The Permian Basin is my old neck of the woods. Billions of barrels of oil and billions of cubic feet of gas have been extracted since Santa Rita #1 blew in on University of Texas land in 1923 near Texon. Much of that revenue went to endow Texas’ Permanent University Fund, of which the UT and A&M systems are the greatest beneficiaries.

The irony here is that the Lefties that run UT Austin may have their little green Oxen gored by this stupid sh!t.

Having grown up working in the oil patch, I’ve seen these lizards all my life. Nothing the oil industry does can harm this critter. In fact, being ectotherms, they take every advantage of exposed pipelines to sun or shade themselves.

I would offer that the main threat to reptiles and even quail – animals that lay eggs and hatch on the ground – is the spreading of fire ants into the western counties. When the reptiles and birds start hatching, the aggressive ants swarm and kill, unlike domestic ants. In fact, I’ve been told that the decline of the horned toad, which eats ants, is in large part due to the fire ant, which destroys the native ant population. Horned toads cannot eat the swarming and more virulent fire ant, and its hatchlings and softer-skinned juveniles fall easy prey to it. Maybe the EPA should get an injunction against the fire ant, but then again, they did sneak in illegally, so….

Remember the spotted owl? It was other owls who hunted them nearly to extinction, but when the ‘experts’ figured that out, the lumber industry in the PACNW, was dead.

    The spotted owl has never been even remotely endangered, let alone close to extinction. To destroy the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest the greens had to engage in a little flimflam, by talking about the “Northern spotted owl”. But there is no such species. Spotted owls are the same north, south, east, and west. If they ever run out in some area we can always introduce more from somewhere else. Not that I know why we would want to.

The only species that I want to be on that list are Obama and Biden in November.

First they came for coal, I wasn’t coal and said nothing, then they came for oil….

Hey Japan and Havaii, we owes ya’ one or several, after we send Syllabus, Neapolitan and Saladbar out to sea, they be washin’ up on your shores, with the right current and a bit of luck..

Oh yeah, with crossed fingers, your favorite son, #44, too. He was born there, isn’t that right?

l’m from Colorado. Swindlezar is a fool & a jackass & will do what he’s told. But then you knew that. Oh l almost left out he’s a liar & fraud but thats redundant being he’s a dem. His brother John is Colo. Sec. of Agriculture. l’ll refrain from repeating myself. See Swindlezar. One of our Senators is of the Ennobled Family Udull. The other Senator is a total Tool. Please Pray for us.

Taxpayer1234 | June 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I will bet my bippy the lizard wins over cheap energy and jobs.

    Milhouse in reply to Taxpayer1234. | June 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    “Had the dunes sagebrush lizard not existed, it would have been necessary to invent it.”

    You could well be right. TrooperJohnSmith and Milhouse discuss the spotted owl above. In addition, the feds, with the connivance of Arnold Schwarzenegger, parched hundreds of thousands of acres of world-class agricultural land on behalf of the delta smelt.

Did you change your website look or do I need to upgrade something?

I must say the older version was much more pleasing to the eye and more readable and this one kind of grates on the sensory nerves.

Am I hallucinating? Or did I miss the post noting the new look?

[…] Frankly, I long for the return to reliance on more traditional forms of energy, but it seems the wait may be in vain: In oil-producing Texas, the tasty treat for roadrunners is being used as an excuse by eco-activists… […]

BannedbytheGuardian | June 12, 2012 at 3:20 am

Fair is Fair.

If Texas can have whole Sanctuary cities for beings that have only recently in the past 20 years trekked in then the Lizards can have a sanctuary also. Qiute possibly they have been there a million + years.

Even if you are a Creationist you would concede that God put them there before & in preference to humans. After all they did not swim & hike in from The garden of Eden.

You guys a wishing for an Alamo for innocent lizards. Give the little guys some respect!

I’ve got a solution: Just kill all the sagebrush lizards now, then there won’t be anything that needs protecting! 😉

Lizard 1 Texas 0

Midwest Rhino | June 12, 2012 at 9:49 am

I’m 1/32nd Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, and I’m proud of it. We evolve or go extinct, as has been nature’s way since the beginning. Humans provide many structures and obstacles for us to hide in, in our never ending war against the evil road runner.

But I’ve found that poor communities have less regard for conservation than wealthy communities. Oil enriched Texans will have the economic vitality to maintain and protect their lands for all the beautiful creatures. Killing the economy is bad for conservation.

Environmental groups say that oil production has destroyed much of its shinnery oak, which has led to a dramatic decline in the lizard’s population.

OK, so instead of shutting down the oil industry by a claim that this lizard is endangered, just grow some more shinnery oak, or find a substitute. But of course the real plan is command and control of oil and ranching by some enviro nuts. They are trying to force their Gaia religion on us all, and demand that they be our high priests.

Having just spent 9 days driving from the Louisiana/TX border across the state and then down to South Padre Island, I can tell you that Texas, the antitesis of everything Obama believes in, is booming. He’ll have his minions do everything possible to throw sand in the gears of Texas just to try to make the distinction between his failed policies and those of Texas less stark.

And think about this – the stupid lizard isn’t even a species, it’s a sub-species of a quite common type of lizard.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Jim. | June 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    No need to call the little guy stupid.

    Humanoids are just a sub species also.

Spoke to Warren Chisum – Candidate for Texas Railroad Commission on this issue as well as two scientists – A&M and Texas Tech. The interesting thing about this case is that the lizards totally ‘disappeared’ for a few years – scientists assumed it was because of the oil production. Apparently according to above-mentioned scientists, the lizard is back living right next to the pipes of the production in record numbers. Go figure.