Some believe that party of this story is the Obama Administration sticking it to Texas just as the Obama Administration is also doing to Texas in regards to the fires.
The government says that where there is oil drilling there are less of these lizards per mile. An interesting method of measurement as there are no shortage of deer and how much space in my home town is covered by parking lots and malls? Deer can be seen every day and is hunted just to keep the numbers from getting out of control.
Massive new oil shale finds have been found in Texas and parts of New Mexico, enough to increase domestic production by 25%. The Obama Administration, if recent history is a guide, won’t have that. The lizard is very skiddish and lives mostly under the sand, so most people have never seen one (hmm I wonder how hard that makes them to count).
The sand dune lizard is a small reptile that has become the scourge of the Texas Oil industry, not because it is dangerous but because the threatened species could put land ripe for oil exploration off limits.
“As far as I am concerned, it is Godzilla,” Texas land commissioner Jerry Paterson told ABC News. “[It’s] the biggest threat facing the oil business in memory,” said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. They believe the small tan-colored, insectivorous lizard could cost the oil industry and surrounding communities thousands of jobs.
About 63,000 Americans work in the oil and gas well industry as of September 2009, the most recent period available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. Most of those jobs are in Texas.
The federal government said the sand lizard is on the verge of extinction, and is expected to place it on the endangered species list soon.
If the species makes the list, its 800,000 acre habitat in the shinnery oak sand dune communities of southeastern New Mexico and southwestern Texas would receive protected status. That habitat happens to be right in the heart of Texas oil country.
“If the lizard is put on the endangered species list, then [rigs] would [be] shutdown,” Leslyn Wallace, a land manager at RSP Permian, told ABC News. That would cost many Texans their jobs.
But here is the rub, The eco-radicals in the government have used the Endangered Species Act as a weapon before to target the industries they despise. After the polar bear population had risen 30% the government decided to put the polar bear on the endangered species list anyways because of reductions in polar sea ice, which saw a cyclical low in 2007, but had already rebounded 27% in the following year and is still growing today.