It is Not About The Species; It is About the Hatred of the Energy Industry
I can remember early June of 2012 when I was at the Republican Party of Texas’ convention in Fort Worth, Texas. I was representing Senate District 31 on the Platform Committee when we passed the “Dune Sage Brush Lizard” plank to the 2012 RPT Platform. I really did not think much of this particular plank until about a week after the convention when the Obama Administration announced that they were dropping plans to list the lizard as endangered. I quickly pointed out to the other committee members the great work that we had done might have moved the administration a little bit on this one issue.
But, I was smart enough to know that fight was not over. This was an election year and President Obama was far from changing his position of disdain towards the energy sector. This point has been made abundantly clear that they care more about shutting down the industry than they care about the species that are allegedly threatened by energy development. The basis of this allegation is the plethora of stories that are being generated from the field that demonstrate the ideology of the current administration.
Case in point: “Bill” is a certified petroleum landman whose company wanted to do some drilling in southeast New Mexico. ￼￼
When his company applied for a drilling permit, the federal government opposed the permit because of a taller yucca plant nearby “might” be disturbed by the drilling activity. It seems that a certain falcon (which has not been seen in the area for 70 years) “might” want to build a nest in that particular yucca “if” it ever came back to town. Another company with a different drilling prospect in nearby area needed utility poles for location improvement, the government objected because that same prodigal falcon “might” return and “might” build a nest on it and thereafter feed on the lesser prairie chicken. In other words, that same falcon was wanted in one area, yet in another nearby area, it was not wanted.
While Mr. Obama gives lip service to the national interest of bringing down the price of gasoline, his real feelings towards the oil and gas industry are reflected in his administration’s policies in disallowing the development of domestic oil and gas. We won the battle with the Dune Sage Brush Lizard, but the war goes on with Battle of Keystone Pipeline and the Battle of the Lesser Prairie Chicken. And, if we win the Battle of the Lesser Prairie Chicken, there is an enormous number of species waiting to make the next named battle. This long list has become and will become longer as a result of the rules and regulations changes on how to add a species to the list.
Our response to these battles will be clear and direct. We will fight their oppressive government policies. To paraphrase a quote from Churchill, “we shall fight in the fields and in the ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Mr. Obama needs to know, we will never go away.