Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made its final determination that the dunes sagebrush lizard does not warrant endangered status under the Endangered Species Act. In response, IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell released the following statement:
“After a year and a half of consideration, the Fish and Wildlife Service has made the right decision regarding the protection status of the dunes sagebrush lizard. The Interior Department’s decision affirms the fact that oil and natural gas development and environmental protection are not in opposition, as it recognizes the successful conservation efforts of regulators, non-profit groups, and industry working together at the state level.
“IPAA commends America’s oil and natural gas producers for making the case to the administration that economic development and wildlife conservation can go hand in hand. Environmental stewardship is a fundamental pillar of the operations of America’s independent producers, who drill 95 percent of the wells in the United States. IPAA’s member companies are integral members of the communities where they live and work, and have a major stake – and have made great progress – in protecting wildlife and the environment.
“Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM), and Representative Mike Conaway (R-TX) have been instrumental in combating this listing, which would have been a death toll to jobs, energy, and economic growth in these areas, and I thank them for their efforts.”
IPAA represents the companies that drill 95% of America’s oil and natural gas wells.