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Sand Dune Lizard now not endangered

Photo courtesy of clmintern

After much review, administrators with US Fish and Wildlife's recently decided not to list the sand dune lizard as an endangered. Their decision spared Texas 20,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry.

Senator John Cornyn said, "After visiting the Permian Basin, administration officials no doubt saw firsthand the real, dire consequences that listing this species would have had for Texans and our nation's energy production."

According to Cornyn, the recent decision underscored the value of local input and due diligence regarding federal rulings on local issues. "Through a six-month delay, Texans who would be impacted the most were given the time they needed to gather compelling data that played a critical role in the preventing the listing."

Earlier, citing concerns within the scientific community, Cornyn and Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar requesting a delay in Fish and Wildlife Service's final determination.

The delay was granted, giving various stakeholders in Texas time to collect additional data. Additionally, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs developed the Texas Conservation Plan, which played an important role in preventing the listing.

Previously, Cornyn had discussed this issue with US Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe. After traveling to the Permian Basin at Cornyn's request, Ashe asserted his commitment that the Fish and Wildlife Service makes important decisions like this only after fully considering all relevant data.

For his part, Cornyn vowed to remain diligent to other threats to Texas economy. "I will continue to work to prevent ill-conceived listing proposals like this one that are based on incomplete science and threaten Texas jobs."