Today the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that it is withdrawing its proposal to add the Sand Dune Lizard to the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act. The lizard, which is native to Southeastern New Mexico, has generated a great deal of controversy and concern that listing would negatively impact both New Mexico’s oil and gas industry and the state economy. The Rio Grande Foundation is pleased with this decision. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar praised the efforts of the oil and gas industry in working to preserve the lizard’s habitat through Candidate Conservation Agreements, saying they were “nothing short of historic.”
The good news is that New Mexico gets a reprieve on the lizard. The bad news is that the Endangered Species Act remains open to abuse by environmental groups.
More information from our friends at Energy Makes America Great can be found here.