Today, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) issued the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew its proposal to add the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard to the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act.
"It is a good day for West Texas. By preventing this listing, our oil and gas producers, ranchers and land owners will be able to continue doing what they do best -- providing the fuel and food this nation needs. The decision announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today will allow them to continue operations without interruption or delay."
"I deeply appreciate the many local stakeholders who engaged in difficult negotiations with the leadership of Fish and Wildlife. They worked tirelessly to find a reasonable compromise that would satisfy the agency's concerns while protecting their ability to continue using the land in a responsible manner. Their hard work will no doubt become a model across the nation for a more collaborative approach to conservation. I am hopeful that in the future, Fish and Wildlife will look first to negotiate voluntary agreements with local communities rather than dictate blanket orders from Washington."
"The fight against an overreaching bureaucracy is not over -- there are many more species in Texas still under review. While today's decision was a victory, the people of the Permian Basin wasted far too many hours and resources to get to where we are today. I will continue push to improve the ESA (Endangered Species Act) so that other communities across Texas and the country will not be forced to face the same uphill battle to that we did."