CEA Urges Interior to Not List Dunes Sagebrush Lizard:

CEA Submits Over 13,000 Comments Highlighting Concern for Energy Development

HOUSTON, TX: Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) submitted over 13,000 public comments on Friday from its U.S. consumer-advocates to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that urge the agency not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as either “endangered” or “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). A decision by the federal government could come at any time.

Commenting on CEA efforts, CEA President David Holt released the following statement:

“For years, CEA has remained concerned about the impact that ESA protection not grounded in sound science can have for domestic energy access. For the dunes sagebrush lizard, CEA understands that little practical difference exists between the ‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ designations and that either classification could be disastrous for energy producers in the resource-abundant areas of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico. Even further, serious doubts have been raised about the adequacy of existing science and data to support a decision to list the species.

“CEA and its consumer-advocates recognize the value that American energy production has for our nation’s economic growth and energy self-sufficiency. Arbitrary decisions based on questionable science must not be used as a way to prevent Americans from developing domestic resources. Rather, federal regulators and industry must strive to work cooperatively to assess and implement sensible conservation plans that balance the need for energy production and environmental protection.”

As part of a litigation settlement with environmental groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must evaluate certain candidate species and make determinations as to whether the species should be listed as either “threatened” or “endangered,” including species such as the dunes sagebrush lizard whose listings had previously been proposed but not yet finalized. Following its proposed listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard as “endangered” and subsequent public comment periods, the agency has recently signaled that it may seek a “threatened” classification for the species.