The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard “is back and Biden is about to shut down the Permian Basin with this Obama era grift!”

LI 111 Permian Basin

by William A. Jacobson at

Reader Danelle sent me a link to an article at Hot Air about how the Biden administration dropped a Friday-before-a-holiday-weekend regulatory bomb on the Texas Oil industry in the form of a proposed regulation listing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as “endangered.” Since that lizard is common in the Permean Basin, it’s just another vehicle for the Biden administration to attack and undermine domestic energy production.

Read the Hot Air article and the sources it cites, about how unnecessary this all was because there has been a decade-long joint federal-oil industry conservation effort to protect the lizard, and it was working really well. But this isn’t about the lizard, it’s about attacking the domestic oil industry.

Danelle’s email to me was:

The Lizard is back and Biden is about to shut down the Permian Basin with this Obama era grift! Someone needs to call Governor Abbbot.

Back? You might be wondering why she would say it’s back.

If exploitation of the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard to attack the Texas oil industry sounds familiar, you may be a longtime Legal Insurrection reader. If Danelle sounds familiar, you may be a really longtime Legal Insurrection reader.

We first covered the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard on a tip from Danelle in May 2011. Yes, 2011. Feds Ignoring Greatest Threat to Dunes Sagebrush Lizard:

Sure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may be about to shut down oil production in a key region of Texas to protect the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.

But the Feds are ignoring the threat from this environmental danger, the Texas Roadrunner, caught here eating a, um, Dunes Sagebrush Lizard:

The situation was not humorous, as much as we tried to make light of it.

Danelle continued to feed us info on the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard saga, Texas Roadrunners and oil industry eagerly await feds Dunes Sagebrush Lizard decision (June 2012). Danelle wrote us:

A day of decision is finally near for the West’s most-publicized reptile.

The Obama administration probably will announce Thursday if the dunes sagebrush lizard will be listed as an endangered species, said Tom Buckley, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque.

An occupant of wind-swept dunes in oil country, the lizard exists only in four counties of southeastern New Mexico and four others in West Texas.

Buckley said today the announcement on the lizard’s status probably would be made in Washington. He expects either Interior Secretary Ken Salazar or Daniel Ashe, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, to make the finding public.

The ruling has huge economic and political ramifications covering the Permian Basin and Eastern New Mexico oil fields.

I can’t even begin to describe how great the economies are in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Grocery store clerks are earning upwards of $15 an hour with all the hours they want. Waitresses/Waiters are pulling in several hundred a day in tips. Cooks with experience who can start today are getting cash bonuses on the spot. Entry level roustabouts can easily get $29 an hour with guaranteed overtime and paid on the job training.

Long story short – Every person who wants a job has one and not just in the oil field.

Listing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard sets in motions a chain of costly regulation and significant increases in property usage restrictions that will create an effective shutdown of the entire region.

So the question is will Salazar and Obama disappoint their leftist base, the EPA and the environmentalist agenda on this one? Or does he prove once and for all that he will do whatever it takes to disrupt the energy industry, kill jobs, and drive up energy prices? The Romney ads would write themselves.

The only safe play here is to punt the decision to January, but the opportunity to throw the government yoke onto one of the most historic and prolific energy fields in the US might be too much to resist.

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