92°F
Sponsored by

PBPA Sues Federal Government Over Lesser Prairie Chicken "Threatened" Listing

Midland, TX (Local big 2 News) - Energy industry leaders says the future of the economy could be at risk due to the lesser prairie's chicken's listing as a "threatened" species.
Midland, TX (Local big 2 News) - Energy industry leaders says the future of the economy could be at risk due to the lesser prairie's chicken's listing as a "threatened" species.

Now some in the industry are challenging the classification in court.

"The Fish and Wildlife service did not properly consider all the evidence nor did they follow some of their administrative procedures in considering all the conservation efforts that we and others have undertaken," said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

According to Shepperd, the PBPA, along with four New Mexico counties, have filed a lawsuit against the federal government Monday.

The lesser prairie chicken is a native animal to West Texas and surrounding states.

But the Fish and Wildlife Service stated back in March, the chicken's population was on a rapid and severe decline.

Shepperd disputes what's causing the decline.

"We believe and the scientists believe that that is mostly due to the extreme drought conditions we've had, not to farm and ranching and oil and gas activities," Shepperd said.

And Shepperd says the government failed to recognize the conservation efforts made for the bird by not just oil and gas companies, but many other entities.

"We expect we will get a fair hearing the court which frankly we believe we did not get completely from the service," Shepperd said.

According to PBPA officials, the New Mexico counties involved in the lawsuit include Chaves, Eddy, Lea and Roosevelt counties in eastern New Mexico.

They are areas with significant populations of the bird, and significant amounts of oil.

Shepperd says if the bird's listing stays as threatened, it could have very dramatic effects on the economy and the Permian Basin as a whole.

"What this listing means is higher costs and higher administrative burden to operate and in some cases they may not be able to operate in some areas," Shepperd said.


Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus