Commissioner Christian Accuses Biden Administration of ‘Weaponizing’ Endangered Species Act to Stop Texas Oil & Gas ProductionSeptember 28, 2023
AUSTIN – Today, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian authored a letter to the Biden Administration’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) opposing their pending rule which would designate the Dune Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) as an endanger species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With the DSL primarily residing in the Permian Basin region, this classification will specifically impact hydrocarbon exploration and production in West Texas.
In the letter, Commissioner Christian detailed concerns that this unnecessary action could severely stifle Texas oil and natural gas operations, weaken American energy independence, and jeopardize U.S. national security.
“Texas must fight the Biden Administration on this most recent ‘weaponization’ of the ESA trying to shut down oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin,” said Commissioner Christian.
“Radical environmentalists’ favorite legal weapon against responsible fossil fuel production has always been the ESA –whether it’s the Lesser Prairie Chicken or the Dune Sagebrush Lizard,” continued Christian. “President Biden has made it his top priority to end domestic fossil fuel production. And his administration has used every attack possible to see it done be it through limiting federal permitting, an EPA non-attainment designation, excessive methane monitoring requirements, and now another unnecessary ESA designation. Right now, the world needs more energy and it needs more Texas oil and gas, and all this designation will accomplish is to limit that.”
A lifelong conservative businessman, Wayne Christian was elected as our 50th Texas Railroad Commissioner in November 2016. Prior to his time at the Commission, Christian served seven sessions in the Texas House of Representatives, accumulating a strong record of standing for free markets and against burdensome regulations. Christian is married to his wife, Lisa, and together they have three daughters, Liza, Lindsey and Lauren. Learn more about Chairman Christian here.
About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.