Texas drillers sue Interior Department over new lesser prairie chicken protections

Lawsuit chides 'inaction' in saving rare bird threatened by oil and gas


Permian Basin oil drillers and ranchers joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in filing lawsuits over the federal government’s decision to create more protections for an endangered species of prairie chicken.

The suits were filed  against the U.S. Interior Department and asked a federal court in Midland, Texas for an order vacating Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken, reported Reuters.

The bird also exists in Oklahoma and the Interior Department decided last year to offer more protections for the species.

The cases are State of Texas et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior et al. and Permian Basin Petroleum Association et al. v. Department of the Interior et al., in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, case Nos. 7:23-cv-00047 and 7:23-cv-00049.

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