The fight over a tiny lizard and how it could stall Permian Basin oil production


Cute little rascal, isn’t he? He’s now at the center of a fight in the nation’s richest oil and gas region—the Permian Basin.

The oil and gas industry is standing up to government efforts to designating the small dunes sagebrush lizard an endangered species in West Texas, right in the heart of the Permian Basin.

Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, which represents hundreds of companies, is among the leaders of the fight.

“What we’re talking about is shutting down drilling activity in the region,” he explained, “Laying people off, not completing pipeline projects, let alone the effects on ranching, farming and other activities.”

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