Reports & Studies

Protecting Endangered Species In Texas

The Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale are among the most prolific oil and natural gas producing regions in the country, yet these regions are under threat from restrictions related to a federal law known as the Endangered Species Act.

Published : February 2018

Related Key Terms:

Activist Groups

Table of Contents

Key Findings (Pg. 2)

Executive Summary (Pg. 3)

Overview of the ESA (Pg. 4)

ESA Implementation in Texas (Pg. 6)

How Activist Groups Use the ESA (Pg. 9)

How Energy Companies Proactively Help Species (Pg. 13)

Making the ESA Work Better (Pg. 24)

Conclusion (Pg. 29)


Key Findings

The ESA has significant impacts in Texas. There are 97 species (67 animal, 30 plantlife) in Texas named on the ESA list, as well as 10 candidate species and another 62 awaiting a 12 month finding.

Activist groups have overwhelmed the US Fish and Wildlife Service with listing petitions and lawsuits. Between 2007 and 2010, FWS received petitions to list over 1,000 species, more species than had been listed under the ESA in the previous 30 years.

Texas oil and natural gas operators proactively impliment conservation efforts to protect species. Operators site activities to avoid sensitive habitat and are using advanced technology, such as horizontal and diagonal drilling to reduce their environmental footprint and limit surface disturbances.

The ESA could be strengthened and updated to work better for both species and people. The ESA largely failed it’s intended purpose, boasting merely a 2% recovery rate, with only 50 species having actually been recovered.

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