Nothing “Lesser” about the LPC Challenge
Experience could serve the PBPA well as we transition from the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard dustup to the Lesser Prairie Chicken skirmish.
Well, here we go again! The ink is barely dry on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Department’s ruling on the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard and the Permian Basin
Petroleum Association is already embroiled in the next endangered species listing. You might want to begin your education on our new species, the Lesser Prairie Chicken, or LPC. The process on the Lesser Prairie Chicken begins September 2012 with the initial ruling date coming in the fall of 2013. As I have stated in the past the lizard was in many ways the easy one. Lizard habitat is fairly limited to far West Texas and portions of southeast New Mexico and was a species remarkably void of verifiable and peer reviewed research. However, the Lesser Prairie Chicken is a species with a huge habitat area covering portions of five different states and most if not all of the Permian Basin. The LPC has been heavily researched over the years, the result being that there is a large body of research to be reviewed and understood.
The good news is that the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, along with other impacted parties, has learned a great deal from our efforts on the dune sagebrush lizard. Because such a large habitat area exists for the Lesser Prairie Chicken, there is a greater need for cooperation among a number of oil and gas associations scattered across the five-state region, as well as cooperation with a multitude of different state agencies, along with the appropriate federal agencies. I see the PBPA taking a leading role as this multi-state effort gets underway. Joint cooperation work has already begun and it is good to see that there appears at this point to be a strong level of input and cooperation from state and federal regulators.
This latest endangered species listing continues to reinforce the fact the Permian Basin Petroleum Association has moved into a new area of representation on behalf of its members. Federal issues will continue to be a major focus of the PBPA.
However, with these new responsibilities we cannot afford to ignore activities here in the state of Texas. Accordingly, PBPA has recently established a permanent office in Austin for the express purpose of insuring that our association continues to do the job of representing and protecting our members’ interests at both the state and federal levels.
As my term as chairman comes to an end I am very grateful for the level of support you and your companies have given to PBPA. Without this increased support and participation it would unthinkable for PBPA to take on the issues it has, and which it continues to undertake.