Ben Shepperd,PBPA President

While oil and gas production, especially in the Permian Basin, has continued to break records, deliver meaningful environmental impacts, provide affordable and reliable energy across the globe, and promote economic growth, that isn’t enough for anti-energy advocates and the Biden Administration.

We have seen it across the world in news this summer, activists obstructing traffic and commuters on their way to work or gluing themselves to priceless art while throwing paint at sculptures, all in this vain effort to “just stop oil.”

I don’t call it vain to characterize its chances of success, but rather to highlight the vanity of those who have greatly benefited from abundant energy to seemingly lift up the ladder behind them and choose to deny the developing nations and their citizens the opportunity to benefit from reliable energy.

The same reliable energy that has helped catapult western economies into great prosperity and has helped shape the last century of global security for the United States and our allies.

At the heart of the greatest American decades has been a reliable and secure energy resource and often a similarly reasonable energy policy.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

This year the United States Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), through activists utilizing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC), as threatened in the northern portion of its habitat and endangered in the southern portion which includes Texas and New Mexico.

Lesser Prairie Chicken

To some curiosity, its more impressive “cousin,” the Greater Prairie Chicken, maintains two hunting seasons in Kansas. So what is good for the goose may not always be good for the gander according to USFWS, and we do intend to cry “fowl.”

This is despite the fact that oil and gas operators have done incredible work through candidate conservation agreements (CCA’s) that have spent millions of dollars in protecting significant acreage of habitat for these chickens which have seen increased populations over the years.

Not to be hindered by this listing which would have great impact on production areas, environmental non-governmental organizations continued to weaponize the ESA and have in July 2023 succeeded in the USFWS choosing to list the Dune Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) as endangered as well.

Dune Sagebush Lizzard

Together these listings seem like more of the same, but they do represent yet another challenge our industry faces in continuing to explore and produce the vital hydrocarbons that our world demands.

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association is saddened that the meaningful efforts of operators to engage in good faith in maintaining habitat and encouraging animal population growth can be snuffed out through arbitrary bureaucratic decisions that are based on meritless political arguments and not sound science.

Our industry needs your continued support as we tackle these opponents in statehouses and courthouses across the United States and we encourage you to continue to engage with PBPA and your colleagues, and enlist your support, so that we can ensure that the Permian Basin continues to serve as the best place to operate for generations to come.