Cornyn Statement on Sand Dune Lizard Decision
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) today issued this response to U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s decision to not list the sand dune lizard as endangered:
“After visiting the Permian Basin the Administration no doubt saw firsthand the real, dire consequences that listing this species would have had for Texans and our nation’s energy production.
“Today’s decision shows us the value in local input and due diligence when it comes to federal rulings on local issues. Through a six-month delay, Texans who would be impacted the most were given the time they needed to gather compelling data that played a critical role in the preventing the listing.
“I will continue to work to prevent ill-conceived listing proposals like this one that are based on incomplete science and threaten Texas jobs.”
Citing concerns within the scientific community, Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar requesting a delay in Fish and Wildlife Service’s final determination, which was granted. This delay provided various stakeholders in Texas with the time they needed to collect additional data, including Texas Comptroller Susan Combs who developed the Texas Conservation Plan, which played an important role in preventing the listing.
Sen. Cornyn previously discussed this issue with Director Daniel Ashe, who asserted his commitment to ensuring that the Fish and Wildlife Service makes important decisions like this with a full consideration of the relevant data after traveling to the Permian Basin at Sen. Cornyn’s request.
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services and Budget Committees. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.