Congressman Neugebauer Speaks Out Against The Sagebrush Lizard

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

SEMINOLE - The Dunes Sagebrush lizard continues to get national attention. As officials sound the alarm about putting the small reptile on the endangered species list, many West Texans believe doing that could literally kill the oil and gas industry. Congressman Randy Neugebauer had plenty to say about the lizard at a stop in Seminole on Wednesday.

Congressman Randy Neugebauer is speaking out about the small lizard could in his words shut down the Permian Basin oil industry.

"While this kind of sounds silly it's serious that the listing of the chicken or the lizard impacts the production of agriculture and impacts oil and gas in this region," Neugebauer said.

The Congressman says in these tough economic times putting the lizard on the endangered species list will only hurt the local economy.

"In a time when our country is in a recession, we're trying to create jobs. It almost seems like the federal government is almost working against us in every area and particularly in the regulatory scheme with so many regulations," Neugebauer said.

Neugebauer believes that there is not enough evidence to put the lizard on the list.

"Some of the reasons for listing these, we don't see a lot of concrete evidence that there is actually a lot of environmental hazard that is being created by man. Some of this is just evolution and migratory issues that we need to study more thoroughly," Neugebauer said.

The Congressman says that he will continue to work in Washington to keep the lizard off the list and keep oil pumping from West Texas.

"Some of us in Congress, particularly the West Texas group, have been working together in the appropriation process to defund and prevent the listing of the lizard and the chicken. When we get back in September hopefully we will continue working in that area," Neugebauer said.