What is a Threatened or Endangered species? Endangered species are plants or animals that will likely become extinct within the foreseeable future. Threatened means that a species may become endangered within the foreseeable future. In Texas, plants or animals may be protected under the authority of state law and/or under the Federal Endangered Species Act state law and the Federal Endangered Species Act. Examples of federally listed species in north Texas are the black-capped vireo, golden-cheeked warbler, and the Texas poppy mallow. Some of the state listed species are the Texas horned lizard (horny toad) and the Texas kangaroo rat.
Extracting these oil and gas deposits can result in lasting damage to the environment. Specifically, oil and gas exploration and development causes disruption of migratory pathways, degradation of important animal habitats, and oil spills—which can be devastating to the animals and humans who depend on these ecosystems.
Most easily accessible oil has already been developed. Oil and gas exploration is probing the and eroding the Texan environment, and it employs new and often unproven technologies to extract hydrocarbons from deep within the earth. Oil spills can occur from blowouts, pipeline leaks or failures, or shipping accidents. These spills pose a serious threat to our ecosystems—
An ecosystem is like a spider web. It is held together by all the plants, animals, water, air, and nutrients, each being a thread in the web. With each thread that is removed, many other threads are weakened until the entire web collapses. The fact is that when animals disappear from an ecosystem, it indicates that the area is not only becoming less inhabitable for animals but also for people. The bottom line is that in North Central Texas we don’t have any large, attractive animals that are threatened or endangered to get everyone’s attention…we have already lost those.
The law requires states to:
- Conserve the species of fish or wildlife determined by the state or federal government to be endangered or threatened
- Create conservation programs for all species of fish or wildlife identified by the federal government as endangered or threatened and provide detailed plans for these programs to the U.S. Department of Commerce
- Be authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct investigations to determine the status and requirements for survival of resident species of fish and wildlife
- Be authorized before establishing programs to acquire land or aquatic habitats for conserving endangered or threatened species
The Railroad Commission is not enforcing these laws when it permits fossil fuel companies the rights to drill, frack, flare, and route pipelines through the environment, and Kelly Stone will address these laws and concerns on the record when considering all permitting requests.