"Oil Lobbyists Oversee Protection of Threatened Lizard"

"When Texas promised to protect a threatened lizard in the oil-rich Permian Basin, state officials entrusted the day-to-day oversight to a nonprofit that sounds like an environmental group: the Texas Habitat Conservation Foundation."

"What's not advertised is the occupation of the board members who created it.

They are all registered lobbyists for the powerful Texas Oil and Gas Association, also known as Texoga.

The industry group's prominent role in the fate of the dunes sagebrush lizard has angered both environmentalists and influential GOP lawmakers who want to reform the way Texas oversees threatened and endangered species. The flap has also exacerbated traditional tensions between corporate oil interests and independent producers, and it has put Comptroller Susan Combs in the crosshairs of some fellow Republicans."

Jay Root reports for the Texas Tribune April 24, 2013.

Source: Texas Tribune, 04/24/2013