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Oilfield sand miners encroaching on threatened West Texas lizard

A voluntary plan the state of Texas crafted to protect a tiny West Texas reptile — and avoid its listing as an endangered species — is facing a significant threat from companies that mine the fine-grain sand oil producers use for hydraulic fracturing. In a letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday, Robert Gulley, head of the state comptroller’s Division of Economic Growth and Endangered Species Management, said that more than a dozen “frac-sand” companies are planning mining operations in four West Texas counties that are home to prime dune sagebrush lizard habitat. The Texas Tribune talked with Gulley about state concerns and how the sand companies could upset a delicate balance. Read more…

Aug 15, 2017 General Discussion, Issues & Policy