April 27, 2011
You can't make this up. First, a Spotted Owl destroyed the timber industry of the Pacific Northwest, then a minnow turned the most productive agricultural land in the world into a dustbowl, and now, as energy prices spike and the economy sputters, they're going after Texas with a scurrilous reptile.
Specifically, the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard. That's the latest more-important-than-people critter being used to lock-up resources in the name of planet Earth. The drilling moratorium didn't cause enough pain, so onto the Endangered Species Act - known at the Sierra Club as "Ol' Reliable" - to make certain Texas has lizard-filled poverty.
Lizard or livelihood? That's what's at stake. And the pro-poverty Earth Firsters stratifying government can't have both. If it determines that the lizard is indeed endangered, the Fish and Wildlife Service will shut down the most productive oil counties in Texas, ban roads, and slow farm activity, as it "studies the ecosystem" for up to five years.
This should please Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, who in 2008 said, "We must increase gas taxes to force people to turn to alternative energy. Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to levels in Europe."
That's the goal-Europe. Low growth. High taxes. As our economy shrivels and land is restricted, as we ignore wealth beneath our feet and slide toward uncertainty, they slither along, creating dependency.... Sauve le lezard!
They should say it in French.