Can a Lizard Raise Your Gas Prices?

Our nation is struggling to come out of a long, debilitating recession and hoping to stave off a double dip back into a recessionary economy. Rising prices in the petroleum industry and the inflation that results may very well be the determining factors in pushing America's economy back into an even deeper trough. Here we are, looking at $5.00 a gallon gas and rocketing prices on consumer goods and what are the feds doing here in New Mexico, one of the nation's leading oil and gas producing states, to help alleviate our pain?

Would you believe me if I told you they may be trying to drastically reduce gas and petroleum production in Southeast New Mexico, and perhaps West Texas for the really important reason of protecting the continuing viability of a creature I'm sure you all know and love, the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard?

Go to that link and you will see that this little sub-species critter is indeed threatened. But then go to this site and you will see that his more robust cousins are extremely prolific. Read the segment about geographic distribution and you will see he's pretty well established in seven states, in many areas of the West where no oil industry exists.

In fact, here's a quote from Wikipedia, "It is the most common lizard on Idaho sagebrush plains." Does that sound like the species is endangered to you? Hell, if the cats weren't eating them they'd be coming in the house.

But that means nothing to the feds and the ardent environmentalists in Santa Fe, that liberal colony of wealthy New Yorkers and movie industry Californians in Northern New Mexico, who for far too long have exerted an undue influence on our state governance. Now they are using their wealth and political clout to pressure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to shackle a critical industry to save a clearly not endangered lizard.

Rob Nikolewski at has done a fine job of reporting on the situation in his article, The Lizard War in the Oil Patch . Be sure to take time to watch the video of the unicorn jockey explaining how this bit of ecological flummery won't have any negative effect on the oil and gas industry. No doubt he has a PhD from Berkley or some other California institution of dubious learning in an esoteric field of ecological study, perhaps Advanced Applied Moonbattery with a subspecialty in stopping plate tectonics.

Nikolewski notes that newly elected Republican congressman, Steve Pearce, who represents much of conservative southern and rural New Mexico, is leading the fight against this further federal interference in an already heavily-regulated industry. AT readers may want to contact their own congresspersons and request help for Pearce. Strike now, while the hippies are still nursing their Earth Day hangovers.

Those of you who follow market trends are well aware that the oil benchmark for America on the New York Mercantile Exchange, NYMEX, is West Texas Intermediate. What fewer of you may realize is that much of that light, sweet crude that eventually fuels your vehicles comes from the vast oilfields in the Southeastern New Mexico desert, where the tin-hatted ecofreaks and federal regulators are doing their best to further hamper exploration and production and thus raise prices at the gas pump even higher. And the obvious answer to my title question is:

Damned straight he can...

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