Jamie Auslander Quoted in Bloomberg Law on Energy Permitting Implications of a Lesser Prairie-Chicken ESA Listing

Bloomberg Law

Beveridge & Diamond Principal Jamie Auslander (Washington, DC) was quoted in Bloomberg Law, in “Prairie-Chicken Listing Expected to Put Wind Farms in Crosshairs,” which focuses on the potential implications of the Biden administration’s proposal to list populations of the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.

The lesser prairie-chicken would be a “high-profile listing,” Jamie commented. “I think it would have a chilling effect” on oil and gas development, he said.

Since energy development in the Texan portion of the Permian Basin is largely based on privately-owned land, an Endangered Species Act listing of the lesser prairie-chicken would focus a “new federal nexus” on privately held land, he said. He went on to comment that the possible listing’s power may depend on legal issues that caused the bird’s first listing to be tossed out of court several years ago, especially those related to voluntary conservation measures taken by private landowners and property developers to protect the bird.

The legal and economic stakes are high for permitting an oil and gas project in lesser prairie-chicken habitat, he continued.

“If you’re adding in consultation for the lesser prairie-chicken, that could add at least a year to permitting time frames,” Jamie said. “That raises enforcement risk, additional rounds of litigation for drilling approvals by third parties.”