AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office on Monday threatened the Biden Administration with a lawsuit over a new ecological conservation rule that has the potential to prove to be excessively harmful to farmers, energy producers, and landowners.
Paxton’s office filed a notice of intent with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) over a new eco rule that has been added to the Endangered Species Act that mandates protection for a species of wildlife known as the Lesser Prairie-Chicken.
However, the Attorney General maintains that the new ruleset violates federal law and will ultimately impose unfair restrictions upon landowners in the Lone Star State.
“I will not tolerate the Biden Administration’s efforts to run roughshod over the property rights of Texans and to stop our conservation efforts aimed at protecting Texas wildlife,” Paxton said in a statement. “This rule was a targeted attempt to implement an unlawful, top-down federal approach aimed at advancing a radical environmentalist agenda, which would crush the type of economic development that aids in providing funds for conservation. This isn’t going to fly in Texas.”
According to Paxton, the Endangered Species Act rule is quite vague overall, and the guidelines governing it were conceived without the federal government conducting any of the required impact studies. The added protections for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken are also unnecessary, Paxton added, as local conservation groups had already added measures to protect the species.
“Combining this disregard for federal law, the overly vague nature of the rule, and the failure to abide by the legally-required notice of proposed rulemaking, the new rule constitutes yet another example of the Biden Administration’s willingness to prioritize executive overreach over state-directed management and conservation of wildlife and natural resources,” Paxton stated.
The new rule is also drawing concern because it would lock up millions of acres across five states to protect the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, which – according to Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), it would severely impact the livelihoods of scores of farmers and energy developers in the region.
“If this rule is passed, the Texas agricultural community would be devastated, hurting an industry that has already been scrutinized by Biden’s radical green agenda,” he said. “Republicans will continue to stand strong, fighting first for the well-being of our country and the livelihoods of our farmers against a power-hungry regime.”
Texas is the fifth state thus far to threaten the Biden Admin with legal action over the new rule.