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Pfluger Fly-By Newsletter

Pfluger Fly-By: October 6, 2023

October 6, 2023
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Update on the Speaker of the House
I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an update on the recent developments concerning the Speaker of the House.
As you may already know, on Tuesday, 8 Republicans voted with every Democrat to oust Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House. I cast my vote in favor of retaining Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. His proven track record in spearheading monumental energy permitting reform and prioritizing border security aligns closely our shared values and the priorities of the 11th District of Texas. I'm pleased to report that my decision was in concordance with 96% of Republicans, including every House member from Texas.
It is important to acknowledge that the recent motion to vacate was, in my view, nothing more than a distraction from the crucial work that we were sent to Congress to accomplish. At a time when our nation faces a myriad of pressing challenges, it is imperative that we remain focused on the matters that truly impact the lives of our Americans—especially in light of the escalating crisis along our southern border and ongoing economic turmoil.
Now more than ever, it is paramount that we unite as a party and direct our efforts toward combating the policies put forth by our Democratic counterparts. They continually champion initiatives that, in our view, undermine the very fabric of the country we hold dear and swore to protect.
The Republican Party is now faced with electing a new Speaker of the House and several well-qualified candidates have raised their hands to lead. I am currently in fact-finding mode as the candidates make their case to the Conference. I am looking for a candidate who can unite and lead the Republican majority as we stand up to the radical leftist policies coming out of the White House and the Democrat-controlled Senate.
As always, please do not hesitate toreach out to meif you have any questions, concerns, or ideas. Your input is invaluable to me and I remain steadfast in my dedication to representing your interests in Washington.
Biden Administration Caves on Border Wall Construction
This week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the Biden Administration would construct approximately 20 more miles of border wall in South Texas. In the Secretary's notice, he stated: "There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States." This is a complete departure from President Biden's campaign promise that "there will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration."
I was just in Eagle Pass. The border is in absolute chaos, and the President's failed policies are squarely to blame.
Despite this announcement, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas still refuse to label the horrific situation along the border a crisis. Any additional barrier must be followed up with the political will to enforce our immigration laws. 20 miles of border wall will not stop the outright invasion of our country—only consequences will.
This week I penned anopinion piece in the Houston Chronicle with Tim Tarpley, the President of the Energy Workforce and Technology Council. Read the full piecehere, or an excerpt below.
"The national security contributions of this secure supply of energy cannot be overstated, and the economic value remains a boon to the Texas and U.S. economy. According toestimates by theTexas Independent Producers and Royalty Association, the Permian employsmore than 87,000 menand women directly in the oil and gas industry, which has increased by nearly 43,000 since 2009. Indirect employment is nearly 500,000 — and the economic impact of the Permian Basin is growing. By 2050, the region is projected to generate about $267 billion in gross product in Texas and supply over 1 million direct and indirect jobs in the United States.
Unfortunately, this plentiful resource and economic growth engine is being threatened by the Biden administration and its proposal to list thedunes sagebrush lizard— a small reptile found in arid regions of Texas and New Mexico — as an endangered species.Listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered will be detrimental to oil and gas production in the lizard’s habitat, which is also home to some of our nation’s most critical oil and gas developments.
This is not the first time the dunes sagebrush lizard has been used as a political weapon to curb energy production. The Obama administration also attempted to list the lizard in 2010. However, thanks in part to the efforts of landowners and industry groups in the Permian, the administration moved forward with a series of conservation agreements instead.
These voluntary conservation efforts to protect the species’ habitat have been extremely successful. According to thePermian Basin Petroleum Association, as of 2022 more than 1.9 million acres of land in New Mexico alone have been enrolled by the ranching community in a candidate conservation agreement. Across the oil and gas industry, another 2.2 million acres have been designated as a safe harbor habitat for the dunes sagebrush lizard. Under these agreements, the industry has voluntarily committed to implementing practices that reduce or even remove the threat to the lizard.
The Biden administration’s new listing proposal is a slap in the face to the millions of dollars and time that local entities have poured into this effort. With the swipe of a bureaucratic pen, the Biden administration could hobble the oil and gas industry and imperil prosperity in the Permian. In addition to eliminating energy industry jobs in the region and potentially infringing on private property rights, President Joe Biden’s decision to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered could reduce energy production and development opportunities — further driving up costs for all Americans.
Urgent action must be taken to halt this gross overreach of the federal government. The Limiting Incredulous Zealots Against Restricting Drilling(LIZARD) ActI have introduced intends to protect our nation’s security and energy supply as well as jobs in the Permian Basin by striking President Biden’s listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered.
Private industries and local communities are already focused on conservation and protecting our environment.We cannot allow bureaucrats in the Biden administration to stifle our domestic energy production and threaten American energy security."
Thank you for reading. It is the honor of my lifetime to serve you in Congress. Please follow me onFacebook,Instagram, andTwitterfor daily updates.
Rep. August Pfluger
Member of Congress