Posts by Melinda Taylor

Using the Market to Conserve Endangered Species: Promising Approach or a Pipe Dream?

The federal Endangered Species Act has been referred to by legal scholars as the “pit bull” of environmental statutes, because of its “sharp teeth and strong grip.” The ESA’s structure is simple compared to other environmental laws:  animals and plants that are at risk of becoming extinct may become “listed” as “threatened” or “endangered” and,… Full Story

Conservation and Confidentiality: Are the Concepts Compatible?

The dune sagebrush lizard is a light brown, 3-inch long reptile that lives in sand dunes that support low, shrubby shinnery oaks in Southeast New Mexico and West Texas.  The lizard’s habitat overlies a small portion of the Permian Basin, which happens to be the largest onshore oil and gas field in the United States. … Full Story

The Endangered Species Act Turns 40 in 2013

On December 28, 1973, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law. Nixon, whose veto of the Clean Water Act had been overridden by Congress a year earlier, said in his signing statement, “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our… Full Story

How Green is Wind Energy?

As Congress considers whether to extend the production tax credit for wind energy in the context of “fiscal cliff” negotiations, environmentalists are lobbying vigorously, arguing that the PTC creates green jobs and supports strong communities.  A casual observer might conclude that enviros are always in favor of wind development, because wind produces electricity with no air pollution and does not… Full Story

Regional Conservation for Endangered Species: Success in Texas

On May 2, 1996 in Austin, Texas, Nancy Kaufman, the regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, signed the permit that created the first urban habitat conservation plan in the United States.  The Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan (BCCP) was the product of a decade of negotiations among environmentalists, biologists, developers, business interests, and government officials…. Full Story