Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar asked the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to provide flexibility for the Texas energy industry when considering whether to list the tricolored bat as an endangered species. Hegar also requested that FWS avoid designating the bat’s habitat as critical habitat, because such an action could negatively impact significant portions of the state’s economy.

Hegar stated, “considering Texas’ role as the nation’s top oil and gas producer, generator of over a quarter of the nation’s wind energy, and the large and important role the state’s timber industry plays in our economy, these decisions could have serious implications not only for the Texas economy, but the national and global economies as well. This could have energy independence implications for our country.”