"It became it's own species in 1992. Here we are, less than 20 years later and it's endangered," says Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.
It's a problem Patterson likes to call, "reptile dysfunction." But all joking aside, it's a serious problem facing the entire oil industry.
"The endangered species act has become a favorite tool for abuse by those pushing a political agenda, and the dunes sage brush lizard has us all concerned, " says Ben Sheppard, PBPA president.
Former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams believes it is, "another indication of how this administration is over-reaching and over-reaching in a way that's killing jobs, that is going to reduce our ability to produce American energy and also weaken our nation's energy security. Another indication that this administration just doesn't get it."
"This is very serious. We need to mobilize and do everything we can to stop designation of any species where there is no science to base that designation on," says Patterson.
As of now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife has until mid-December to make their final decision. And if they choose to add the lizard to the Endangered Species List, Patterson says oil producers and those working in the industry aren't the only ones who'll have a problem.
"20 percent of the production in the U.S. is in the Permian Basin. This impacts everyone in the country. At a time when we should be focused on more energy production and less dependency on foreign oil, we're doing things that have the opposite effect."
Patterson adds that the sand dune lizard is one of five species we need to keep an eye on here in Texas. Locally, we need to watch out for the lesser prairie chicken and the spot-tail earless lizard. There's also a butterfly and a mussel that could have an impact on the state if put on the list.
For the latest on these species and the impact they could bring to Texas, check out http://texasahead.org/texasfirst/ .