Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Jerry Patterson: ‘We’re producing oil and gas, and the turtles are fine’

All species of sea turtles in Texas waters are either endangered or threatened, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. National Park Service photo
All species of sea turtles in Texas waters are either endangered or threatened, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. National Park Service photo

In his speech at the 2012 Republican Party of Texas convention, the state’s land commissioner, Jerry Patterson, told delegates: "I have been sued by the Sierra Club. Sued me. They wanted to stop oil and gas exploration, production, on the Texas Gulf Coast.

"We won. We’re producing oil and gas, and the turtles are fine."

Patterson’s June 2012 claim came out Half True on the Truth-O-Meter.

When the Sierra Club sued federal agencies in 2002 over an oil company winning permission to drill in the Padre Island National Seashore, Patterson was not among the defendants. He wasn’t even land commissioner, though he won the post later that year.

Still, Patterson soon joined the lawsuit and was designated a defendant. And the government won the battle in district and then an appeals court. Finally, it appears, turtles depicted as at risk from drilling operators are lately increasing in number.

Splash into our full article to the right.