Expanding Efforts

On June 3, 2013, Taking Care of Texas and the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER) co-hosted a tour of the Eagle Ford Shale region featuring Taking Care of Texas Founder and former First Lady Laura Bush; STEER President Omar Garcia; and representatives of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the Texas Wildlife Association.

“Taking Care of Texas is about building on existing conservation efforts,” Bush says. “We are working with developers of the Eagle Ford Shale because it’s important to take care of the landscapes and wildlife habitat where drilling occurs. We want Texas to be a leader in meeting the nation’s energy needs while conserving soil and habitat and boosting the economy in South Texas.”

STEER and its members facilitated the day-long tour to showcase conservation efforts being implemented by the oil and gas industry on drilling sites across South Texas, and to explore opportunities to expand this work through collaboration with Taking Care of Texas.

Bush and the Taking Care of Texas team are working with the oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford Shale region to ensure control of erosion, salvage of topsoil and native plant reseeding on drilling locations of all sizes. Together, they are organizing widespread adoption of sound conservation practices, many of which are already in use by several oil and gas companies. The partnership also aims to develop new and more effective practices over time.

“We are extremely proud to welcome First Lady Laura Bush and her team from Taking Care of Texas to the Eagle Ford Shale region and provide this important organization with a firsthand look at the best practices the oil and gas industry are currently and meticulously implementing to ensure that we protect our environment,” Garcia says. “The oil and gas industry understands the importance of embracing and protecting South Texas, and we are happy for the opportunity to show how we effectively operate our businesses in communities across South Texas.”

Taking Care of Texas will continue to work with STEER, the Texas Oil & Gas Association, oil and gas companies, wildlife biologists and private landowners to develop detailed support materials for surface activities and spotlight locations where conservation practices are voluntarily implemented.

“We believe that conservation of Texas’ vast open spaces and natural treasures, when done collaboratively as part of drilling operations, will benefit all Texans, present and future,” Bush says. “We were pleased to see the conservation practices that are in motion during the extraction process, and we look forward to helping the industry continue the important work of safeguarding our environment.”

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