Laura Bush visits… the Eagle Ford Shale?

Former First Lady Laura Bush recently toured the Eagle Ford Shale region to talk about conservation efforts in the South Texas oil fields.

She did a rig tour in June with representatives of Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Wildlife Association and the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable.

And if you’re surprised that the words “Laura Bush” are colliding in the same sentence as “rig tour,” Bush’s nonprofit, Taking Care of Texas, is all about blending business with environmental responsibility, and has a goal of “safeguarding natural resources with respect for private property interests.”

Taking Care of Texas says it is working with the oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford region on things such as erosion control, native plant reseeding and salvaging topsoil on drilling locations.

“Taking Care of Texas is about building on existing conservation efforts,” said Bush, in a press release. “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.”

Taking Care of Texas plans to spotlight locations where conservation practices are used and provide information for how to apply conservation methods to drilling sites. It says it will work with STEER, the Texas Oil and Gas Association, oil and gas companies, wildlife biologists and landowners.

You can read an Austin American-Statesman interview with Bush about Taking Care of Texas here.
STEER President Omar Garcia said in a news release, “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.”

– Jennifer Hiller