The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a powerful and far-reaching law that affects everything from windfarms to our groundwater supply.
To minimize its impact to the Texas economy, the Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species helps local governments and communities find cost-effective solutions for complying with the complex law and ensuring the best science is used in deciding to list or delist species. The Comptroller leads the task force.
The task force’s mission includes:
The Comptroller has the authority to develop or coordinate a habitat conservation plan or candidate conservation plan and to apply and hold federal permits for programs to protect species that are candidates for listing.
Protecting species on the brink of extinction can be confusing and expensive, because each one has its own specific biological needs that are often not fully understood. The number of species determined to need protection is growing, and the government agencies that decide if a species should be listed face a seemingly endless backlog.
The task force can help communities and industries prepare for a possible listing - or prevent one from happening - by taking conservation actions early and developing science to inform listing decisions.
Glenn Hegar, Comptroller and presiding officer of task force
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Jason Fearneyhough, Deputy Commissioner
Texas Department of Agriculture
Carter Smith, Executive Director
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Mel Davis, Special Project Coordinator
Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board
Carlos Swonke, Environmental Affairs Director
Texas Department of Transportation
These member agencies share information on ESA issues; work with institutions of higher education, agriculture and conservation groups; assess the economic impact of proposed listings; develop strategies for protecting endangered species while encouraging economic growth; and provide recommendations and reports on endangered species concerns across the state.
The task force may be assisted in its work by formal advisory committees. These groups help find solutions to specific issues and report back to the task force with recommendations. These meetings are open to the public and are posted on the task force meetings page.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 855, which requires state agencies to publish a list of the three most commonly used Web browsers on their websites. The Texas Comptroller’s most commonly used Web browsers are Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari.