New Mexico Congressman Can’t Attend State of the Union Speech Because of Chickens

Lesser Prairie Chicken (Source: Dominic Sherony (CC))

Lesser Prairie Chicken (Source: Dominic Sherony (CC))

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce has a dilemma. Either he can be in Washington and listen to Barack Obama give his State of the Union address or he can be at a public hearing in New Mexico about chickens. However, these aren’t your average chickens, but the lesser prairie chicken.

The lesser prairie chicken is increasingly threatened by climate change and development. That has brought the federal government to consider listing the lesser prairie chicken as threatened or even to make a preserve for it in New Mexico as a National Monument.

Pearce has long opposed classifying the chicken as threatened because it could threaten oil, gas and wind farm operations, or as Pearce calls it the “way of life” in New Mexico.

“Unfortunately, our jobs and our way of life in southern New Mexico continue to come under assault” said Pearce. “The prairie chicken is yet another example that federal species regulation is not based on science, but rather driven by lawyers for extreme interest groups, like Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians, who filed the lawsuit in this case. These groups have filed hundreds of job-killing petitions, often at taxpayer expense, while never having to live with the consequences to the local communities.”

Pearce made the announcement on Twitter.


Clearly, standing with New Mexico business in the struggle against chickens is an opportunity not to be missed.

Yet what happens if Obama mentions the plight of the chicken in his State of the Union speech? It must rank up there as one of the issues of the day, along with Afghanistan, al-Qaeda, sequestration and the debt limit. Without Pearce, what other chicken expert will there be in Congress to set the President straight?

Both events are planned for February 12, but Pearce has also announced that he will take part in a rally opposing designating the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. And if there is one thing no one wants to miss, it is political rally for chickens. Forget that presidential speech. It will only be about the financial future of the country. Pearce has important chicken business to handle.

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