Bush administration foot-dragging leaves polar bears without protection
Interior Department says it will not meet deadline … Select Committee Hearing to explore Interior’s decision-making process on polar bears, oil drilling …
On Monday (Jan. 7), the Bush administration announced it wouldn’t meet its statutorily required deadline to make a decision on the future of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. The Interior Department was required to make a decision on whether the polar bear should be listed as “threatened” under the ESA by Jan. 9, due to the effects of global warming on the bear’s habitat.
Meanwhile, the Interior Department recently announced that it will proceed with a lease sale early next month to open up polar bear habitats off of Alaska to new oil drilling.
“The Bush administration is once again putting the oil cart before the polar bear. On the one hand, the Interior Department is dragging its feet on protecting the polar bear, while opening up new oil and gas drilling in sensitive polar bear habitats on the other,” said Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “The administration’s own scientists are warning us that two-thirds of all polar bears may be gone by 2050 because of a warming Earth, yet rather than speed up protections for this iconic animal, the Bush administration is speeding up its giveaway of polar bear habitat to Big Oil.”
The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing later this month to:
** Take a look at the future of the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act.
** Take a look at the Interior Department’s plan to open up polar bear habitats in Alaska to new oil drilling.
READ MORE ABOUT THIS ON THE NET:
Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/
Defenders of Wildlife: http://www.savearcticrefuge.org
Once again the Bush administration is going out of its way to show us where its priorities are by thumbing its nose at the environment … and us.
They’ve only got one year left in office to destroy this planet. I guess that’s why they’re in such a hurry. /gary