Obama’s administration has failed to ensure the survival of polar bears by not listing the animals as endangered.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service, responding to a legal suit, agreed Wednesday that climate change posed “serious threats” to the polar bears by melting their Arctic habitat in the northernmost state of Alaska.
But the service said the threat was “in the foreseeable future” and that polar bears were not “in danger of extinction.” A listing as endangered would likely lead to federal protection of areas rich in oil and gas.
The Obama administration has pledged to become more active in fighting climate change, and it incurred the wrath of the oil industry on Thursday by announcing it would regulate greenhouse gas emissions by power plants.
Last month, the Fish and Wildlife Service set aside 187,000 square miles (484,000 square kilometers) off Alaska’s northern shore as a bear habitat, which means any project that could impact the animals’ way of life must undergo careful review.
The northern polar cap has shrunk between 15 and 20 percent over the last 30 years. But a recent study in the British journal Nature said that the melting was not inevitable and could be reversed.
- Obama gives ‘lump of coal’ to polar bears: activists (physorg.com)
- US administration explains why polar bears are ‘threatened’, not ‘endangered’ (blogs.nature.com)
- State of Alaska to sue over polar bear protection (thenewstribune.com)
- New Obama Offshore Oil Plan Sacrifices Polar Bear Habitat (greenreview.blogspot.com)
- Obama WH says polar bears not endangered (hotair.com)
- Alaska vs. Polar Bears: State Sues Agency For Protecting Endangered Species (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama Administration Defends Bush Polar Bear Position (volokh.com)
- Why won’t the Obama say that polar bears are endangered and thus make it possible to use the Endangered Species Act to deal with global warming? (althouse.blogspot.com)
- W.H.: Polar bears not ‘endangered’ (politico.com)
- Politics of polar-bear protection heating up (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Polar bears lose US endanger bid (bbc.co.uk)
- Judge may allow new polar bear ruling (politico.com)