The Interior Department announced today that it has no intentions to overturn a controversial decision made in last months of Bush administration that environmentalists say hurts polar bears.
During the Bush administration the polar bear was put on the endangered species list because of the melting ice caps. The administration became worried that this ruling would lead to regulation of CO2. To prevent that from happening they threw in a wrench that said, anything outside of the bear’s habitat can’t be blamed for endangering the polar bear.
Once the Obama administration took power, Congress gave the Interior Department an opportunity to overturn this ruling. The Department has chosen not to take advantage of that.
In a Q&A on its website, the Interior explains its decision, “It is currently not possible to directly link the emission of greenhouse gases from a specific power plant, etc. to effects on specific bears or bear populations.” So it doesn’t want a power plant in Akron getting blamed for what’s happening in Arctic.
Don’t get too worried, environmentalists: “The Department recognises that climate change impacts associated with global emissions of greenhouse gases are impacting the polar bear and other species.” Still, polar bear lovers appear to be preparing lawsuits to overturn the decision.
If it means anything, Interior chief Ken Salazar said in a statement, “To see the polar bear’s habitat melting and an iconic species threatened is an environmental tragedy of the modern age.”
There will be climate legislation in place within a year. Using the endanged species act as a run around to battle carbon dioxide emissions is a bad idea. As Salazar says, “We need a comprehensive energy and climate strategy that curbs climate change and its impacts – including the loss of sea ice. Both President Obama and I are committed to achieving that goal.”
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