ESA decision delayed as oil and gas exploration speeds ahead in polar bear habitat(02/06/2008) - The following is a statement by Jamie Rappaport Clark, executive vice president of Defenders of Wildlife, and former director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Clinton administration, responding to the sale of 30 million acres of oil and gas leases in polar bear habitat in the Chukchi Sea.
“The Bush administration’s delay in listing the polar bear as a threatened species, while going forward with the sale of 30 million acres of oil and gas leases in polar bear habitat in the Chukchi Sea, makes clear that this administration is more interested in catering to its friends in the oil and gas industry than saving endangered species or stopping global warming.
“The U.S. Geological Survey reported last year that if we continue with business as usual, there will be no more polar bears in Alaska by 2050. More oil and gas development in the Arctic means more greenhouse gas pollution, further melting the sea-ice pack on which polar bears depend. Promoting more oil and gas development while failing to protect polar bears and address global warming is a bankrupt policy from an administration that shows no concern for what kind of world we will leave our children.”
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