Disappointing Decision on Polar Bear Protection

The decision is in, and it’s not what we were hoping for. The Obama administration has announced it will stick with the Bush administration’s regulation weakening protections for the threatened polar bear. The rule, put in place in the waning days of the Bush administration, downplays the causal link between global warming pollution and the decline of the polar bear’s sea ice habitat. It also weakens habitat protections needed to help polar bears survive the threat of global warming.

Here’s what John Kostyack, the National Wildlife Federation’s executive director of wildlife conservation and global warming, had to say about the decision:

We are disappointed that the Obama administration has chosen to leave the Bush-era polar bear rule in place. Polar bears are very much on thin ice, so we need to jettison any rules that limit the Endangered Species Act’s ability to do what it does best, protect the critical habitat species need to survive

Now more than ever we need Congress to get the whole job done and pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation that both reduces emissions and provides dedicated funding to safeguard wildlife and natural resources from climate impacts.

Any project that adds more carbon to the atmosphere will increase the risk of the polar bear’s extinction. Arguing otherwise is akin to saying that adding another pack of cigarettes will not increase a person’s risk of cancer.

Ask Congress to protect the polar bear at our Speak Up for Wildlife page.

(Photo by DigitalVision)