Alaskan Gov. wants polar bear delisted!

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The state of Alaska sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Monday, seeking to reverse his decision to list polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Gov. Sarah Palin and other state officials fear a listing will cripple offshore oil and gas development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in Alaska’s northern waters, which provide prime habitat for the only polar bears under U.S. jurisdiction.

“We believe that the Service’s decision to list the polar bear was not based on the best scientific and commercial data available,” Palin said in announcing the lawsuit.

Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, the lead author of the petition that led to the listing, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists addressed skeptics’ objections during the listing process. She called the lawsuit “completely ridiculous and a waste of the court’s time.”

“This lawsuit and her head-in-the-sand approach to global warming only helps oil companies, certainly not Alaska or the polar bear,” Siegel said. “Gov. Palin should be working for sustainable, clean energy development in Alaska instead of extinction for the polar bear.”

Kempthorne announced the listing May 14. The process started with the filing of the petition in 2005, a yearlong initial review, another year of public comment and additional studies, and court action to force a final decision.

Kempthorne concluded that sea ice was vital to polar bear survival, that sea ice had dramatically melted in recent decades and that computer models suggest sea ice likely will further recede in the future.

Summer sea ice last year shrank to a record low, about 1.65 million square miles, nearly 40 percent less than the long-term average between 1979 and 2000.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington, D.C., claims the federal analysis did not adequately consider polar bear survival through earlier warming periods centuries ago.

Alaska claims that the polar bears are not threatened within the 45 years the Fish and Wildlife Service gave as a time line approximately three generations of polar bears.

The state says there is no real differences between the 19 bear subpopulations identified in Kempthorne’s decision, and that the population as a whole is healthy. That would undermine the argument that ice loss off Alaska would affect world polar bear population…

Most polar bear experts say the animals need ice to hunt seals and will not win a territory fight with grizzly bears that already inhabit northern Alaska. –DAN JOLING, Associated Press Writer 8/04/-2008;_ylt=Aie7XLRgGFs8FlT8dtnACUYPLBIF

– I guess greed and ignorance know no bounds!-Mother Nature

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1 Comment

  1. bs1999bs said,

    August 5, 2008 at 5:23 am

    Typical of many elected representatives – out to make the “fast bucks” and to hell with the environment and Mother Nature upon which our survival truly rests!

    It is time to expose these shallow-thinking, mindless bureaucrats who simply haven’t learned from the damage wrought and the effects all round the World!

    It’s time for those with a bit of grey matter to challenge these bureaucrats and the vested interests “pulling their strings”!

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