As reported in the Washington Times, The Bush administration yesterday (May 14) declared global warming a threat to polar bears but took steps to ensure that the long-awaited decision would not threaten businesses and oil drilling that environmentalists blame for the species' decline. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the depletion of sea ice — the bears' habitat — puts the animal at risk of becoming endangered in the "foreseeable future," the standard for such designations under the Endangered Species Act. This is the first designation based on global warming assumptions, though the animals' numbers are not declining. The administration will introduce a rule to limit unintended harm to the economy by the listing, such as caps on greenhouse gas emissions in the lower 48 states that could limit building highways and power plants, or limitations on oil and gas drilling.

The Center for Biological Diversity, which led the listing effort, has said "The administration's attempts to reduce protection to the polar bear from greenhouse-gas emissions are illegal and won't hold up in court."

It is a guarantee that the environmentalists will file lawsuits to block needed investment in our electrical infrastructure.


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