U.S. global warming rules won’t change to help polar bears


The LA Times is running with an article that says that the Obama administration will not reverse the Bush administration in using the scarcity of polar bears to curb emissions.  About a year ago, the US listed the polar bear as a threatened species.  The concern of many was that this ruling would be used to control, tax, and sue individual companies to reduce their CO2 output.  The Bush administration said that wouldn’t be happening and now the Obama administration appears to agree.

I originally found this article by reading Watts Up With That so go over there and check out his handling of this story.

The Interior Department on Friday let stand a Bush administration policy barring the federal government from using the precarious state of the U.S. polar bear population as a reason to crack down on global warming, upsetting environmentalists and cheering oil and gas companies.

The decision means the government cannot use the Endangered Species Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, though Interior Secretary Ken Salazar explicitly has blamed those emissions for the habitat erosion that last year landed the polar bear on the list of threatened species.

Environmental groups promised to sue.

Andrew Wetzler, who directs the endangered species project for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the decision was illegal and that the group would “continue to fight it in court.”

Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, praised Salazar for what he called “a common-sense decision that will ensure more jobs are not lost due to excessive regulations of greenhouse gases by the government.”

Congress never intended for the species act to regulate climate change, Salazar said.

Salazar has overturned several last-minute Bush environmental rules. He rescinded one that would have allowed federal agencies to bypass expert biologists and determine on their own whether their projects threatened endangered plants or animals. He also blocked the issuance of oil and gas drilling leases near national parks in Utah.

Yet Salazar sided with Bush on another high-profile species issue, moving ahead with a plan to remove gray wolves from the endangered list in the Great Lakes region and parts of the Mountain West.

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