Global Warming Alarmists Using Polar Bear as a Pawn
Why it shouldn't be listed under Endangered Species Act
By Bluey Posted in Endangered Species Act | Energy | Global Warming | Polar bears — Comments (8) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The Washington Post devoted its KidsPost page today to a sympathetic plea for the polar bear -- the predatory creature that environmentalists want listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. With a decision looming on Thursday for the Bush administration, the Post is apparently pulling out all stops, including liberal spin for kids.
Although the Post devotes just one paragraph in a 534-word article to the negative ramifications of listing the polar bear, there are plenty of reasons for Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to ignore the advice of environmentalists. Let’s start with a few of the consequences outlined by nine U.S. senators in a letter to Kempthorne last week:
• The worldwide polar bear population is somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000 today -- more than double the 8,000 to 10,000 that were living in the 1960s. If and when the Endangered Species Act is used, it should protect species with declining populations.
• Listing the polar bear is really just a ploy by environmentalists to shut down any chance of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or explore for oil in other parts of Alaska. Bloomberg columnist Kevin Hassett says listing the polar bear could mean $200-a-barrel oil. At a time when America is growing increasingly dependent on foreign sources of oil, now is not the time to clamp down on domestic exploration.
• Set aside all the compassionate gibberish from WWF and it becomes clear why the polar bear is just a pawn: environmentalists will turn to activist judges citing the Endangered Species Act to halt construction of new power plants and factories that emit fossil fuels. The Green Policy Fairness Coalition already cites efforts by global warming alarmists to use lawsuits against the federal and state governments bypass the legislative process.
The nine Republican senators who signed the Kempthorne letter -- Jim DeMint (S.C.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Cornyn (Tex.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Wayne Allard (Colo.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.) -- deserve praise for standing for sound principles. Meanwhile, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, Jon Kyl (Ariz.), also opposes listing the bear, telling bloggers yesterday it would open the door for environmentalists to do devastating harm to America’s energy needs.
The decision should be simple for Kempthorne. Caving to radical environmentalists who want to use the Endangered Species Act to achieve their goals is the wrong approach. It’s not about the polar bear for the left; it’s really a ploy to impose even higher energy costs on Americans.