In the Executive Branch: The Department of the Interior decided this week to list the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, despite the fact that the number of polar bears has doubled in the last 40 years. Furthermore, the animal is already protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said, “Although the population of bears has grown from a low of about 12,000 in the late 1960s to approximately 25,000 today, our scientists advise me that computer modeling projects a significant population decline by the year 2050. This, in my judgment, makes the polar bear a threatened species—one likely to become in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.” Are those the same “computer models” Al Gore used to predict that sea levels will rise 20 feet in the near future?
The Bush administration is capitulating completely to environmentalists with this listing, which will likely have no effect on polar bears but could have a very detrimental effect on our economy. For example, Persuading Congress to authorize drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been difficult enough without adding a false alarm about polar bears to existing roadblocks. Besides, global warming may or may not be happening, and the same may be true of a decline in the population of polar bears, but $200 a barrel for oil may be the price we pay for rash decisions. Meanwhile, look for the Australian jellyfish to be the Gulf of Mexico’s “endangered” animal to stop drilling there too.
from the Patriot Post