Interior Declares Polar Bears ‘Threatened’ by Global Warming

Interior Declares Polar Bears ‘Threatened’ by Global Warming

Backdoor Attempt at Cap-and Trade Legislation
May 14, 2008

Washington, D.C., May 14,
2008—Today the US Department of the Interior took the controversial step of
listing the polar bear as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act,
despite lack of a sound scientific basis and potentially enormous consequences
for the U.S.
economy. Listing the polar bear has long been a goal of global warming
activists who claim that a warmer world will shrink the bears’ habitat.

Advocates
of the new listing claim that to remove the bears from their threatened status,
the federal government must first enact restrictions on greenhouse gas
emissions, which will then, it is imagined, influence the global climate to
such an extent as to stop shifts in Arctic ice cover. Listing the bear will
enable activist groups to use litigation to force the nation into a regulatory
nightmare of limits on energy use.

“We
regret the listing,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute Director of Energy
& Global Warming Policy Myron
Ebell
. “We don’t think putting ‘high bars’ on it will work. We hope there
will be immediate litigation to challenge the listing on procedural and
substantive grounds.”

Today’s
listing does require a “high bar” for evidence that particular greenhouse gas
sources are causing actual harm to a particular population of polar bears. But “the ‘high bar’ just delays the day when
global warming activists will be able to impose their policy of energy
suppression,” said CEI Senior Fellow Iain Murray. “Secretary
Kempthorne obviously knows that this listing will have dire consequences, but
his attempts to erect barriers to them will have all the strength of tissue
paper. If anything, this listing shows the need for urgent reform of the Endangered
Species Act.”

Competitive Enterprise Institute
Senior Fellow Marlo
Lewis
submitted lengthy comments last fall on behalf of CEI to the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service detailing the reasons why the polar bear should not be
listed. His comments can be found here.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.