Obama Administration Designates New Polar Bear Habitat

Washington, D.C., November 23, 2010–Today, the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service finalized new habitat protections for polar bears. Officials say that climate change is endangering polar bears and that the new “critical habitat”—a 187,000-square-mile allotment in Alaska—is necessary to keep the bears from becoming extinct.

CEI Senior Fellow in Environmental Policy Ben Lieberman made the following statement:

Federal actions announced the day before Thanksgiving are rarely good news, and the polar bear decision is no exception. While the benefit to the bears is highly dubious, the threat to energy production in a state with vast untapped potential is very real. As it is, the Obama administration has brought oil exploration and drilling activities in Alaska to a near halt, and today’s announcement would further complicate any efforts to move forward on producing energy there.

For further comments, contact Nicole Ciandella at [email protected] or 202.331.1010