Federal Judge Forces Action On President Bush’s Interior Department Regarding Polar Bears And Global Warming

The Bush Administration has dragged its heels so long with the matter over saving the polar bears that a federal judge has been forced to press the Interior Department to make a decision.

A federal judge has ordered the Interior Department to decide within 16 days whether polar bears should be listed as a threatened species because of global warming.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken agreed with conservation groups that the department missed a Jan. 9 deadline for a decision. She rejected a government request for a further delay and ordered it to act by May 15.

“Defendants have been in violation of the law requiring them to publish the listing determination for nearly 120 days,” the judge, based in Oakland, Calif., wrote in a decision issued late Monday. “Other than the general complexity of finalizing the rule, Defendants offer no specific facts that would justify the delay, much less further delay.”

Allowing more time would violate the Endangered Species Act and congressional intent that time was of the essence in listing threatened species, Wilken wrote.

The ruling is a victory for conservation groups that claim the Bush administration has delayed a polar bear decision to avoid addressing global warming and to avoid roadblocks to development such as the transfer of offshore petroleum leases in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast to oil company bidders.

I say in November that we put Bush and Company, and all their allies, on the endangered list in government.

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One thought on “Federal Judge Forces Action On President Bush’s Interior Department Regarding Polar Bears And Global Warming

  1. marion

    They don’t want the polar bear on endangered list as it might cut into the drilling for oil in Arctic refuge. If on endangered list, their home becomes a national refuge also.

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