Earlier this year, despite Sarah Palin’s best efforts, the Bush Administration chose to cave into the environmental left and designate the polar bear as ‘threatened’ pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. Bush made the decision despite the fact that an independent committee of scientists told the Canadian government that the polar bears are not, in fact, threatened or endangered.
Bush tried to mollify pro-growth critics by claiming he could list the polar bears as threatened without then naming a critical habit as required by law. It is because of wishful thinking like this that President Bush has the worst legal losing percentage of any administration over the past three decades. Now the AP reports that “the federal government will designate critical habitat for polar bears off Alaska’s coast.” Why did Bush back down: “The agreement to designate critical habitat was filed Monday as part of a partial settlement of a lawsuit brought by Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Siegel’s group.” The Bush White House loses again.
And at what cost to the American consumer? When defending the current ban on developing our oil resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Nancy Pelosi loves to blather on about all the other oil resources in Alaska that are open to development. But they are not. Pelosi’s environmental left allies are blocking that development through the courts. Already the The Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and environmental groups have challenged all 487 leases in the Chukchi Sea before they were even issued.
And where is the likeliest designation of polar bear habitat designation to occur: “Bruce Woods, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage, said it’s not known what area in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast might be designated for polar bears, especially given that sea ice conditions are changing and areas now covered by ice might in the future be open water.”
So how much oil has Bush/Pelosi cost the American people: Interior Department officials estimate 15 billion barrels of oil and 77 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are in the disputed area.