Friday, May 8, 2009

One Day to Save the Polar Bear

Congress passed legislation on March 10 giving Secretary Salazar power until May 9 to rescind with the stroke of a pen both the special rule for the polar bear and a rule that exempted thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gas emissions, from review by expert scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries services. This latter rule was rescinded by the secretary last week, but he did not rescind the polar bear special rule or give any indication of whether he was inclined to do so.

Should Salazar fail to rescind the "special rule" for the polar bear, he will severely undermine protection for the species. The rule prohibits regulation of any activities threatening the polar bear that occur outside of the Arctic. The polar bear, however, is endangered precisely because of activities occurring outside the Arctic, namely emission of greenhouse gases and resulting warming that is leading to the rapid disappearance of summer sea ice.  

"The special rule is a death warrant for the polar bear," said Snape. "It makes no sense to determine, on one hand, that the polar bear is threatened, and then on the other hand to deny it that protection."

Cast your vote and sign the petition before it's too late:

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