Polar Bear Protection Delayed. Oil Drilling Okayed.Â Letter from Frances Beinecke
NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) January 24, 2008-Bad news: the Bush Administration has delayed its long-awaited decision about whether or not to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. The deadline for a decision was January 9th.
In the meantime, the administration has given the go-ahead for the sale of oil and gas leases in prime polar bear habitat — the Chukchi Sea off of Alaska — on February 6th.
Coincidence? We don’t think so.
We’re taking the Bush Administration back to court to win polar bear protection. And I’m asking you to make your own voice heard against new oil drilling in polar bear habitat.
Please click here to tell your Representative to support the Markey bill (H.R. 5058). It puts polar bears first — by reversing the go-ahead for the oil and gas lease sales until the Bush Administration makes its final decision about protecting polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.
It takes less than a minute to add your name to this urgent message — and it could save Alaska’s polar bears from the potential catastrophe of an oil spill in their critical habitat.
Why did the Bush Administration delay its decision to protect polar bears? Because once that protection is in place, the government will NOT be allowed to proceed with any new oil and gas development without first considering the impacts on the bear under the Endangered Species Act.
Simply put, the administration and Big Oil are trying to sneak through the Chukchi drilling before the bear is safeguarded.
The Bush Administration knows full well that there is absolutely no proven method of cleaning up an oil spill in the Arctic’s icy waters — and oil-covered polar bears have virtually no chance of survival.
Alaska’s polar bears are already in grave danger from global warming that is melting their sea ice habitat — and could be extinct in less than 50 years — unless our government takes swift action to save them.
But the administration is planning to do just the opposite: It’s rushing to sell the polar bear’s home right out from under its feet, potentially turning it into a toxic oil field — while delaying the bear’s protection under the Endangered Species Act!
Right now, NRDC and the Center for Biological Diversity are dragging the Bush Administration back to court to force it to make a final decision on polar bear protection.
In the meantime, we need your help to block the drilling of the polar bear’s habitat — which could start as early as February!
So please, add your online signature here to call on your Representative to add his or her signature to this critical bill.
Let’s tell the Bush Administration and Big Oil that the Alaska polar bear and its home are off limits to oil drilling and toxic oil spills. And let’s get on with ensuring the survival of polar bears by protecting them under the Endangered Species Act.
Natural Resources Defense Council
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