Green groups sue feds to protect polar bears from oil-drilling effects
Two green groups are suing the Interior Department over its refusal to limit the impacts of drilling on polar bears, which were listed as threatened last month. The Bush administration has tried its darnedest to ensure that listing the bears wouldn’t limit oil and gas exploration in their Alaskan habitat, but Pacific Environment and the Center for Biological Diversity maintain that the Interior Department by law must ensure that energy development in the area doesn’t further imperil the bears. “The only thing keeping pace with the drastic melting of the Arctic sea ice is the breakneck speed with which the Department of the Interior is rushing to sell off polar bear habitat for fossil fuel development,” said Brendan Cummings of CBD. The groups are worried that drilling and seismic exploration as well as oil or chemical spills in polar-bear habitat could greatly disturb the charismatic bears and lessen their chances of survival. Legions of activists in polar-bear costumes are no doubt holding their breath for justice.