If the U.S. Interior Department decides that polar bears are endangered, litigation will be immediate from a group arguing that bear protection will “result in higher energy prices across the board, which will disproportionately be borne by minorities.” So says Roy Innis, chair of the Congress for Racial Equality — a recipient of Exxon funding that has recently aligned itself with activists opposing the environmental movement. Industry groups will rely heavily on the CRE lawsuit to “give us a very high-visibility national media platform on day one,” says Jim Sims of the Western Business Roundtable, who says the CRE can help fight and “quite possibly reverse” a protective ruling. Fox News’ Sean Hannity has guaranteed prominent airtime to Innis, and a 15-city bus tour will promote the lawsuit. Says Sims, “We should be able to very quickly take over this issue from the radical enviro groups and place it squarely where it belongs: on the negative impacts this decision will have on the poor.”

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