August 31, 2008
Petroleum, Other Groups Join Palin Suit on Polar Bears
By KARI LYDERSEN
By Kari Lydersen
The American Petroleum Institute and four other business groups filed suit Thursday against Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall, joining Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's administration in trying to reverse the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species.
On Aug. 4, the state of Alaska filed suit opposing the polar bear's listing, arguing that its population as a whole is stable and that melting sea ice does not pose an imminent threat to its survival. The suit says polar bears have survived warming periods in the past. The federal government has 60 days from the filing date to respond.
One of the plaintiffs in last week's lawsuit, the National Association of Manufacturers, lauded the choice of Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee for reasons including her advocacy of Alaskan oil and gas exploration, which many fear could be affected by the bear's protected status.
The manufacturers group and the Petroleum Institute were joined in the suit by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association and the American Iron and Steel Institute.
They object to what they call the "Alaska Gap" in relation to the special rule the federal government issued in May in conjunction with the polar bear's protected status. The rule, meant to prevent the polar bear's status from being used as a tool for imposing greenhouse gas limits, exempts projects in all states except Alaska from undergoing review in relation to emissions.
The rule in contention, meant to prevent the polar bear's status from being used as a tool for imposing greenhouse gas limits, exempts projects in all states except Alaska from undergoing review in relation to emissions.
Originally published by BY KARI LYDERSEN.
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