Author: Reed Hopper
On October 21, the day after the first hearing on the listing challenge to the polar bear, the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Heritage Foundation co-sponsored a panel discussion on the polar bear, the Endangered Species Act, and the implications for our country.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, at the urging of environmentalist groups, has added polar bears to the list of “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) despite record high populations of 25,000. What is the logic? CO2 induced global warming will lead to losses in Arctic sea ice, denying polar bears their habitat. Linking the ESA and greenhouse gases has significant ramifications for the lives of the American people. Such a link puts any entity emitting CO2 that could arguably contribute to global warming squarely in the sites of environmental lawyers. Is such an approach in the best interest of the United States? Does it do anything to protect the polar bears?