Posted on April 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Polar bears won’t get much help from a new protection plan proposed by the Obama administration. PHOTO COURTESY USFWS/SCOTT SCHLIEBE.
Conservation groups say administration abdicating responsibility for dealing head-on with global warming, the main threat to the endangered Arctic predators
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A proposed rule aimed at protecting endangered polar bears doesn’t even mention how the federal government will address global warming, which is seen as the primary threat to the Arctic predators.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will publish the proposed rule and a draft environmental study in the Federal Register on April 19, starting a 60-day public comment period. The proposed new rule would replace a 2008 version issued under the Bush administration that was voided by a federal court in 2011.
Conservation groups immediately blasted the proposed new rule as a gift to oil companies, because it basically results in business as usual. The only change is the addition of an underlying environmental study.
“As such, the Service’s management and conservation efforts for the polar bear will not change if this proposed special rule is finalized,” the agency wrote in a press release announcing the proposed rule. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: endangered species act, global warming, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Polar bear conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | 10 Comments »
Posted on December 27, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
A bearded seal pup on the Arctic ice. PHOTO COURTESY NOAA.
Obama administration under political pressure to permit new drilling in fragile Arctic Ocean ecosystem; public comment taken through Feb. 13
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal officials say plans to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska will cause only “minor to moderate” impacts to rare bowhead and beluga whales — despite the potential for another spill on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and no good way to clean it up.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a draft environmental impact statement on the drilling plan just before Christmas, outlining the potential impacts, as well as mitigation measures that could be implemented to minimize effects on the marine environment. The draft EIS is open for public comment through Feb. 13. All the documents for the project are online here. (more…)
Filed under: endangered species, energy, Environment, federal government, Marine biology, oil drilling, Summit County news | Tagged: Arctic oil drilling, Beluga whales, bowhead whales, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Chukchi Sea, Deepwater horizon oil spill, Environment, Marine Mammal Protection Act, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | 1 Comment »