The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,

Obama Retains Bush-Era Regulation Gutting Protections for Polar Bear

Secretary Salazar to Maintain Special Exemptions to Polluters


"Secretary Salazar's failure to rescind this
only serves to cement the Bush administration's legacy of ignoring
global warming science, thus putting the polar bear at further risk of
extinction," said Melanie Duchin, Greenpeace's global warming
campaigner in Alaska. "Regrettably, it seems to reflect an emerging
willingness by
the Obama administration to ignore clear scientific imperatives on
global warming in the face of industry pressure."

Statement by Melanie Duchin, Greenpeace USA, on the Department of
Interior's Retention of Bush Administration Regulation Weakening the
Endangered Species Act

Background: On March 11, 2009, President Obama signed legislation giving
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar the authority to immediately
rescind, with the stroke of a pen, two Bush regulations that
fundamentally undermine protections for the polar bear and thwart the
regulation of greenhouse gas pollution. On April 28, Secretary Salazar
rescinded one rule reinstating the consultation process between agencies
allowing science a role in decision-making on potential impacts to
endangered species.

Today, Secretary Salazar announced that the second regulation would
remain in place. This regulation known as the "polar bear special rule"
exempts global warming from the list of threats that the federal
government must consider in its efforts to protect the polar bear under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

To date, Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has
delivered nearly 150,000 petitions calling on Salazar to eliminate the
polar bear special rule.

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

+31 20 718 2000