Palin Fought Polar Bear Protections for Oil Companies

Last Friday I posted about John McCain's running mate, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, and her record on the environment. I knew at the time that she opposed protecting polar bears and I eventually learned she believes global warming is a myth. Now we're getting a clearer picture of just how far she is willing to go to protect oil companies and stop protections for threatened species. 

ABC News is reporting that Gov. Palin sued the Bush Administration this year to stop the listing of polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. She believed the government was too accepting of climate change science and its impact on the bears. She also feared that increasing protection for polar bears would negatively affect the oil and gas industries in Alaska.

The exact language from the Palin Administration lawsuit against the federal government stated..."Listing the polar bear as a threatened species [under the Endangered Species Act] will have a significant adverse impact on Alaska because. . . [it] will deter activities such as commercial fisheries, oil and gas exploration and development, transportation, and tourism"

The decision by the government to protect polar bears was largely based on the findings of the U.S. Geological Survey. In the Alaska lawsuit, these studies were questioned, despite the fact that Alaska's own state scientists stated that the Geological Survey's research was reliable. 

The science provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, an independent government agency, may not have been sufficient enough for Gov. Palin, but research paid for by Exxon-Mobile was. According to the ABC News article, Palin supported the conclusions of research funded by the American Petroleum Industry and Exxon, which of course did not advocate protecting polar bears from the effects of global warming. 

To read the full ABC News piece, click HERE. 

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