Obama Administration Defends Bush Polar Bear Position

Politico reports that the Obama Administration is defending the Bush Administration’s decision to list the polar bear as a “threatened” species, rather than “endangered” species, under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  As I discussed in this series of posts, environmentalist groups petitioned to have the polar bear listed as an endangered species due to the warming of its arctic habitat.  Such a listing could open the door to using the ESA as yet another regulatory weapon against activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.   Although the Obama Administration has moved aggressively to utilize the Clean Air Act to impose regulations controlling greenhouse gas emissions, it does not appear as eager to deploy the ESA as well.