Category Archives: Polar bear

Shell shelves plan to drill Alaskan Arctic in 2014

Good news today as Shell Oil announced they would not be attempting to drill for oil in the icy Alaskan Arctic this summer. We’ve written previously about the threats to polar bears and other wildlife that would be caused by Arctic drilling, and the company has done a sadly remarkable job of demonstrating that they are not up to the task. Two of their drilling ships, the Noble Discoverer and the Kulluk, were involved in accidents while in transit to… Continue reading

Senator Cardin Speaks Out for Protecting Species

This morning, Senator Cardin (D-MD), chair of the Senate Water and Wildlife subcommittee, spoke about the importance of protecting endangered species and overturning the last-minute Bush Administration rule changes. See his speech in this video: The Senate is expected to vote late this afternoon on the amendment by Senator Murkowski (R-AK). The amendment would weaken a provision in the FY09 omnibus spending bill that would otherwise make it easier for the Obama administration to help restore needed protections by overturning… Continue reading

Senator Boxer Rocks the Senate Floor in Support of Endangered Species Protections

We are working with Congress and our members to defeat an amendment that will block the Obama Administration’s ability to restore some key endangered species protections. Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) gave a passionate speech on the floor of the Senate in opposition to the amendment. As part of her testimony, she reads a letter from the Endangered Species Coalition and over 100 of our member organizations. She gave such a compelling argument in support of strong endangered species protection,… Continue reading

How the Omnibus helps endangered species

The U.S. House of Representatives is expected today to debate an omnibus bill that sets the federal government’s budget for the rest of the fiscal year. The bill has some good news for endangered species. First, it includes budget increases for many endangered species programs, which have been ailing for years. For the main Fish and Wildlife Service programs, which include listing and critical habitat designation; consultations; candidate protections; and recovery efforts, there is an increase of almost $7.5 million… Continue reading

Senate protects endangered species provision

Yesterday evening, the Senate voted 52-42 to reject the amendment by Senator Murkowski (R-AK) that would have weakend an endangered species provision in the omnibus spending bill now being debated. As mentioned previously, the provision is designed to help repeal two Bush Administration regulations limiting protections under the Endangered Species Act. More detail is available in our recent press release. The omnibus bill is currently scheduled to be voted on early next week. We thank Senators Boxer, Cardin and Feinstein… Continue reading

Congress Restores Endangered Species Protections

Yesterday, Congress passed a bill that will allow President Obama to quickly and easily overturn the Bush Administration rules that weakened the Endangered Species Act. They rejected the efforts of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to strip the provision from the bill. Last week, President Obama announced that he will reconsider the Bush Administration’s regulations that weakened the Endangered Species Act. Now, he will have an opportunity to overturn the harmful regulations quickly and easily. This… Continue reading

Obama Administration close to decision on ESA regs

According to the New York Times and Greenwire, the Obama Administration is preparing their decision on whether to overturn the Bush Endangered Species Act regulations. Greenwire writes, “the Interior Department is proceeding with a final rule revamping changes that the Bush administration made to Endangered Species Act regulations in its final months.” To see the article, visit The Department of Interior has sent a revised rule to the Office of Management and Budget. The rule could be released as… Continue reading

Interior Secretary Salazar hears from Congress, scientists and conservationists

Yesterday, I went to the last Department of Interior hearing in San Francisco on off-shore oil drilling. It was so inspiring to see hundreds of people supporting strong environmental protections and opposing drilling off our coasts! Several speakers asked Secretary Salazar to overturn the Bush Administration’s regulations that weakened the Endangered Species Act. Representative Lynn Woolsey said it best when she asked “Mr. Secretary, isn’t it time to rollback the Bush Administration’s revisions of the Endangered Species Act policy?” For… Continue reading

Polar Bears Need an Opportunity – and a Place – to Survive.

Like so many of the bad decisions coming out of the Bush Administration, Polar Bear protection is no exception. The Administration came kicking and screaming to the decision to finally list the Polar Bear as a threatened species deserving protections under the Endangered Species Act. However, the listing came with strings attached. The exemptions the administration made with the listing virtually guarantee the habitat the Polar Bears need to survive will be compromised and so too the Polar Bears recovery.… Continue reading

Burning Down the House to Roast the Pig

By Julie Fox Gorte,Board Member of the Endangered Species Coalition Daniel Yergin, in the prologue to his book The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, notes that “no other business so starkly and extremely defines the meaning of risk and reward—and the profound impact of chance and fate.” Yes indeed—and how much more stark does it get than when we think of the tradeoff between condemning yet more species to the annals of permanent loss in order… Continue reading