May 8th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Alaska officials applaud retention on polar bear ruling

Ken Salazar announced his decision Friday to retain a Bush-era regulation limiting the protection of polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.
Ken Salazar announced his decision Friday to retain a Bush-era regulation limiting the protection of polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Alaska officials Sarah Palin and Mark Begich are speaking out Friday about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to retain a Bush-era regulation limiting the protection of polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.

"This is a clear victory for Alaska," Gov. Palin said in a statement released Friday. "We all want to preserve and protect the polar bear using the best possible tools, but there is absolutely no need to change the 4(d) rule to accomplish this purpose. I want to thank Secretary Salazar for his careful review of the science and the administrative record that led to this decision."

Begich agreed with the Alaska governor, lauding the Interior Secretary's decision to keep the existing rule.

"I commend Secretary Salazar for protecting the polar bear while also recognizing it is not appropriate to use a federal law like the ESA to try to regulate greenhouse gas emissions," Begich said Friday. "I support Secretary Salazar's belief that we need a comprehensive energy and climate strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but the ESA should not be used as a back-door regulatory tool to achieve this goal."

But Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, slammed the department's decision to monitor the situation saying it's not enough to protect the polar bear.

The remarks follow Salazar's announcement that he will retain the special rule promulgated under the Bush administration in December, but left the door open to implement future measures that would protect the polar bear and its habitat.


Filed under: Barbara Boxer • Ken Salazar • Mark Begich • Sarah Palin
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. amaboss52

    What a disappointment Salazar is. I voted for him for Senator and now I really regret it. He should have been in the Bush Admin.

    May 8, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Kurt C.

    It's just too bad that the global temperature has actually been decreasing and all the signs pointed out by global warming chicken littles are now being discredited.

    May 8, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. JonDie

    This is a clear defeat not just for for polar bears but for environmental protection and for the public interest.

    May 8, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. FAYE, NV

    Why not protect all the animals?

    May 8, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. No More Incumbents

    I'm glad the palin family will still be able to eat...........

    May 8, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Monte

    When the polar bears are gone, Palins, Salazars, and all the rest of us will be right on their heels.

    May 8, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. RRR

    Salazar left open the possibility of more protection in the future, so Sarah can't grab a gun and hop on the helicopter yet.

    It is really incredulous to hear Sarah Palin use the word 'Science' as an argument, since she is AGAINST science telling us about evolution, global warming, and stem cell research!! So NOW she hops on the science bandwagon? Hypocritical.

    When Polar Bears go extinct, (since Palin would never support cloning them)....remember who it was that helped hastened their demise to make their political career look good for the NRA.

    May 8, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. T.J.

    How does that decision make any sense? Of course Palin applauds the decision, we're talking about the woman who encourages the "Drill, Baby, Drill" approach to energy reform. Secretary Salazar should be ashamed of himself for retaining such a counter-productive policy from the Bush administration. Barbara Boxer is absolutely correct. If we aren't proactive in protecting polar bears, pretty soon there won't be any left.

    May 8, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. slowgun

    Did SaraH Palin actually say the word "science"?
    Oh No, now Rush is going to say she isn't a real republican and he'll kick her out of the party!

    May 8, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. Laurel Gries

    With all due respect to President Obama's choices for Cabinet members, the appointment of Ken Salazar has been hugely disappointing. First, Mr. Salazar delisted the grey wolf in the northern Rockies to allow toxic poisoning and murder of these majestic creatures by hunters and ranchers. (Mr. Salazar's brother is a rancher with economic interests in eradicating the wolf population throughout public lands.) And now, this horrifying decision to inadequately protect the majestic polar bears in their own diminishing environment. Our congress people need to hear about our dissatisfaction with these unsound decisions based on greed.

    May 8, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. CF

    Alaskans and Republicans won't be happy until they have caused the extinction of every lifeform on the planet.

    May 8, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Melissa

    Palin is despicable as a human being.

    May 8, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. PROTECT THEM FROM PALIN

    You know Sarah like to shoot big animals.

    May 8, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Vegas Barbie the Paralegal for Obama

    Palin does not want any more rules protecting animals from being shot from helicopters...I guess she figures the bears can go the way of the wolves and she can profit from sport killing of these magnificent creatures. They are on the endangered species list, after all...why further limit their protection? She gets more laughable with every syllable she utters.

    May 8, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Ian

    Kurt C-
    where have you seen reports saying that the temperature of the earth is decreasing? I dont understand why some people believe global warming is a myth, what would environmentalists have to gain? It must be all those greedy NGOs and non-profit organizations trying to get rich, right? You, sir, are a moron. Im sorry there is just no nice way to put it, go read the facts and reports, it's pretty simple to look up climate records for the past 500 years and see the upward incline, not to mention the last 2000 years. Please think before you post! It is not rocket science to recognize what all the human activity of now nearly 7 billions people can do to the earth, just try to use common sense!

    May 8, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Wasilla Cowgirl

    This decision is wrong!! Shame shame on Salazar and Obama! I have been an Ibama supporter but this sends up huge red flags!! These animals are magnificent and should be protected!!

    May 8, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. J in NJ

    Exactly why do I give a crap about a friggin polar bear?

    May 8, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. Michael

    Salazar can be a chicken you know what sometimes.

    May 8, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Salazar is a butthead. Anything that that woman agrees with when it comes to endangered species, killing of animals from helicopters and/or global warming has to be the wrong decision.
    Liane, Boxer can say whatever she wants when it has to do with the state of Alaska because it's obvious that its inhabitants have to clue when it comes to choosing the right person to govern them.
    Alaska deserves everything they get thanks to that woman.

    May 8, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Texas Teacher

    I'm sure she is just foaming at the mouth over this victory.... it makes me sick!

    May 8, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. zgomer

    Boxer is always against what anyone else does, she wants to control EVERYTHING their is! She is juse a liberal lesvian with nothing better to do but make life miserable.

    May 8, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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