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. Moderate Democrat

    In other words, Sarah is happy she can jump in a helicopter and slaughter them for fun.

    May 8, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. liane

    "California" Sen. Barbara Boxer

    Maybe Sen. Boxer should focus on fixing the mess in her own state before telling people in other states how to live.

    May 8, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Dan, TX

    Darn that moderate Obama administration. Nothing for the conservatives to complain about on at least this decision, eh?

    May 8, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  4. Bobby

    Tell Boxer to worry about the land of the fruits and nuts better known as California. The oil that flow to her from Alaska needs to be shut off and then see how she thinks. The bears also live other places. And will continue.

    May 8, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Fall

    Sarah Palin is a complete idiot.

    May 8, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. StuckinmoderationMari

    Thank GOD! Its about time we have leaders that care about GOD's Creation!

    May 8, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Felines for Freedom

    Friggin riduculous. Boot him Obama.

    May 8, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Kevin in Ohio

    How about that..... Sarah Palin COMMENDING a member of Obama's administration. You would NEVER hear such a commendation from the liberals while Bush was in office. It is clear who the haters are, and who the haters aren't.

    May 8, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Obama Victim

    well.................not everyone in the Obummer administration are idiots after all............who would have thought??

    Go Sarah Go

    May 8, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA

    Protect (insert name or thing here) Act during the Bush administration ment excatly the opposite. Destroy.

    Why are Republicaqns so bloodthirsty, why? Did your daddy's not give you enough hugs as a child. Why all the hate of living things. It's fine if we kill (animals) to eat, that is the way of life, but why all the destruction, murder, and thirst for blood?

    If you hold a rifle (which I have for 7 years in the Marines), and you respect and love that rifle, that is OK. But if you hold that rifle, and you feel empowered, and a "master of destiny" (yours and creatures around you), you are really just insecure. Gollum...gollum...

    May 8, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Jon in CA

    Whatever the issue... if it angers Barbara Boxer... then I'M FOR IT! She is a nut.

    May 8, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Mississippi Mike

    Since the polar bear population is the highest it's been in recorded history, it makes no sense to protect them any further. Clearly the State of Alaska has done enough good on its own to make the case that the federal government needs to butt out.

    May 8, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Ravi

    Um, I don't get it. Is the issue about animal protection or is it about the State vs Federal tug of war??

    I'm staunchly pro-animal, but also believe that federal government shouldn't exceed its constitutional bounds (as it did numerous times under Bush) as per the 10th amendment in the Bill of Rights. This is known as "balance of power". Alaska has an interest in protecting animals, so there is no need for federal intrusion, I would think. On the one hand, this sounds like a victory for animal rights, but if it truly is, then why is Sarah so happy about it???

    May 8, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Dolores

    If it came from Bush and Palin thinks it's a good idea then Salazar must have screwed up big time.

    May 8, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Chris

    How sad!! The troubled environment is not enough to help kill off these beautiful creatures – now they are going to continue to allow limited protection. I hope Salazar changes his mind on this – once the bears are gone – they're gone.

    May 8, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. killing the bears for oil..

    palin is all talk about preserving the polar bear but at the same time she is taking away the environment crucial to its survival. this kind of underhanded, deceiving talk is what the past 8 years stood for.

    May 8, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Frank, Las Vegas

    Of course Palin's happy, now she can still hunt polar bears from her helicopter! I know she was really worried about the fed ruining her favorite sport (?).

    May 8, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Jim El Paso Tx.

    Of Course Palin likes this ruling...more things she can shoot from her helicopter:(

    May 8, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Tom Paine

    Once again, B.O. criticizes Bush's policies and then mysteriously does exactly the same thing. Interesting. Guess Bush was right all along.

    May 8, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. patNY

    If Palin likes it, then it must be a bad idea...shoud've changed the rule...I guess we can soon say good bye to the polar bear.

    May 8, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. pam Eugene OR

    I would not trust ANYTHING Bush did in his last month as President.
    I don't think that there is enough being done to insure that future generations will be able to see a live polar bear. Any decision made by a Democrat that Sarah Palin is happy with can not be good.

    May 8, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. JB

    Dear Ken Salazar:

    Please reconsider your decision regarding the Polar Bears. You know you totally screwed the pooch when Sarah Palin who is a complete dope agrees with you. Soon we'll see you out on a plane shooting wolves with her.

    May 8, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. yuri

    Kudos to Ken. We 've only one earth and let's cherish it with all our cheers and chantings about chokin' anythin' that chews it.

    May 8, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. richie

    I personally don't like Sarah Palin but I like her on the news everyday...

    Looks like press confrences are going along with President Obama's....

    May 8, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Ian

    This story is very poorly written. Why dont you mention what the actual Bush-era rule is? The rule is an exemption from the ESA and says that any activity that goes on outside of the Arctic Circle should not be included in the ESA regulations regarding polar bears. That means that you cannot go to the Arctic Circle and dump a bunch of oil in the water or something, but it does nothing to change the environmentally degrading habits that occur outside of the Arctic Circle that are affecting the polar bears. Does anyone really think that the problem only exists in the Arctic Circle? It is caused by greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world. So, great job Salazar! Alaska can keep poisioning it's air and melting the ice near the poles so that a population of a million can live in a place where people should probably not be living, except maybe a few well adjusted eskimos. A real "win for Alaska" (just not for the wild animals, plants, natural waterways, sealife, and overall ecology of the area, but hey it helps the 200,000 people that live in Anchorage, so that makes it fair, right?)

    May 8, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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