Several conservation groups in Anchorage, Alaska, have taken legal action to protect polar bears from the harmful activities of oil and gas companies.
Earlier this month, the law firm Trustees for Alaska filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Department of the Interior on behalf of seven environmental groups, including Environment America. This lawsuit challenges a regulation these agencies issued, which would allow oil and gas companies to undertake drilling and exploration activities that would threaten polar bears and walruses in the Beaufort Sea and on the North Slope.
“Polar bears are already struggling simply to survive,” said Steve Blackledge, Environment America’s senior conservation program director. “When new oil drilling proposals further threaten these majestic animals, it’s critical that we hold federal agencies accountable to the laws intended to ensure their survival. Extinction, after all, can’t be rectified.”
Steve hopes that the courts will find that the regulation doesn’t offer sufficient protection for polar bears and that the government will introduce new legislation.
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