Alaska and Energy: Associations Sue Interior over ESA

From the AP, “Industry groups file lawsuit over polar bear rule“:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five industry groups have sued the Interior Department over a rule to protect the polar bear that they say unfairly singles out business operations in Alaska for their contribution to global warming.

Groups representing the oil and gas, mining, and manufacturing industries asked a federal judge Wednesday to ensure that laws designed to protect the bear, which was recently designated a threatened species, are not used to block projects that release heat-trapping gases in the state.

The American Petroleum Institute was joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Iron and Steel Institute in the lawsuit, which explicitly challenges three words — except in Alaska — that appear in a 62-page rule issued in May.

A copy of the suit, American Petroleum Institute v. Kempthorne, is available here.

API’s statement is here, and it’s a very useful pre-corrective:

The oil and natural gas industry is committed to the conservation of the polar bear and other marine mammals. Companies active in Arctic region energy exploration implement polar bear mitigation and avoidance programs, and they provide funding and logistical support for important polar bear studies carried out in the United States and in Canada. API filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday because it believes the U.S. Interior Department’s determination that the Endangered Species Act is “not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy‟ makes sense, and that the interim final rule issued by the Department needs to be expanded to include Alaska as the Act is implemented. API member companies are not challenging the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species. 


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