Tuesday, June 10, 2008

 

Enviromentalists Target Energy Industry

And the US economy

Just as Hugh Hewitt predicted after the Bush administration listed the polar bear as a threatened species, environmental groups are threatening lawsuits to stop offshore oil and gas development in the Arctic.
The groups are specifically challenging the Interior Department’s decision to allow development in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. They want the department to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on whether the lease sales will have any impact on the region’s polar bears as required by the Endangered Species Act, Cummings said.

The law requires federal agencies to ensure that any action they carry out does not “jeopardize” a listed species, including re-examining federally authorized offshore oil industry actions affecting polar bears, Cummings said.

“The act of getting oil itself is fairly greenhouse-gas intensive,” he said. “But we believe that the law requires analysis of the indirect impacts of extracting oil and gas as well.”
Michelle Malkin also saw this coming, and the polar bear litigation isn't the only litigation the environmentalists are initiating:
The floodgates of enviro-litigation are wide open. Blame the Bush administration for capitulating to global warming alarmists. After successfully mau-mauing the government into listing the polar bear as threatened based on dubious data, green lawyers are now filing suit to get the Pacific walrus listed as threatened, too.

And it won’t be the last.

The Center for Biological Diversity gave notice this week that it will sue to force federal action on its petition to list the walrus as threatened because of “threats from global warming and offshore petroleum development.”
Via Tigerhawk, who comments on the polar bear listing:
While the regulation specifically barred Endangered Species Act lawsuits against greenhouse gas emitters (on the theory that they were threatening the bear), it has created a new barrier to oil and gas development in the far north. Now, in addition to all the other delays caused for all the other reasons, oil and gas producers must inflate their cost of capital by deferring returns for the time it takes to win a litigation against environmental groups that bear no such costs.

Never mind that there has been a five-fold increase in the polar bear population since 1960, a period of massive oil and gas development in the American and Canadian arctic. The plaintiffs in this case are not actually concerned that new oil wells will hurt polar bears. Their purpose is to raise the cost of oil by frustrating its discovery and production.
Tigerhawk hopes the media find out where Obama stands on these lawsuits. We need to hear from John McCain, too. Both also should answer whether or not they think these groups should have to compensate the targets of their lawsuits for the resulting costs.

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