A federal judge has thrown out a key section of a 2008 Interior Department rule that declared global warming is threatening the survival of the polar bear.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the Bush administration did not complete a required environmental review when it said the bear’s designation as threatened could not be used to control greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
The Obama administration agreed a year later, saying that activities outside of the bear’s habitat such as emissions from a power plant could not be controlled using the Endangered Species Act.
Sullivan’s decision directs the Obama administration to set out a timetable for completing the required environmental review. Environmental organizations don’t want greenhouse gases left out of the consideration of protections for the bears. Sullivan left the interim 2008 designation intact while the case continues.