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Hastings Applauds the Administration on Common Sense Decision to Retain Special Polar Bear Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 8, 2009 - House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings released the following statement today regarding Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s decision to maintain the final 4(d) special rule for polar bears.  This ensures that the listing of the polar bear as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is not used to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from activities, like the construction of new factories, roads or schools, that are outside the range of the polar bear:

“On the same day the Administration announced the highest unemployment rate since 1983, I applaud Secretary Salazar for making a common sense decision that will ensure more jobs are not lost due to excessive regulations of greenhouse gases by the government.  This decision will help protect crucial projects needed to stimulate our economy from becoming the target of frivolous lawsuits by environmental groups designed to stop economic development in our country.

“We all want to preserve and protect the polar bear, and I am pleased the Administration has recognized that we can do that without shutting down the economies of cities and states that are thousands of miles away from the Arctic.

“While today’s announcement is good news, I continue to have serious concerns about potential environmental actions by the Administration that would eliminate American jobs and hurt communities across our country.  With over 13.7 million Americans out of work, we cannot afford measures like the President’s national energy tax that would further weaken our economy in the middle of a recession.”

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Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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