Weekend deadline looms on polar bear rule
WASHINGTON - A decision involving the iconic polar bear could determine whether protecting endangered species might also help save the earth from global warming.
The Obama administration is approaching a weekend deadline to decide whether it should allow government agencies to cite the federal Endangered Species Act, which protects the bear, for imposing limits on greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and automobiles even if the pollution occurs thousands of miles from where the polar bear lives.
The species law that affords protection for plants, animals and fish that face possible extinction became entangled with the need to reduce pollution linked to global warming more than a year ago. The Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species, citing the decline of Arctic sea ice due to global warming.