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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Judge Tosses Argument in Polar Bear Lawsuit
5 November 2010 3:59 pm
Environmentalists have moved one step closer to getting polar bears listed as endangered under U.S. law. A federal judge for the District of Columbia yesterday rejected a legal argument used by the Bush Administration in 2008 to argue that the polar bears are threatened but not endangered.
The Administration had argued that because the bear was not threatened with imminent extinction, it could only be listed as "threatened." (This status allowed the Administration to create a special rule exempting greenhouse gas emissions—which are, through global warming, melting the artic sea ice used by the polar bears for hunting—from regulation under the Endangered Species Act.)
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan found that argument doesn't hold water.
The law does not require imminent extinction for a species to be endangered, he concluded, and instructed the Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider its reasons for listing the bear as threatened. The Administration must respond by 23 December.
"The ruling opens the door for them to do the right thing," says Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, a plaintiff in the case. She hopes the department will decide to redo the listing and declare the polar bear endangered.