Last week headlines praised the Bush Administration finally listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But right in the headline of the press release announcing the big environmental gesture, the Department of the Interior made it clear the “Rule will allow continuation of vital energy production in Alaska.” So, while the polar bear is supposed to be protected, there is no intention of keeping Big Oil from drilling and building pipelines where they live.

“Allowing destructive energy development in polar bear habitat is akin to diagnosing someone with lung cancer and then handing them a lit cigarette,” said Sierra Club president Carl Pope. “There is no environmentally-sound way to drill in polar bear habitat. Drilling would inundate polar bear habitat with pipelines, well pads, boat traffic, ice-breaking vessels, and seismic blasting, not to mention the ever-present threat of oil spills.”

More information: sierraclub.org.