Judge orders US Gvmt. to rule whether Polar Bears endangered by May 15th!
by mattjfogarty, Tue Apr 29, 2008 at 02:20:32 PM EDT
There was a great ruling for environmentalists today. A federal judge ruled that the US government can not stall any longer on ruling whether polar bears are an endangered species.
The full story from the BBC is here
This is a great step towards starting to undue some of the damage the Bush administartion has done to the environment, and it could very well be a critical step for many future battles surrounding ANWR, global warming and other important issues.
Here is some of the text of the BBC story about the ruling:
A judge has told the US government to decide within weeks whether to list polar bears as an endangered species.
The decision was hailed by conservation groups which have been hounding the government on the issue for years.
The federal judge rejected the Bush administration's pleas for a further delay, and ordered it to make and implement its decision by 15 May.
This is a resounding denouncement of the Bush administrations policy of dragging their feet on endangered species designations, which is the kind of stall tactic that they are famous for.
The judge basically preemptively shot down every remaining tactic the Bush administration might use to avoid making their final ruling
The conservation groups argue that with polar bear numbers declining, there is an urgent need to protect its remaining habitat.
But the government had stalled on making a decision since the original petition went forward in 2005.
At the court, Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the slow progress put the government in breach of its obligations.
"Defendants have been in violation of the law requiring them to publish the listing determination for nearly 120 days," she concluded.
Judge Wilken also denied the government's request for a further delay, and ordered it to forgo the traditional 30-day waiting period between making a decision and implementing it.
This is great stuff folks. I can't wait until we have Obama running a government that does not require a federal judge to force them to do the right thing for the environment.