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For Immediate Release, April 16, 2008

Contact: Kassie Siegel, Climate, Air, and Energy Program Director, (760) 366-2232 x 302 or (951) 961-7972

President Attacks Nation’s Bedrock Environmental
Protections in Climate Speech;
Claims He Wants to Tackle Global Warming,
But Continues to Block Progress

Statement by Kassie Siegel, Climate Program Director, Center for Biological Diversity

“In his speech today on climate change, President Bush attacked our nation’s bedrock environmental protection statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act. These statutes all require federal agencies to examine global warming and then take steps to reduce emissions. It is only fair and right that all federal agencies do their part under existing law to reduce emissions, both today and after major federal climate legislation is signed into law. Contrary to the President’s claims, these statutes were all intended to provide broad protection to our land, air, and water from all threats, including greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The President has proposed nothing new, while continuing to block progress both domestically and internationally.”

“Actions speak louder than words, and this administration’s treatment of the polar bear shows its true colors. The administration has illegally delayed a final Endangered Species Act listing determination for the polar bear while it rammed through a massive oil and gas lease sale in key polar bear habitat off the north coast of Alaska, and proceeds to issue leases to oil companies. Had the polar bear been listed under the Endangered Species Act prior to the lease sale as the law required, that sale could not have gone forward and the leases could not have been issued absent substantial additional review of the impacts to polar bears. Moreover, once the polar bear is listed, federal agencies approving major sources of greenhouse gas emissions will examine ways to reduce those emissions to protect the polar bear.”

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