Alaska is opposing calls to save its polar bear population, fearing the state would have to protect dwindling sea ice and give up a multibillion-dollar gas project, the AP reports. Calls to save the bears have been "subverted by the lawyers for the extreme environmental organizations and the liberal Democratic leadership," Rep. Don Young said.
But one green group says there is considerable sign of polar bear decline. Alaska’s position is "mostly gibberish" and "motivated by economic concerns and political concerns," said Andrew Wetzler of Natural Resources Defense Council. At stake is the largest US private sector project ever: a proposed $26 billion pipeline that would drain 35 billion cubic feet of Alaska's natural gas.