The outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday proposed allowing oil and gas companies searching for resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to disrupt the polar bears that live there.
“The Trump administration appears determined to prevent polar bears from becoming extinct before they leave office,” Kristen Monsell, legal director of the Center for Biodiversity’s oceans program, told Reuters:
The so-called “Accidental Harassment Permit” proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service would pave the way for seismic surveys in the coastal plain of Refuge, an integral part of President Donald Trump’s short-term push for more oil development in the region.
The Fish and Wildlife Service said no polar bears should be injured or killed in seismic operations, some of which are due to take place over the next month, and expects disruption to few bears.
However, several veteran Arctic scientists and environmentalists in Alaska have warned against seismic operations – which may involve blasting to produce sound images of underground formations. They argue that the tests will upset wildlife and that the heavy machinery and activities associated with the work will damage the tundra and speed up the thawing of the permafrost.
Read more on Reuters: Trump Administrator Tries To Allow Polar Bear Disruption For Oil In Alaska [Photo: USFWS]