The statement from Kempthorne really bears that out. (My bolds throughout,my comments in italics)
I have also accepted these professionals’ best scientific and legal judgments that the loss of sea ice, not oil and gas development or subsistence activities, are the reason the polar bear is threatened.
Polar bears are already protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act ... The oil and gas industry has been operating in the Arctic for decades in compliance with these stricter protections. The Fish and Wildlife Service says that no polar bears have been killed due to encounters associated with oil and gas operations. Which is a totally irrelevent fact.
The most significant part of today’s decision is what President Bush observed about climate change policy last month. ... “The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act were never meant to regulate global climate change.” And that is all that matters, to provide an excuse for not taking action.
The President is right. Listing the polar bear as threatened can reduce avoidable losses of polar bears. But it should not open the door to use the ESA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, power plants, and other sources. That would be a wholly inappropriate use of the Endangered Species Act. ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate policy.
The [ESA] neither allows nor requires ... Fish and Wildlife ... to make such interventions. The Service must articulate a causal connection between the effects of any action and loss of a polar bear. As the U.S. Geological Survey has advised me, the best scientific data available (That they care to look at) do not demonstrate significant impacts on individual polar bears from specific power plants, resource projects, government permits, or other indirect effects of activities in the lower 48 states that are potentially reviewable under the “consultation” requirements of the ESA.
And there you have it, why it matters who manages the Federal Government. Because these people are managing it for interests other than our own.
Logic, science tells us one thing, that the loss of sea ice is the reason the polar bear is threatened. And the cause of that loss of sea ice is global warming. And global warming is caused by the unchecked and massive burning of oil and gas, period. So projects that produce oil and gas for eventual burning, are in fact, causes of global warming.
Their argument that the ESA has to show causal effects from specific sources rests on the same thin ice as the polar bears. If the Spotted Owl can have its habitat preserved from deforestation, er, logging, by the ESA, then so too can the Arctic be preserved from further oil patch activities. Remember, people, if it comes from the mouth of a Bush Adminitration official, the odds are it's a corporate serving lie.
Watching the execrable Mr. Laverty lie and refuse to provide even the simplest of answers to straightforward questions is just yet another reason why leaving Bush in power unchallenged by the threat of impeachment was as big a political blunder as unilaterally disbanding the Iraqi Army after our illegal invasion was a military one.