Gov. Sarah Palin announced that Alaska has plans to sue over the increased protection of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet. This all on the heels of trying to keep polar bears off the endangered species list just five months prior.
The current population of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet is a mere 375, down from what used to be thousands. It was listed last year after scientists determined the whale would face extinction in less than 100 years. Only five groups of beluga whales live in U.S. waters off Alaska.
Under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, all federally funded or permitted activities in the Cook Inlet are now subject to review. Though Denby Lloyd, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, says the population is stable and beginning to recover.
Um, can we get someone NOT from Alaska to decide this?
The Cook Inlet which hosts the city of Anchorage is also a mature oil-producing basin – shocking! Which is why Palin opposes the listing. It will greatly impact oil and gas developments from expanding into the Anchorage port.
“This listing decision didn’t take those efforts into account as required by law,” Palin said.
But this isn’t the first time Palin has put Big Oil before the environment, and it won’t be the last. “Gov. Palin seems more than willing to sacrifice endangered whales on the altar of oil companies,” said Brendan Cummings, director of The Center for Biological Diversity.
Next, she’ll want to start aerial hunting of the beluga. Tell Sarah Palin how you feel about saving the beluga whale by signing our petition!
Photo: © Daverig | Dreamstime.com