The Obama administration has designated over 200,000 square miles in Alaska as critical habitat for the polar bear, which is a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The designation will ensure that future oil and gas drilling and other development takes into account polar bears.
This is certainly good news for lovers of wildlife. But the biggest threat to bears remains habitat loss due to climate change and melting sea ice, not oil and gas drilling.
To protect the polar bear, the Obama administration should redouble its efforts to move an aggressive climate change bill through Congress.