Polar-bear decision may follow Chukchi lease sale, feds say

01/31/2008 | Boston Herald

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it may not decide whether to list Alaska's polar bears as a threatened species before Wednesday, the date of a lease sale for Chukchi Sea drilling rights. Democratic senators have accused the Department of the Interior of stalling the decision to make it easier on oil companies. MMS Director Randall Luthi said the lease sale will proceed in any event and that there is "strong interest" from major oil companies.

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