The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin IV: Endangered Species

On the question of extending the Endangered Species Act to polar bears, Sarah Palin hews to the Stephen Colbert position. And in her defense, she cited a study by her own state government in an op-ed for the New York Times earlier this year. In that article, she wrote:

I strongly believe that adding [polar bears] to the list is the wrong move at this time. My decision is based on a comprehensive review by state wildlife officials of scientific information from a broad range of climate, ice and polar bear experts. In fact, there is insufficient evidence that polar bears are in danger of becoming extinct within the foreseeable future — the trigger for protection under the Endangered Species Act. And there is no evidence that polar bears are being mismanaged through existing international agreements and the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Yep: you guessed it. We found out subsequently in the New York Times that the state’s wildlife officials discovered no such thing:

Rick Steiner, a University of Alaska professor, sought the e-mail messages of state scientists who had examined the effect of global warming on polar bears … An administration official told Mr. Steiner that his request would cost $468,784 to process.

When Mr. Steiner finally obtained the e-mail messages — through a federal records request — he discovered that state scientists had in fact agreed that the bears were in danger, records show.

For the record.