US Ordered to Act on Polar Bear

World BBC reports that a judge has told the US government to decide within weeks whether to list polar bears as an endangered species. The decision was hailed by conservation groups which have been hounding the government on the issue for years.

The federal judge rejected the Bush administration's pleas for a further delay, and ordered it to make and implement its decision by 15 May. A listing could restrict oil and gas exploration in the US Arctic, and lead to curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.

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