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Hearings and Publications

Hearings and Publications

Rep. Edward J. Markey, Chairman - Stay Connected with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and RSS Feeds
The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

On Thin Ice: The Future of the Polar Bear



5.14.08 -- President Bush Tells Polar Bear to Sink or Swim

4.29.08 --Court Forces Bush Admin to Make Ruling on Polar Bear by May 15th!

3.11.08 -- Updated Markey Polar Bear Legislation

3.7.08 -- Markey "Wary" of Interior Department Endangered Species Process

2.14.08 -- Markey Grills Interior Secretary on Budget, Polar Bears

2.7.08 --Lease sale embroils government in potential legal trouble -LETTER from Dept of Interior.

2.5.08 -- Bush Administration turning back on polar bear -letting oil drilling lease move forward


Select Committee Examines Global Warming's Threat to Polar Bears; Bush Administration Response

Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming questioned members of the Bush Administration regarding the delay of a decision to list polar bears under the Endangered Species Act until after a controversial lease sale for oil drilling off of Alaska. The hearing also featured experts on wildlife protection and oil drilling.

Earlier this month (Jan 2008), the Interior Department announced it would miss the statutory deadline to reach a decision on listing the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), saying it would take up to a month more to reach the decision. That would put the listing decision one day after the sale of oil drilling rights in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, scheduled for February 6th. The Chukchi Sea is a sensitive polar bear habitat.

In the most thorough study to date, the Interior Department determined that under current trends, disappearing sea ice would result in a two-thirds drop in the world population of polar bears resulting in the disappearance of polar bears from Alaska by 2050.

WHAT: “On Thin Ice: The Future of the Polar Bear,” Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing

WHERE: 2175 Rayburn House Office Building and on the web at

WHEN: 9:30 AM, Thursday, January 17, 2008

Opening Statement:   Chairman Edward J. Markey (watch here)


Mr. Dale Hall, Director, Fish and Wildlife Service
Mr. Randall Luthi, Director, Minerals Management Service
Dr. Steven Amstrup, Polar Bear Team Leader, U.S. Geological Survey (No written testimony)


Ms. Jamie Rappaport Clark, Executive Vice President, Defenders of Wildlife
Ms. Deborah Williams, President, Alaska Conservation Solutions
Ms. Kassie Siegel, Director, Climate, Air and Energy Program, Center for Biological Diversity


Click here for full hearing transcript



In responce to the hearing, Chairman Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation that would compel the Bush administration to protect the polar bear before it allows widespread oil drilling in Alaska. To read the legislation and press release, please CLICK HERE.


Right click to enlarge. Graphic from Alaska Center for the Environment 

VIDEO from the Hearing:

Full video archive of hearing.


Chairman Markey question


Rep. Inslee question



PHOTOs from the Hearing
(right click on images to enlarge) 

Left to right: John Goll, Randall Luthi, Dale Hall, Steven Amstrup

Left to right:  Kassie Siegel, Deborah Williams, Jamie Rappaport

Chairman Markey addresses the hearing

A group of children were part of the crowd eager to learn about the Polar Bears 

A stuffed animal polar bear joins the press table. 

Return to Select Committee Hearing Testimony from the 110th Congress »

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