Senator John Kerry made the following statement today, as the Federal Government began accepting bids for petroleum lease sale 193, which covers 30 million acres of the Chukchi Sea in Alaska. Kerry has introduced legislation and repeatedly recommended that the lease sale be delayed until the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announces its final decision regarding the listing of the polar bear as a threatened species.
"The Administration has decided to spend their last eleven months selling off this threatened habitat to the highest bidder. These lease sales are a mistake, and we can't wait for the next Administration to end them because when it comes to vanishing species, time isn't on our side. We are going to fight this sale using every available tool, including legislation."