Today President Obama nominated Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of State. Senator Kerry has a long and a distinguished record of protecting our environment, no place more consistently or forcefully then when it comes to safeguarding polar bears.
Senator Kerry was an early and a vocal supporter of the decision to list polar bears under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Before then, he fought a long battle to close a loophole in the Marine Mammal Protection Act that allowed polar bears taken in trophy hunts to be imported into the United States.
Senator Kerry’s support of polar bear conservation is important because the United States, with the backing of Russia, has proposed an international ban on the commercial sale of polar bear parts. The U.S. proposal will be voted on in March and right now both the proposal’s proponents and its opponents are busy making their cases to Europe, whose 27-vote block may well be decisive.
With Secretary Kerry at the helm of the State Department, the outlook for polar bears just got a little brighter.