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Long-Delayed Trump USGS Study Finds That Climate Threatens Polar Bears

“U.S. Geological Survey Director James Reilly told staff that he wanted to be “satisfied” with the science underlying the report”

“After stalling for months, a top Trump official released a polar bear study by government scientists Friday that highlights the endangered animals’ vulnerability to climate change and the fact that proposed oil drilling in Alaska would probably encroach on their habitat, causing more stress.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that U.S. Geological Survey Director James Reilly had taken the highly unusual step of delaying the new analysis of the population of polar bears living on the coast of the southern Beaufort Sea, despite the fact that it had been reviewed by independent researchers and approved by top agency scientists.

In response to the Post report, Reilly sent an email to his staff the next day, saying his decision to delay was justified because he wanted to be “satisfied” with its underlying science before making it public.”

Juliet Eilperin reports for the Washington Post October 2, 2020.