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Oct 18, 2011 6:14 AM by Kate Richards

Judge blocks Polar Bear rule

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge has thrown out a key section of an Interior Department rule that declared global warming is threatening the survival of the polar bear.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the Bush administration did not complete a required environmental review when it said the bear's designation as threatened in 2008 could not be used as a backdoor way to control greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The Obama administration agreed a year later, saying that activities outside of the bear's habitat such as emissions from a power plant could not be controlled using the Endangered Species Act.

Sullivan's decision directs the Obama administration to set out a timetable for completing the required environmental review. Sullivan left the interim 2008 designation intact while the case continues.

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