U.S. stifles officials from responding to global warming questions

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The memos, passed to the New York Times by an environmental campaigner in Alaska and a former Interior Department official in the Clinton administration, say travel delegations will have an “official spokesman” responding to questions, especially about polar bears.

The Bush administration in December proposed listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due to the summertime retreat of sea ice bears use for seal hunting. Environmentalists want the U.S. to restrict greenhouse gases linked to global warming as a way of reducing risks to the 22,000 polar bears.

The Fish and Wildlife Service this week held the first of several hearings in Alaska and Washington on the question.

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