Just 13 years after gray wolves were re-introduced into the lower 48 states, they're going off the Endangered Species List. At the same time, polar bears may go on the list—because of dangers that lie in the future. We hear about the science and politics behind the Endangered Species List. Also, fuel prices rise and housing prices fall, and Obama and Clinton together again -- this time in Ohio. In tonight's debate, will Clinton go negative?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Inflation is rising, home foreclosures are up and the Conference Board, which measures consumer confidence, says its index is the lowest in five years: 75 as opposed to the 83 that had been expected. Kelly Evans covers the economy for the Wall Street Journal.
Kelly Evans, Reporter, Wall Street Journal
The Endangered Species Act passed in 1973, based partly on a powerful symbol: the dwindling number of Bald Eagles. After the act passed, protecting the national bird led to restrictions on pesticides and a ban on the insecticide DDT. Keeping Bald Eagles alive helped promote a much broader environmental movement. Gray wolves went on the list in 1974, but except in Alaska, there weren't any left to protect. In 1995, 66 of the animals were "re-introduced" into national parks in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Now there are about 1500, ranging over some 113,000 square miles, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is removing them from the List of Endangered Species, though not without controversy and possible legal action. Polar bears may go on the list but not because their numbers are dwindling—as yet. They're threatened by global warming. Are there really enough wolves? Can they survive legal hunting in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming? Is the polar bear being used as a powerful symbol in the broader debate about climate change?
Steve Nadeau, Large Carnivore Manager, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Louisa Willcox, Senior Wildlife Advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council
Rosa Meehan, Alaska Chief of Marine-Mammal Protection, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Kieran Suckling, Policy Director, Center for Biological Diversity
Joel Southern, Washington Bureau Chief, Alaskan Public Radio Network
Barack Obama is pulling ahead of Hillary Clinton in some national polls, but she still leads in Ohio, scene of tonight's debate. One Clinton aide says she's throwing the "kitchen sink" in an effort to reach undecided voters. Clinton has been on the attack since Saturday: focusing on healthcare, NAFTA, foreign policy and Obama's message of hope. Jennifer Skalka is editor of the Hotline On Call, part of National Journal's political coverage.
Jennifer Skalka, Editor, Hotline On Call