BP Guard Shoots, Kills Polar Bear

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/2132684141/sizes/m/in/photostream/">longhorndave</a>/Flickr

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Oil companies have gotten a bad rap for hating on polar bears, both for warming up their environment and for opposing efforts to protect the bears under the Endangered Species Act. But the oil giant BP one-upped everyone on that front this week, as it came to light that a security guard at the company’s oil field in Alaska’s North Slope shot and killed a polar bear earlier this month.

Via Alaska Dispatch:

The death appears to have been accidental, according to BP Alaska spokesman Steve Rinehart, who said the guard thought he’d fired a bean bag round at the female bear but BP later discovered it was a “cracker shell” that mortally wounded her.

The polar bear death is the first time in 35 years of working on the North Slope that a bear has been killed by a security guard working for BP, Rinehart said.

“We dearly wish it had not happened,” Rinehart said, “but it’s not a trend or a population impact. We have worked safely and carefully around polar bears under strict guidance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Polar bears are considered a “threatened species,” while not officially on the “endangered” list. But it’s still illegal to kill them. The US Fish and Wildlife Service says they are investigating the shooting. Bill Snape, a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity, said the group is looking into their legal options for pursuing this if the federal government doesn’t prosecute.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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