“Why hasn’t the polar bear been granted federal protection? Maybe because the Bush administration plans a last-minute handout of oil leases on its habitat.” No Bears for Oil. By Katharine Mieszkowski. Salon Magazine (may require a subscription to read the full article on-line).
In a related matter, there has been some loss of interest by the oil companies in drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge despite 25 years of trying to get in. Drilling in that country requires frozen ground (permafrost in the summer under the couple feet of melted surface soil). With the rapid warming of the Arctic, the area is turning into a swamp/marsh for a large part of the year.