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But Palin’s seemingly bright future was clouded in late July when the state legislature voted to hire an independent investigator to find out whether she tried to have a state official fire her ex-brother-in-law from his job as a state trooper.
The allegation was made by former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, whom Palin fired in mid-July.
“It is a governor’s prerogative, a right, to fill that cabinet with members whom she or he believes will do best for the people whom we are serving,” Palin told CNBC’s Larry Kudlow in an interview on Aug. 1. “So I look forward to any kind of investigation or questions being asked because I’ve got nothing to hide.”
After her unsuccessful run, Palin received an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where she ended up serving a role in an ethics probe into Republican Party Chairman Randy Reudrich, who was questioned about conflicts of interest with the oil industry.
The investigation ultimately forced Ruedrich to resign from the commission
She and other Alaska elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts.
"She's either grossly misinformed or intentionally misleading, and both are unbecoming," said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. "Alaska deserves better."
As marine mammals, polar bears are regulated by the federal government, not the state. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne last week made the listing decision and said it was based on three findings.
This year's Arctic ice melt could surpass the extraordinary 2007 record low in the coming weeks. Last year's minimum ice level was reached on September 16, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Even if no records are broken this year, the downward trend in summer sea ice in the Arctic continues, the Colorado-based center said. Last year's record was blamed squarely on human-spurred climate change.
"No matter where we stand at the end of the melt season it's just reinforcing this notion that Arctic ice is in its death spiral," said Mark Serreze, a scientist at the center. The Arctic could be free of summer ice by 2030, Serreze said by telephone.
A polar bear is seen in the water during an aerial survey off the Alaska coast in this photo taken August 15, 2008. Arctic sea ice shrank to its second-lowest level ever, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday, with particular melting in the Chukchi Sea, where polar bears were recently seen swimming far off the Alaskan coast.
1. Polar bears are strong swimmers; they swim across bays or wide leads without hesitation. They can swim for several hours at a time over long distances. They've been tracked swimming continuously for 100 km (62 mi.) (Stirling, 1988).
2. A polar bear's front paws propel them through the water dog-paddle style. The hind feet and legs are held flat and are used as rudders.
3. A thick layer of blubber (fat), up to 11 cm (4.3 in.) thick, keeps the polar bear warm while swimming in cold water (Stirling, 1988).
4. Polar bears can obtain a swimming speed of 10 kph (6.2 mph) (Stirling, 1988).
5. The hair of a polar bear easily shakes free of water and any ice that may form after swimming.
6. A polar bear's nostrils close when under water.
Originally posted by ProfEmeritus
Swimming is a natural activity for polar bears.