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The Arctic Council hosted an event titled, “The Global Implications of a Rapidly-Changing Arctic,” at the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany on November 6, 2017.   The UNFCCC is the international environmental platform for negotiations on climate change, and has previously been […]

Most of the witnesses at a Sept. 12 Senate subcommittee hearing called for “more flexibility” in fishery management practices when the Congress reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation & Management Act (MSA). Two witnesses supported the regulatory status quo that they said had made the U.S. highly successful in protecting and sustaining its offshore fisheries resources. […]

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In her opening statement, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that over the past seven years the Department of Interior (DOI) has slowly but steadily abrogated its duty to properly manage the nation’s outer continental shelf. “We now effectively have a Gulf of Mexico leasing program, and the shadow of a program for three major planning […]

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Daniel Runde, with the Project on Prosperity and Development, CSIS, moderated a panel discussion about meeting infrastructure demands around the world.  The panelists were: John Graham, Principal Investment Officer, Infrastructure and Energy Division, Inter-American Investment Corporation John Moran, Vice President, Insurance, Overseas Private Investment Corporation Andrew Patterson,Regional President-Africa, Bechtel Mini Roy, Managing Director, Head of […]

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a maritime security dialogue event to highlight the challenges facing the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard from national level maritime policy to naval concept development and program design. Adm. Paul Zukunft, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant, said his service uses strategy to drive its budget and […]

The Committee on the Marine Transportation System’s (CMTS) Arctic Marine Transportation Integrated Action Team prepared a report for the U.S. Department of Transportation that presents a framework for addressing the gaps in Arctic infrastructure.  It does this by identifying the critical requirements for a safe and secure U.S. Arctic Marine Transportation System (MTS) over the […]

In his opening statement, Sen. Sullivan (R-AK) discussed what has been happening in Alaska.  Already a huge amount of Alaska’s waters falls under federal jurisdiction.  Given the extent of Alaska’s coastline, millions of lakes, and more than 43 percent of the state’s surface area is wetlands, which accounts for 65% of all the wetlands in […]

Ambassador Mark Brzezinski, Executive Director of the Arctic Executive Steering Committee, provided a presentation giving an update on the activities of the U.S. Arctic Executive Steering Committee and briefed the group on the upcoming White House Arctic Science Ministerial being planned for September 28.   The Arctic Executive Steering Committee (AESC) includes the following members: The President’s Science Advisor […]

Resources of the Future hosted an event the array of opportunities and challenges local governments across the country have experienced given the rapid growth of oil and gas development in the U.S. over the past decade. The speakers explored the key issues facing local governments. RFF’s Community Impacts Initiative Alan Krupnick, RRF Co-Director for Energy […]

In his opening statement, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said that for coastal states, particularly on the West Coast, the prevalence of marine debris is a chronic issue. In March 2011, a large earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, creating a large tsunami that sucked millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean, most […]

The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental & Scientific Affairs’ (OES) Office of Oceans & Polar Affairs hosted a conversation on May 16 with one of the 22 U.S. Arctic Youth Ambassadors.  The ambassadors program was started by the U.S. State Department, the Alaska Region of the Fish & Wildlife Service, and Alaska Geographic in […]

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) hosted a webinar on traditional funding mechanisms for large-scale infrastructure and transportation projects on May 10.  Partnering with private funding sources has been successful in Canada and some U.S. states, but a lack of regulation and guidelines has left U.S. entities unsure about how to use this method. The moderators […]

The World Policy Institute’s Arctic in Context initiative, in collaboration with Trent University, the University of Washington, and the Woodrow Wilson Center, hosted a two-day symposium exploring the concept of “One Arctic” from the point of view of the U.S. agenda, and how it fits into the more general work of the Arctic Council (AC). […]

In her opening statement, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that oil and gas production is capital intensive with a long lead time before projects start production. Because of low oil prices, tough decisions need to be made, she said.  People need to work together to ensure that the U.S. remains an attractive place for resource […]

The Brookings Institute hosted U.S. Special Representative Admiral Papp for a discussion on what the U.S. has accomplished thus far in its chairmanship of the Arctic Council (AC) and what work remains.  Charles K. Ebinger, Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Initiative, the Brookings Institution, moderated the event. Adm. Papp said the U.S. was evaluated […]

The Marine Technology Society in conjunction with the House Oceans Caucus and the Congressional Arctic Working Group held a briefing on Technology solutions in an  opening Arctic.  The briefing focused on problems associated with increased traffic in the Arctic and how technology can help mitigate these issues. Presentations were given by the following: Jon White, […]

Briefing – Food Security in the Arctic Daniel Consenstein, State Executive Director, Alaska Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, was the featured speaker for the working group’s April 19 teleconference meeting.  Consenstein said food security fits within the       Arctic Council’s (AC) themes and initiatives on improving economic and community living conditions.  Food is something […]

In her opening statement, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said her committee had not conducted a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) direct oversight hearing, outside of the nominations process, for a long time, and many important and relevant issues are open for exploration. USGS is known as a non-partisan agency with no significant regulatory functions.  For Alaskans, its work involves monitoring […]

The Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative and the Alaska-based Institute of the North co-hosted a forum that highlighted the importance of economic development in the Arctic region, current opportunities and barriers, as well as successful government strategies to facilitate economic prosperity.  The Forum built consensus, suggested ways forward for benefits to accrue to Arctic companies and […]

The ARCUS Arctic Research Seminar Series held a seminar on the new ways of collecting and integrating critical environmental intelligence to develop resilience and adaptation strategies for dealing with ocean acidification.  Dr. Jeremy Mathis, Director of the Arctic Research Program in NOAA’s office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research, gave a presentation on this topic. Mathis […]

The National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Board on Atmosphere held a briefing on the report “Next Generation Earth System Prediction: Strategies for Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasts.”  The full report, or report in brief are both available to download. Raymond Ban of Ban Associates, LLC, and chairman of the report’s authoring committee, presented the report’s highlights. […]

Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Deep Dive Ms. Renee Sauvé, who serves as Chair of the Arctic Council Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group (WG), was invited to discuss PAME priorities and projects with Alaskan stakeholders.  Sauvé explained that Arctic Council (AC) Senior Arctic Officials (SAO) can also create short term […]

The Energy & Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a hearing on a November 2015 Presidential Memorandum entitled “Mitigating Impacts on Natural Resources from Development and Encouraging Related Private Investment.” In her opening statement, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said federal mitigation practices have become a tool that slows down and increases costs for resource development projects. […]

This event was convened by the State of Alaska to share Alaska’s interests in the Arctic from a state perspective, and also to hear from the Arctic Council (AC) Observer states about their priorities in the Arctic.  The meeting represented a step toward building relationships between Alaska and Observers. Nils Andreassen explained that Alaska participates […]

The Wilson Center hosted an event, “From the Bottom Up: Human Security in the Arctic”, featuring Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, professor of international relations at the University of Tromsø—The Arctic University of Norway.   Hoogensen Gjørv discussed the understanding of human security from “the bottom up,” and how this concept has been engaged in discussions about […]

U.S. Senior Arctic Official Julie Gourley addressed the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, describing the Arctic Council’s (AC) current activities under the U.S. Chairmanship of the AC. Julie Gourley described some of the current activities of the AC task forces, which are put together for a specific purpose for a defined period of time to […]

With the U.S. mid-way through its chairmanship of the Arctic Council before Finland takes over, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosted a conversation between two sitting ambassadors, the Honorable Charles Adams of the U.S. and the Honorable Kirsti Kauppi of Finland, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Transformation Melanie Nakagawa, for […]

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) Arctic Caucus held a high-level Roundtable on the North American Arctic with the Alaska Congressional Delegation, along with other speakers from the Pacific Northwest, to give their insight on the North American Arctic. The event was moderated by Matt Morrison, Executive Director of PMWER and featured the following speakers: […]

Budget numbers are the current budget authority, not adjusted for mandatory current accounts or discretionary receipt offsets.    During the Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to review the FY2017 budget request and funding justification for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Jeh Johnson testified that the budget request calls for $40.6 billion in appropriated funds (compared to $41 billion […]

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the economic and geopolitical implications of low oil and gas prices. Two witnesses testified on this topic, giving their perspective on how various geopolitical factors influence the price of oil and gas now and in the coming years. Below is a combined summary of the key points in both […]

Budget numbers are the current budget authority, not adjusted for mandatory current accounts or discretionary receipt offsets.  Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, testified before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources (ENR) hearing on the DOI’s budget request for FY2017 on February 23, 2016. It is $61 million above 2016 enacted. The current budget authority includes $13.4 billion in net discretionary spending for its […]

Opening statement In his opening statement, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said the purpose of the hearing is to examine the interactions of  the state and federal governments as they manage fish and wildlife resources.   “By reserving certain powers to the various states, the unique needs of each of those states to manage and control […]

The National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Board on Energy and Environmental Systems held a workshop that focused on identifying challenges and opportunities for increasing efficiency, reducing emissions and costs, and improving resiliency. Also discussed was the implementation of innovative clean energy strategies in rural and islanded communities. Introduction to QER Karen Wayland of the Department […]

Secretary Ernest Moniz’s Summary of the U.S. Depart of Energy’s FY2017 Budget Request The FY2017 DOE budget request is for $32.5 billion in discretionary spending, which is $747 million more from the enacted 2016 budget. Unlike previous budgets, the FY2017 budget contains three major components.   First, the $32.5 billion is a 10 percent increase from the FY16 enacted appropriation.  Both the enacted request and the total domestic appropriations request […]

Chairman & Ranking Member opening statements In his opening statement, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) said President Obama’s costly new electricity regulations—a cornerstone of the United Nations climate conference agreement in Paris in December—lack constitutional legitimacy because the agreement has not been ratified by the Senate.  In addition, these measures will adversely affect the U.S. economy […]

**Though slightly dated, these meeting notes were included for an added Arctic-element on the economic and geopolitical implications of low oil prices.   CSIS held an event on the present and future state of Russia’s economy, which is currently in serious trouble.  Vladislav Inozemstev, Visiting Fellow at CSIS, assessed the ways in which Russia’s economy might evolve and the […]

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Timo Soini, for a discussion of Finland’s Arctic policy as well as work with the Arctic Council (AC), which it will chair after the U.S. in 2017.  The written text of his speech can be […]

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to examine the near-term outlook for energy and commodity markets.  Chairwoman Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) made opening remarks before the following witnesses testified: The Honorable Adam Sieminski, Administrator, U.S. Energy Administration Antoine Halff, Program Director, Global Oil Markets, Center […]

The Stimson Center held an event to assess how the U.S. and its allies can cooperate with Russia, China, and other Asian nations in the Arctic during times of tense relations.   Keynote address Vice Admiral Charles Michel, Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, gave a keynote address on the newly established Arctic Coast […]

On January 14th, The National Academies of Sciences held a public symposium “Arctic Matters Day” to provide an overview of the dramatic environmental changes affecting the Arctic region and the many ways these changes can affect the world’s population.   Welcome In her opening remarks, Fran Ulmer, chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, said […]

Heather A Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, opened the discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on the current and future state of play related to destination shipping and transshipment across the Arctic region. The following panelists contributed to the discussion: Ms. Helen Brohl, Executive Director, U.S. […]

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a high-level discussion in partnership with the U.S. Senate Arctic Caucus that examined the U.S.’s icebreaking capabilities in the Polar Regions, as well as identified emerging national security challenges specific to the Arctic.  The conference analyzed the state of U.S. readiness as well as addressed the […]

The National Academies of Sciences convened its Polar Research Board in Washington, DC on Dec. 3-4 to review recent Arctic and Antarctic research.   Discussion with International Arctic Science Commission (IASC) Delegate and Working Groups   Larry Hinzman, interim Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, discussed the activities at the third […]

The Seattle Chamber’s Dec. 2 business forum covered the subject of, “What does a changing Arctic hold for the Washington business community?”   Rep. Gail Tarelton (D-WA) – former president of the Seattle Port Commission, current representative for the Seattle’s Ballard section (a neighborhood with strong ties to Alaska’s fishing industry) in the Washington State […]

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) opened the hearing on “Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations in the Outer Continental Shelf – Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control” (well control rule) by saying that offshore oil and gas regulations are a national issue, not just confined to the coastal states. Federal offshore production tops one million barrels […]

The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS)—a federal policy coordinating committee—was tasked by Anthony Foxx, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete three tasks for the National Strategy on the Arctic Region Implementation Plan. As part of a response to task 1.1.3, CMTS hosted a webinar to learn of existing or […]

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a joint subcommittee hearing “Charting the Arctic: Security, Economic, and Resource Opportunities” where the committee explored how the State Department, Defense Department, and Department of Homeland Security are cooperating and coordinating to support U.S. interests in the far north. Chairman Duncan Rohrabacher (R-CA) gave his opening statement, stating […]

Coast Guard Perspective Vice Admiral Charles D. Michel, Vice Commandant for the US Coast Guard (USCG) spoke on behalf of the Coast Guard on the topic of responding to emergencies in the Arctic.   The U.S. Coast Guard’s history in Alaska goes back to the Revenue cutter Bear, an ice-strengthened ship that patrolled the Alaska […]

At a climate change presentation at Georgetown University in Washington DC on Nov. 10, Thomas R. Armstrong, President of the Madison River Group, used a science policy perspective to provide insights about the changing Arctic.   Focusing primarily on the physical and human aspects of climate change, he also discussed how Arctic science is affected […]

The 7th Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference (WHTNC) brought together President Obama, tribal leaders from across the country, and key federal officials on Nov. 5 to discuss how they can continue to work together to strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship between tribal nations and the U.S. government and cement a legacy that empowers Indian Country’s […]

At a Nov. 4 hearing, Rep. Don Young (R-AK), chairman of the Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs Subcommittee took testimony on a bill related to tribes and the Coastal Zone Management program.   HR 2719, the “Tribal Coastal Resiliency Act,” sponsored by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), would “amend the Coastal Zone Management Act of […]

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing to receive testimony on alternative approaches to defense strategy and force structure. During the hearing, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) raised the issue of Alaska’s significance for national energy security.   The hearing witnesses were: Thomas Donnelly – Resident Fellow and Co-Director of the Marilyn Ware Center for […]

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) injected the Arctic into an Oct. 27 Armed Services Committee hearing about military challenges in the Middle East.   The witnesses at the hearing were Ashton B. Carter, Secretary of Defense, and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Information and video about the hearing can […]

Opening remarks were made by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).   Panelists included the following experts: Nancy Wallace, Marine Debris Program Director, NOAA Office of Response & Restoration Marine Debris Program Chris Pallister, Gulf of Alaska Keeper Victoria O’Connell, Research Director at the Sitka Sound Science Center FredJay Ivanoff, St. Lawrence […]

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) gave the keynote address at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) event on “Amphibious Capabilities and the Asia Pacific” on Oct. 20.   Asia issues can be viewed from a variety of perspectives, including that of the state of Alaska, Sen. Sullivan said. The topic is an important one […]

The Center for East Asia Policy Studies at The Brookings Institute held a panel discussion to assess the components of Japan’s Arctic strategy.   Up until 2013, Japan’s involvement in the Arctic had been primarily scientific research-based. But in 2013, Japan appointed its first Arctic ambassador, and recently gained observer status in the Arctic Council […]

The Wilson Center held an event to review and analyze climate change opinion in Canada and the U.S. in view of 2015 shaping up as an important year for climate policy. The year has already featured President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) Final Rule and Pope Francis’ statements about American responsibility for addressing a […]

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on the development of Russian strategy and military operations and how they’ve shifted the balance of power in the Middle East, the Arctic, and elsewhere. The webcast of the full hearing can be found here.   Witnesses included the following: John M. Keane, Chairman at the […]

This panel presentation focused on the expected increase in shipping in the Arctic, and associated challenges, such as: Noise and sonar Collisions Invasive species introduction Pollution – including conventional air pollutants in an unspoiled environment and black carbon, which can accelerate warming by reducing sunlight reflectivity Conflicts with Native communities – through noise that drives […]

The Arctic Energy Summit (AES), organized by the Institute of the North, was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Sept. 27-30. The event brought about 375 attendees to the Carlson Center, including scientists, academics, lawmakers, federal officials, diplomats, regulators, industry professionals, tribal leaders, business owners, and consultants.   Conference organizers said about 65 percent of the […]

The Center for Strategic & International Studies hosted a talk with Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki, founder and chairman of the FGE consulting group, on Sept. 25 in Washington DC. He began his remarks with a description of the global LNG market and moved into a region by region analysis of near to mid-term supply and demand […]

Highlighting the administration’s national security strategies, the Arctic Council Chairmanship, the Arctic Executive Steering Committee, and the GLACIER Conference in Anchorage, moderator Capt. Mark Davis of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) brought attention to the Arctic challenges for Indian country. Focusing on increased access to oil, gas and minerals, and increased accessibility to Arctic […]

Highlighting the Obama administration’s national security strategies, the Arctic Council Chairmanship, the Arctic Executive Steering Committee, and the recent GLACIER Conference in Anchorage, moderator Capt. Mark Davis of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) brought attention to the Arctic challenges for Indian country at the Sept. 24 DOE Tribal Energy Summit.   Focusing on increased […]

The Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program held the Global Energy Forum on Monday, September 21 to discuss the current revolutionary changes in the international energy system, including growing U.S. production and new technology development worldwide, and the impacts of geopolitics on global energy market.   Speakers and main outcomes for the keynote address and panels […]

The Wilson Center held an event on Sept. 21 to review the current status of the Russian defense industry, which appears to be back in the business of producing planes, ships, and new weapons systems for a revamped military.   Ruslan Pukhov discussed the Russian defense industry’s limitations and capabilities during the current hard economic […]

Heather Conley welcomed the crowd to this conference, co-sponsored by the Senate Arctic Caucus and the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS). The webcast of the five-hour conference, as well as program agenda can be found here.   Following President Obama’s historic visit to the American Arctic, the conference’s main topic was the vital role […]

Dr. Jeffery Mankoff, Deputy Director and Fellow for the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program, moderated the Sept. 1 forum on Russia-China military capabilities. The speakers included: Paul Schwartz, Senior Associate of the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS Zack Cooper, Japan Chair Fellow Thomas Karako, Senior Fellow of the International Security Program   Schwartz began […]

The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) held a discussion on Aug. 27 in advance of the hard copy release of a new CSIS Europe Program report, The New Ice Curtain: Russia’s Strategic Reach to the Arctic.   Report author Heather A. Conley moderated the discussion, which featured two panelists: Marlène Laruelle, Research Professor of International […]

The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, held an event on Aug. 18 to examine and assess numerous policy questions, including: Can any Arctic policy be sustained without enduring U.S. capabilities? Will change in the Arctic region encourage other countries to become more actively operational in the area? Does the U.S. have the robust ability to […]

The Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee passed legislation (S. 1234) to repeal Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) on Wednesday, August 5. The CPP requires states to adopt rate-based or mass-based measures to reduce emissions from power plants by 2030. This was a dramatic response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of […]

The featured speaker at the Alaska Arctic Council Ad Hoc Working Group meeting and teleconference on was Tara Sweeney, Executive Vice President–External Affairs for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), and Chair of the Arctic Economic Council (AEC).  She gave a short briefing on the Inuit Arctic Business Alliance (IABA) and the AEC, which she […]

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee held a business meeting on 20 agenda items. The meeting’s main purpose was to consider amendments to Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) broad, bipartisan bill to advance U.S. energy policy, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.   Over the course […]

Produced by the Polar Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Human Security & Development session focused attention on the people who actually live in the Arctic. The panel discussed the Alaska experience in the U.S. and the Nunavut experience in Canada.   Moderated by David Biette, Director of the Polar Initiative at the Wilson […]

The Federal Radionavigation Plan and two bills, the Foreign Spill Protection Act (HR 1684), and the National Icebreaker Fund Act of 2015 (HR 3214) were the subjects of this hearing in the House Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee on July 28.   During the hearing, Rep. Don Young of Alaska requested requested an independent […]

This was a learning session for how the U.S. can learn from Canada in utilizing public-private partnerships (P3) to build transportation infrastructure. Attended by Alaska and other U.S. legislators who are eager to expand P3 opportunities, presentations were from U.S. and Canadian business leaders and Canadian government officials on best practices. Attendees also included state […]

This working group is co-chaired by Alaska State Senator John Coghill (R-Fairbanks) and Tammy Johnson, the Executive Director of the Montana Mining Association.   The session included presentations and dialogue about cross-jurisdictional and trans-boundary mining, primarily in the aftermath of the Mount Polley disaster near Cariboo, BC, on August 4, 2014. This disaster was the […]

Attended widely by Alaska and Canadian legislators, state and provincial leaders, federal officials, consultants, energy and environmental nonprofit organizations, and Scandinavian investors, the Arctic Caucus held a roundtable meeting that featured updates on recent caucus meetings, Northern transportation system corridors, the upcoming 2015 PNWER meeting in Yellowknife, and caucus sustainability.   In their opening remarks, […]

The Expanding Natural Gas Markets Working Group session was widely attended by legislators from PNWER’s 10 member states and provinces, Alaska Governor’s office staff, federal agency officials from Canada and U.S., university professors, private investors and oil/gas industry leaders.   Ian Burkheimer, Director of Business Development at Plum Energy in Seattle, co-chairs the working group […]

The U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy & Power held a hearing on H.R. 702, a bill “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions,” on July 9. The bill would repeal and prohibit restrictions on the export of domestically-produced crude oil.   The panel of witnesses discussed the U.S. energy outlook and the effects of […]

The U.S. Senate and Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a hearing to examine President Barack Obama’s plans for the U.S. to meet the recently submitted pledge to reduce emissions by 26-28 percent in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC).   Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK), the […]

The Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) held a Statesmen’s Forum featuring Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, speaking about political, strategic, and economic dynamics in the Arctic. The discussion was moderated by Dr. John J. Hamre, President and CEO of the Pritzker Chair.   In his introductory remarks, Dr. Hamre highlighted […]

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine affects prospects for peace and general cooperation in the region, and beyond, including the Arctic. The impact this conflict will have on the future of the Arctic, the necessary political will for continued Russia-West cooperation, and the consequences if this fails to materialize was discussed. The event was moderated by […]

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine affects prospects for peace and general cooperation in the region, and beyond, including the Arctic. The specific impact on the future of the Arctic, on continued Russia-West cooperation, and the consequences of failed cooperation was discussed at an event at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., on June 29.   […]

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) partnered with BHP Billiton to discuss how to maximize partnerships between indigenous communities and the extractive sector at a public session on June 17. Moderated by Daniel Runde, CSIS Schreyer Chair and Director for the Project on Prosperity and Development, the panel included:   P. Gladu, President, […]

The mission of ESSAS is to compare, quantify and predict the impact of climate variability and climate change on productivity and sustainability of Sub-Arctic and Arctic Marine Ecosystems. It has or has had programs in Iceland, Canada, Norway, Russia, and Alaska.   The conference contained four main areas of interest: 1) Modeling ecosystem response to […]

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s proposed Arctic Rule and the potential impact of its regulations on developing the oil and gas resources on Alaska’s outer continental shelf (OCS).   Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) chaired the hearing. The witnesses included the following: Brian […]

This three-day policy forum held on June 9-11 consisted of elected officials, academics, business leaders, scientists and ocean explorers to discussing the latest news on U.S. ocean policy and research. Below is an account of the discussions that related to Arctic policy. The full agenda is available here.   Day One: June 9   U.S. […]

During a final legislative hearing preceding the introduction of an overall energy package, Sen. Lisa Murkowski—chairwoman of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee—released a report entitled, “Rendering Vital Assistance Allowing Oil Shipments to U.S. Allies” as the committee considered S.1312, which would authorize the export of all U.S. crude oil and condensate.   The […]

The American North Pacific and Bering Sea fishing fleet is aging; the majority of vessels going to Alaska are over 30 years old, with some built in 1940s.   At the Alaska Business Forum in Seattle on June 4, efforts were made to answer the following key questions: (1) How did we get here? (2) […]

The Polar Research Board (PBR) held a two-day meeting at the National Academy of Sciences near the National Mall. Full profiles of all the members can be found here. The meeting addressed the following goals:   Review the PBR’s “Arctic Matters” initiative, which aims to capitalize on the U.S. Arctic Chairmanship to expand public understanding […]

As part of the itinerary for an official state visit to Alaska, King Harald V provided introductory remarks—entitled “Looking North Together”—for several keynote presentations featuring Craig Fleener, Harald Steen (Director of the Center for Ice, Climate & Ecosystems at the Norwegian Polar Institute), and Børge Ousland (a polar explorer).   In his speech, the king […]

Participants in the Alaska Arctic Council Ad Hoc Working Group meeting provided updates on current and future Arctic-related events.   The lead speaker was James Robinson, who works on Arctic planning and coordination for the U.S. Coast Guard’s District 17 (Alaska).  Reporting on the service’s current Arctic activities, he provided the following highlights:   USCG […]

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) began its Arctic Spring Festival on the National Mall with a panel discussion on “Why the Arctic Matters: Applying a ‘Human Perspective’ to Understanding Arctic Changes.”   Dr. Igor Krupnik, Director of the Arctic Studies Center at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), moderated the […]

Dr. Andrew Metzger, Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage, gave a presentation about building a new transportation system in the Arctic to a breakfast meeting of the Alaska Resource Development Council on May 7 in Anchorage. Dr. Metzger said Arctic opportunities are opening up with sea ice abatement and globalization.  Goods […]

Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative to the Arctic, connected by phone to the Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors meeting in Anchorage on May 7.  After reiterating the update he used for the Stakeholder Outreach Forum on April 16 (see the Arctic Report 4th Edition), Adm. Papp said the […]

During a routine hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Lisa Murkowski had the opportunity to discuss Arctic military needs with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.   Reiterating concerns about Russian military activities, Sen. Murkowski asked for more details about expenditures to address Arctic […]

Dr. Todd Brinkman, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, presented three factors to consider about “Climate-Driven Changes in Interactions among Hunters, Wildlife, and Habitat” during this webinar: 1) Community perceptions of impacts of climate on availability of subsistence resources, 2) take-home messages, and 3) adaptation and research. Local and elder […]

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee kicked off a series of four hearings on April 30 with the consideration of a package of 22 bills dealing with energy efficiency.  (Find the press release here and the full list of bills here.)   Sen. Brain Schatz (D-HI) noted in his testimony to the committee that […]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned attendees at the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association Annual Meeting about a potential increase in fraud attempts that may occur in connection with the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The warning came during an April 29 presentation by Jessica Hais, Special Agent with the FBI’s Anchorage Division.  Hais […]

The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee conducted an overview of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Quadrennial Energy Review (QER), which examines the status, needs and capabilities of the nation’s energy infrastructure, and makes recommendations.  Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz testified before the committee. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the committee chair, quickly noted that […]

In the absence of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries & Coast Guard Subcommittee, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) conducted a hearing on the priorities of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).  The USCG Commandant, Adm. Paul Zukunft, testified and answered questions. Sen. Sullivan focused the hearing on USCG Arctic infrastructure needs.  In […]

The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon featured a panel discussion about “Opportunities in the Arctic.”  The panelists were Craig Fleener, the Alaska Governor’s Arctic Policy Advisor; Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC); and Hugh Short, Chairman & CEO of Pt Capital Investments.   Describing himself as a born and raised […]

A panel of Arctic experts presented the contents of new booklet entitled “Arctic Matters: The Global Connection to Changes in the Arctic” during a webinar on April 17, hosted by Jessica Rasmussen.   The speakers were Dr. Julie Brigham-Grette, Professor of Quaternary/Glacial Geology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Dr. Stephanie Pfirman, Professor of Environmental Sciences […]

CSIS hosts a public conversation every two years in the weeks before a new Arctic Council ministerial meeting in order to discuss the issues that will confront the new chair. This event was moderated by Heather Conley, Senior VP for Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic and Director of the Europe Program at CSIS. Sen. Murkowski’s […]

The House Energy & Minerals Subcommittee focused on the Obama Administration’s proposed Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022 at its April 15 hearing. In his opening statement, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-UT), subcommittee chairman, said the Obama Administration is not “committed” to promoting oil and gas production on federal lands, citing […]

The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation held an overview hearing on the U.S. Coast Guard’s missions on April 15.  Testifying before the subcommittee was Vice Admiral Charles Michel, the U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations.   Rep. Don Young is a member of the subcommittee, but did not attend this hearing. […]

In the first stakeholder session since December 2014, the U.S. State Department presented an outreach forum for Arctic stakeholders about the upcoming chairmanship, just 10 days away from the official transfer. Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., the U.S. Special Representative to the Arctic, and Julia Gourley, Senior Arctic Official (SAO), briefed the online and teleconference participants […]

The World Policy Institute, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Quebec Government Office, and the Embassy of Canada organized a roundtable discussion entitled “Arctic Energy and Sustainable Growth” at the Canadian Embassy on April 13. Kate Hardin, Senior Director at IHS Energy, moderated this event.  Shiela Riordan from the Embassy of Canada, Julia Gourley of the U.S. State […]

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