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April 13, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, April 16. 






PutinRussia to Cancel Oil Export Tax for New Arctic Projects. The Russian government plans to cancel an export tax for all the new projects on the Arctic shelf in an attempt to attract foreign oil and natural-gas expertise. "We should create not only predictable, comfortable and attractive conditions [for the projects], but they should be better than those of our competitors," President-Elect Vladimir Putin said Thursday, adding that the extraction tax on the new fields may be tapped at 5% of the sales. He said the tax regime should remain in place for 15 years after a project on the Arctic shelf starts. Wall Street Journal


Coast Guard SealCoast Guard Director in Charge of Polar Ice Operations to Speak at Sea Air and Space Expo. The Coast Guard's head of polar ice operations, Dana Goward, director of marine transportation systems management, is participating in a panel discussion Monday at the Sea Air Space Expo at National Harbor, Md., where he will talk about Coast Guard authorities and responsibilities in the Arctic Region. The panel entitled "International Engagement and Implications in the Arctic" includes other government and industry experts gathering to talk about emerging issues related to U.S. presence in the Arctic. US Coast Guard  


The Arctic is Open to All. Developing the Arctic region, providing the security of ships and protecting the environment are tasks that no country of the Arctic region could fulfill alone. Success depends on cooperation and absolute openness of activity. This is the conclusion made by the participants in the international conference 'New Boundaries of Security and Cooperation in the Arctic.' The international conference in Murmansk gathered representatives of all the eight countries that have an Arctic coastline. Delegates from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, the US and Russia discussed issues of exploring the Arctic as a trade route and a resource base. They also spoke about problems in protecting state frontiers in the Arctic region and environmental problems that could rise in connection with the development  of new shelf deposits. Russian delegates led the discussions. The Voice of Russia 


Oil Drilling in AlaskaEnvironmental Groups Ask for Arctic Ocean Oil Leases to be Overturned. Environmental groups are asking a federal appeals court to overturn a judge's decision that OK'd the sale of petroleum leases in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska's northwest shore. The groups hope to stop a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell from moving forward with exploratory drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea, though Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe says the case is not likely to be decided by then. Alaska Public Radio 


Reconciliation Commission Hears of Pain in the Beaufort Delta. More stories of pain and bullying emerged at a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada event in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., this week. The commission was in the Arctic hamlet as part of a second round of hearings in northern communities. The meeting was much smaller than the national event in Inuvik last summer, but many of the stories were just as painful. CBC News 


icebreakersCould Alaska Take the Lead in Financing New Icebreakers? Gov. Sean Parnell says the state might be interested in helping finance a new icebreaker so the U.S. can make up lost ground in the race for Arctic dominance. That's the gist of the governor's response to a lengthy letter from Rep. Don Young offering ideas on how Alaska can help the cash-strapped federal government put costly new icebreakers off Alaska's increasingly busy northern coasts. With the nation's icebreaking fleet reduced to a single working ship -- its two large icebreakers are undergoing repairs or being decommissioned -- the state and U.S. government should consider sharing costs to make new icebreakers a reality, Young suggested in a Feb. 7 letter to Parnell. New or refurbished icebreakers will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Alaska Dispatch 


House Dems Seek New DOI Alaska Offshore Air Pollution Rules. Four Democratic leaders from two key US House committees and subcommittees asked US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar to issue new regulations controlling air pollution from oil drilling off Alaska's north coast. Authority to do so was transferred from the US Environmental Protection Agency to Interior under the Fiscal 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act, they noted. Ranking Minority Members Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), of the Energy and Commerce Committee; Bobby L. Rush (Ill.), of that committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee; Edward J. Markey (Mass.), of the Natural Resources Committee; and Rush D. Holt (NJ), also recommended specific measures they said would match the level of protection EPA previously offered under the Clean Air Act. Oil and Gas Journal

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events               



Arctic Science Summit Week 2012, April 20-22, 2012. The summit will provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration, and cooperation in all areas of arctic science. Side meetings organized by stakeholders in arctic science and policy are also expected. More information here


From Knowledge to Action, April 22-27, 2012. The conference will bring IPYmeetinglogotogether over 2,000 arctic and antarctic researchers, policy and decision-makers, and a broad range of interested parties from academia, industry, non-government, education and circumpolar communities including indigenous peoples. The conference is hosted by the Canadian IPY Program Office, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, among other groups. Each day of the conference will feature a program of keynote speakers, plenary panel discussions, parallel science sessions, as well as dedicated poster sessions. The conference-wide plenaries will explore themes related to topics of polar change, global linkages, communities and health, ecosystem services, infrastructure, resources and security. Other sessions will provide the opportunity to present and discuss the application of research findings, policy implications and how to take polar knowledge to action. Click here


USARC Commission Meeting, April 27-28, 2012. The 97th meeting of the CPClogoUSARC will be held in Montreal, Canada, in conjunction with the "From Knowledge to  


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Action" IPY meeting referred to above. The Commission will meet on April 27-28, and will meet jointly with the Canadian Polar Commission on the afternoon of the 27th, to discuss common interests in Arctic Research. Details here. 


Arctic Forum 2012, April 30-May 1, 2012. The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. will host the forum in conjunction with their 24th annual meeting. Both events will be in Washington, D.C. The Arctic Forum is part of the American Geophysical Union's Science Policy Conference, which will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Conference will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions. Within the Science Policy Conference, the Arctic Forum will assess gaps and priority needs for arctic scientific information to inform decision makers in policy formation for three key themes:

                - Governance and Security in the Arctic;

                - Transportation and Energy Development; and

                - Changing Arctic Ecosystems.

The Forum will examine the current state of policymaker and public understanding of the issues. An important goal will be to foster an increased capacity for dialogue and action on arctic science-policy issues.


AGU Science Policy Conference, April 30- May 3, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts a policy conference in Washington, D.C. to bring together scientists, policymakers, and other stakeholders to discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our environment, economy, national security, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to natural hazards, natural resources, oceans, and the Arctic. 


[Postponed]American Polar Society 75th Anniversary Meeting and Symposium, "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics", to occur in 2013, The Explorers Club, NYC. For 75 years, the American Polar Society has both documented and communicated polar activities to the interested world. This meeting will bring together the current leaders in science, government, commerce, and diplomacy for a state-of-the-art forecast of the next seventy-five years in a world influenced more than ever before by the destiny of the Arctic and Antarctic. Click here.  


The Tenth International Conference on Permafrost, June 2012. The conference will be held in Tyumen, Russia, and is organized and hosted by Russia. The last conference was held in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2008. Click here.  


15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This event is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and healthmeetinglogoindigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and behavioral health. Click here


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-28, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research. Click here


Arctic/Inuit/Connections: Learning from the Top of the World , October 24-28, 2012.  The 18th Inuit Studies Conference, hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, will be held in Washington, DC. The conference will consider heritage inuitconferencelogomuseums and the North; globalization: an Arctic story; power, governance and politics in the North; the '"new" Arctic: social, cultural and climate change; and Inuit education, health, language, and literature. For more information, click here. 



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