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December 18, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House will consider several measures under suspension of the rules, including on small-business investment, Iran and adoption accreditation. The Senate will begin consideration of the emergency supplemental appropriations bill that would help communities hit by Superstorm Sandy. Senators may propose amendments to the disaster aid package. 




Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye, 88, Dies. Democrat Daniel Inouye, the U.S. Senate's most senior member and a Medal of Honor recipient for his bravery during World War II, has died. He was 88. He died of respiratory complications and had been at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center since earlier this month. His office said his last word was "Aloha," the traditional Hawaiian word for "hello" and "goodbye." President Obama praised Inouye, saying the nation has "lost a true American hero." USA Today


YoungTake Five With Rep. Don Young. It's the final Take Five of the year for HOH, and we celebrate with one of our favorite members, GOP Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who waxes about chewing on blubber and how he takes cues from the leadership style of "Old Guts and Glory," Gen. George Patton. What's Alaska's best-kept secret?How hot it gets in the summer. What's your favorite food and why? Fresh muktuk (whale skin and blubber) because you can chew on it all day. Roll Call


Hawaii: Inouye Asked Governor to Appoint Hanabusa in 'Last Wish.' In a letter delivered just hours before his death, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, wrote to Gov. Neil Abercrombie asking him to appoint Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him. An Inouye aide described this as the senator's "last wish" as a political figure. Inouye was a larger-than-life figure in Hawaii, suggesting that his dying request could carry tremendous weight with Abercrombie, a former 10-term House member. The Inouye endorsement should make Hanabusa the favorite for the seat. Congressional Quarterly


sockeyeAquarium Lifts Heat From Ocean's Stored Energy. Resurrection Bay teems with salmon, herring and humpback whales, but when Alaska SeaLife Center chief executive officer Tara Riemer Jones looks at the fiord outside her window, she sees a way to cut her building's heating bill.The center this month turned off boilers that burn expensive fuel oil in favor of America's farthest north seawater heat pump system, which taps a summer's worth of solar energy stored in the deep bay.The system sucks in seawater, extracts a few degrees of its warmth and returns it to the ocean. The upfront costs of the system were significant - about $830,000. But the SeaLife Center expects the system to pay for itself in less than nine years, saving at least $15,000 and possibly double that each winter month, with the added benefit of keeping 1.3 million pounds of carbon emissions out of the atmosphere each year. Anchorage Daily News


Democrats Urges Bipartisan Coal Ask Talks Next Year. The top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked Republicans on Monday to refrain from an eleventh-hour push to advance coal ash legislation this year and urged the panel's leadership to collaborate on a bipartisan measure next Congress. Rep. Henry A. Waxman of California cited the questions raised by a recent Congressional Research Service report about the effectiveness of two bills (HR 2273, S 3512) to create state-level permit programs for coal combustion waste. The report said the bills do not set explicit standards that states would have to achieve when establishing coal ash disposal guidelines and lack specifics about which facilities would be covered. Congressional Quarterly


Inouye Worked Across Party Lines With Alaska Senators. Alaska lost an unwavering advocate when Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye died on Monday. In the 1970s, he cast crucial votes that made the Trans Alaska Pipeline possible and passed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. In recent months he backed measures to bring health care to veterans in rural Alaska and clean up debris from the 2011 Japan tsunami now reaching Alaska shores."Sen. Inouye always championed Alaska issues as if he was a part of our Alaska delegation," said Alaska Sen. Mark Begich in a written statement. Anchorage Daily News


Tundra fire[Fairbanks, Alaska] Particulate Pollution Levels Again Are the Highest in the Nation. Particulate pollution levels in Fairbanks and North Pole have risen sharply over the last couple of days, leading to an air quality forecast of "unhealthy" from the Fairbanks North Star Borough. Monitors on Hurst Road in North Pole and in downtown Fairbanks showed particulate levels several times higher than the national standard for clean air, readings that appear to be significantly higher than anywhere else in the United States today, based on the hundreds of readings compiled on the national website Fairbanks Daily News-Miner


Murkowski Hires New Fisheries Economic Policy Experts. Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced the hiring of Jay Sterne to advise her as she shapes effective federal fisheries policies for the nation - and the hundreds of thousands of square nautical miles off Alaska's shores that fall under federal jurisdiction. Sterne, a twenty year veteran of fisheries and Arctic policy discussions, brings strong experience to a key position for a state where the fishing industry and emerging Arctic possibilities represent a growing economic engine.  Senator Murkowski also is hiring Attorney Leila Kimbrell of Anchorage, born in Soldotna and raised on the Kenai Peninsula, to work in Washington, DC on economic policy matters as the nation's fiscal situation grows more urgent and reforms more necessary. Alaska Native News


arctic shippingHigh-Strength Prop to Power New Ship Through Arctic Ice. Rolls-Royce won a contract to supply a high-strength controllable pitch propeller for a new ice-breaking cargo ship which will transport nickel and copper concentrates from Canada, through the Arctic ice, to customers in Europe. Canada's Fednav Limited, one of the world's largest operators of high ice-class vessels, has agreed a long term transportation contract with Canadian Royalties Inc. for the shipping of concentrates from the Nunavik Nickel mine in northern Quebec. The new ship, an ice-breaking bulk carrier with a deadweight of 25,000 tons, will be designed and built in Japan by Universal Shipbuilding Corporation. It will meet stringent design and operational requirements including a reinforced hull to allow it to proceed in continuous mode through level ice up to 1.5m thick. Marine Link


Russia to Open Rescue Center in Arctic Port by Year End. He said that by 2020 three more rescue centers will be set up in Russia's Arctic region. Russia's Arctic region is a strategically important area for the country. In particular this is the location of nuclear power plants and storage facilities of hazardous chemical and explosive substances. The entire Northern Arctic sea route, which is an important shipping lane, lies in the Arctic waters along the Russian Arctic coast. Voice of Russia


Imperial Oil Lays Out Preliminary Plans to Drill in the Beaufort Sea. Imperial Oil has laid out its early-stage plans for drilling in the Beaufort Sea with its joint-venture partner, BP. "No investment decisions have been made," said company spokesman Pius Rolheiser. "These are the plans that we're currently assessing and we wanted to share them as early as possible with the communities of the Beaufort." Imperial presented a preliminary information package to the Inuvialuit Game Council last week. The Inuvialuit have treaty rights involving both the Mackenzie Delta and the offshore. Financial Post


russian flagRussian Press- Behind the Headlines, December 18. Soon after the New Year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will consider proposals for using the equipment and personnel of the Defense Ministry's Main Deep-Water Exploration Directorate (GUGI) for geological prospecting on Russia's Arctic shelf. According to Jane's, GUGI, one of the Defense Ministry's most secret directorates, has at its disposal four nuclear deep-water stations, including the Project 1083 Losharik submarine, two deep-water bathyscaphs, The Rus and The Consul, and the BS-136 carrier submarine Orenburg. RIA Novosti

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events                      


28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors.  


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 21-25, 2013. Since 2002, scientists from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond have come to the Symposium to communicate research activities in the marine regions off Alaska. Researchers and students in marine science re-connect with old colleagues and meet new ones. Plenary and poster sessions feature a broad spectrum of ocean science. Hear the latest in the fields of climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research. The Symposium also features compelling keynote speakers, workshops and special sessions.


Alaska Forum on the Environment, February 4-8, 2013. Hosted by The Alaska Forum, Inc. the 2013 Alaska Forum on the Environment will follow up on previous forums by offering training and information, includes plenary sessions, on: climate change, emergency response, environmental regulations, fish and wildlife populations, rural issues, energy, military issues, business issues, solid waste, contaminants, contaminated site cleanup, mining and others.  For 2013, the forum will expand forum content to provide information to help better understand issues surrounding coastal communities. This will include tsunami impacts, marine debris, and coastal erosion.


Wakefield28th Wakefield Symposium: Responses of Arctic Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change, March 26-29, 2013. This symposium seeks to advance our understanding of responses of arctic marine ecosystems to climate change at all trophic levels, by documenting and forecasting changes in environmental processes

and species responses to those changes. Presentations will focus on collaborative approaches to understanding and managing living marine resources in a changing Arctic, and to managing human responses to changing arctic marine ecosystems. Hosted by Alaska Sea Grant and sponsors. 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013. The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include

response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.

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