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November 15, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate will consider sportsmen legislation. The House will consider legislation regarding trade with Russia.


U.S.-Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum (2012) Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum 2012, November 13-15, 2012. The Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum is a biannual event with representation from government, industry, academia, Aboriginal groups, and northerners from both Canada and the United States. The forum provides an opportunity for United States and Canadian decision makers, regulators, Aboriginals, industry members, non-governmental organizations and scientists to discuss current scientific research and future directions for northern oil and gas activities. The focus is on technical, scientific, and engineering research that can be applied to support management and regulatory processes related to oil and gas exploration and development in the North. The North Slope Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of the Interior is hosting, in partnership with our counterparts in Canada and the United States, the third United States - Canada Northern Oil and Gas Research Forum from November 13 to 15, 2012, at the Hilton Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. The Forum will showcase the value of Northern scientific research in support of sound decision-making for oil and gas management. 




harry reid Reid is Anything But Upbeat About Schedule. On the second day of the lame-duck session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was already on the floor expressing frustration about the chamber's schedule. That may not bode well for December. The Nevada Democrat sounded a dubious tone about the prospects for bipartisan cooperation on a defense authorization bill. He said he wants to start consideration of that measure immediately after the Thanksgiving break, but he signaled he might have to file a motion to limit debate on calling up the bill. Roll Call


Senate Invokes Cloture on Sportsmen Legislation. The Senate moved forward Thursday on a bill that would expand access to federal lands for hunting and fishing enthusiasts. The chamber voted 84-12 to invoke cloture on the legislation (S 3525) that would exclude ammunition and sport fishing equipment from EPA regulation and ease a ban on importing polar bear trophies. Sixty votes were required for adoption. Congressional Quarterly


Oil Drilling in Alaska Senators Promise 'Transformative' Energy Bill. Incoming leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee expressed optimism Thursday that the panel will a produce "transformative" energy bill in the next Congress. Incoming Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and ranking Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Thursday at a CQ Roll Call energy forum that their policies would be guided by the impact on jobs and the environment. Congressional Quarterly


arcticcouncil Arctic Council Officials Call for Reinstatement of Russian Indigenous Org. The Arctic Council's senior Arctic officials and permanent indigenous participants have criticized a move by Russia's ministry of justice to suspend the operations of the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East. Known as RAIPON, the association represents 41 indigenous groups and more than 250,000 indigenous people across the Russian Arctic and sits as a permanent indigenous participant in the Arctic Council, along with the Inuit Circumpolar Council, the Saami Council, the Arctic Athabaskan Council and the Gwich'in Council International. Nunatsiaq Online


Reid's New Panel Ratios Meet GOP Resistance. A partisan dispute is shaping up in the Senate over Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to increase the majority's advantage on some Senate committees from one seat to two. "With our new numbers, there are not going to be any more one-seat majorities," Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday in an interview. Roll Call


Obama Says Climate Legislation Will Be 'Hard.' President Barack Obama said the nation hasn't done enough to address climate change, but he questioned whether Congress can make the "tough political choices" while the nation is focused on the weak economy. "If the message is somehow we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody's going to go for that," the president said Wednesday, at the first post-election White House news conference. "I won't go for that." Congressional Quarterly


Icelander Appointed as Director of Arctic Council. Icelandic Secretary General of the Ministry for the Environment Magnús Jóhannesson was yesterday appointed as first Director of the Arctic Council's Secretariat at the meeting of Senior Arctic Officials in Haparanda, Sweden. Magnús was selected from a group of 36 candidates from seven of the eight member states of the Arctic Council, as stated in a press release from the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Icelander Review


Feds: Lack of Sea Ice Changes Walrus Behavior. he absence of vast swaths of summer sea ice is changing the behavior of Pacific walrus, federal scientists said Wednesday, but added that more research will be needed to say what the final effects might be. "There is a definite concern for the population," said Chad Jay, a U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist who studies patterns of walrus distribution. Since 2008, Jay, USGS researcher Anthony Fischbach and colleagues in Russia have used crossbows to attach temporary radio collars to walrus so their movements can be tracked. CBS News


New Icebreaker Could Keep Northern Sea Route Open. The LK-60 will be the largest and most powerful icebreaker ever built, making commercial traffic along the Northern Sea Route possible all year round. According to Barents Observer, Russia will have a large demand for new nuclear-powered icebreakers in the near future.  Of the existing six vessels that are operating in Arctic waters today only one will be operational by 2020. Marine Link


NORAD to Conduct Exercise Flights in US, Canada. Officials with the North American Aerospace Defense Command say exercise flights will be conducted in the U. S and Canada. Flights to practice intercept and identification procedures are scheduled to take place Thursday off the coast of Seattle and British Columbia's Vancouver Island . Flights for the same exercises also scheduled to take place between Anchorage, Alaska, and the Kobuk Valley in Alaska, and between Aberdeen, S.D., and Minneapolis. Anchorage Daily News


Climate Change Report: Can US Adapt to Severe Weather Alaskans Call Normal? The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and National Research Council (NRC) have released a report commissioned by the CIA and various other American intelligence agencies on the security threats posed by climate change. The report's goal is to inform intelligence agencies as to how to best carry out monitoring to anticipate climate-related disasters, help prevent them from occurring, and, when they do, respond to emergencies. The report investigates how climate change could potentially induce social and political stresses that will affect U.S. security over the next decade. The report committee's chair, John Steinbruner, writes, "There is compelling reason to presume that specific failures of adaptation will occur with consequences more severe than any yet experienced, severe enough to compel more extensive international engagement than has yet been anticipated or organized." Alaska Dispatch

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


S. 1935, Research and Innovation Technology Administration Reauthorization Act (Lautenberg, placed on the Senate Calendar)


S. 3525, Sportsmen's Act (Tester, cloture motion on the bill presented in Senate)

Future Events                      


Arctic Technology Conference, December 3-5, 2012. The burgeoning Arctic arena offers a host of opportunities for companies that can solve the complex environmental, physical and regulatory challenges it presents. ATC 2012 will include a highly specialized technical program, education courses, networking events, and an exhibition - all deisgned to help ensure that oil and gas professionals throughout the world are prepared to succeed in these challenging Arctic arenas.


Arctic Transportation Infrastructure: Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic, December 3-6, 2012. The Arctic Council's Sustainable Development Working Group approved a project during the Swedish Chairmanship (co-led by the United States and Iceland) to assess transportation infrastructure. The Arctic Marine and Aviation Transportation Infrastructure Initiative (AMATII) seeks to evaluate Northern infrastructure -ports, airports, and response capability - by inventorying maritime and aviation assets in the Arctic. As part of this project, the Institute of the North is hosting an Arctic transportation infrastructure conference 3-6 December at the Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavik, Iceland. The conference theme is "Response Capacity and Sustainable Development in the Arctic." Participants will include policy makers and government officials; aviation and marine subject matter experts from the private, public, independent and academic sectors; as well as community leaders and Permanent Participants.


AGU Fall Meeting, December 3-7, 2012. The American Geophysical Union hosts in fall meeting in San Francisco. Roughly 20,000 scientists will be in attendance. On December 3rd, there will be a town hall meeting entitled "Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions."The U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) is organizing a Town Hall meeting at the Fall AGU Meeting entitled "TH15G Scientific Drilling in the Polar Regions". Ice sheets and ocean sediments hold important climate evidence from the past. International collaboration for drilling in the polar regions requires coordination between science, technology, and logistics.  The research community is invited to hear updates on recent planning by the IDPO/IDDO, IPICS, ANDRILL, IODP, SCAR-ACE, and WAIS initiatives. Opportunities for community involvement in interdisciplinary planning will be highlighted and input solicited. 


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. Call for abstracts, due November 30, 2012. 


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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