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September 10, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate return from recess today. The Senate will consider a judicial nomination. The House will consider a number of legislative items under suspension of the rules.



BoehnerSpending Deal Gets Green Light From Conservative Leaders. This may be good news for those who would like a longer break from the edge-of-the-seat drama of the 112th Congress. Leaders of conservative Republican factions in both chambers have turned their attention to the expected post-election session, where they hope to see across-the-board tax cut extensions and an ambitious deficit reduction package. The conservatives also want to change the automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin in January under last summer's debt limit deal in order to reduce the impact on the military. But of immediate interest is the fact they do not plan to make trouble for the six-month stopgap spending bill House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have promised to move before the elections. Congressional Quarterly


budgetStopgap Funding Bill on Fast Track. The House may vote as early as this week on a stopgap funding measure, a compromise aimed at allowing lawmakers to return to their campaigns without the threat of a potential government shutdown hanging over the elections. Appropriators might unveil as early as Tuesday the text of a fiscal 2013 continuing resolution that would keep the federal government running from October through March. Leaders in both chambers and the White House announced a bipartisan agreement for a CR before leaving for the August recess. Republican conservatives agreed to temporarily accept a small bump in spending to get Democrats to agree to delay final budget decisions until the next session of Congress. Each party is betting it will then hold the White House. Congressional Quarterly 


shellShell Makes History in Chukchi Sea-Drilling Now Underway: 1st time in 21 years that anyone has drilled Alaska's Arctic waters, searching for oil. This morning, (Sunday) Shell Oil has begun conducting an historic operation in the Chukchi Sea. For the first time in more than two decades, the company has started drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean -70 miles off the coast of Northwestern Alaska. It happened at 4:30 A.M., Alaska Daylight Time - when the drill bit first touched the sea floor. The last time that Shell drilled the "Burger Prospect" was way back in 1991. Back then, the Chukchi Sea showed huge promise for oil, but it could not be drilled commercially. There were 3 main reasons for that. KTUU 


UAF Launches 4th Arctic Innovation Competition. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting its fourth annual Arctic Innovation Competition this fall. The competition, started by the UAF School of Management, is designed to spur innovation among Alaskans. Ideas for inventions - in all stages of development - are encouraged for submission in the competition. Nearly $20,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, including $10,000 for first place. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner   


russian flagNew Arctic Expedition Sets Out From Murmansk. A new Russian Arctic expedition has set out on board the Rossiya icebreaker from Murmansk to the southern part of the Canadian Basin. It will replace the North Pole-39 research team, which has been drifting on an ice floe since last October, with a new one, North Pole-40.Bishop Iakov of Naryan-Mar and Mezen is taking part in the expedition.He brought the Icon of the St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker, the patron of sailors, and a fraction of his holy remains with him on board. Voice of Russia  


arctic shipping Arctic Shipping: Studying underwater noise in Northwest Passage. A group of U.S.-based researchers wants to record underwater noise levels in the Northwest Passage near the community of Resolute, in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, to track changes that may come with increasing ship traffic. Philip Manik, chair of the local hunters and trappers organization, says ship traffic is already having a noticeable effect on wildlife. "Any amount of disturbance increases will have an effect on marine mammals, either their migration routes, or where they have haul-outs," he said. John Hildebrand of the University of California is leading the project. "You know, when the ice forms, the Arctic is one of the most quiet environments on the planet," he said. "I think that the animals are probably pretty adapted to having a quiet setting." Alaska Dispatch 


Inupiaq Leaders Bring Local Knowledge, Environmental Concerns to Conference. A late August conference centered on Arctic issues featured speakers from around the country, around the world and also from notable locations around Alaska's Arctic. "Whenever you have over 200 leaders," said North Slope Mayor Charlotte Brower after the conference, "from industry, science and research organizations, the Federal and State Government and the International leaders that were in attendance, it's a good thing." The Arctic Sounder

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal action was taken on Arctic legislation.

Future Events                      


Debate on Arctic Challenges Set for Brussels, October 4-5, 2012.The challenges facing the Arctic during a time of change and global warming uncertainty will be the subject of frank and lively debate between policymakers, Ambassadors from European Union and Arctic nations, polar scientists, and representatives industry and Arctic indigenous peoples groups, at the 2012 Arctic Futures Symposium, taking place in Brussels on October 4th and 5th. High-level speakers include Prince Albert II of Monaco, Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Belgian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs Didier Reynders, and Charles Emmerson, Chatham House Senior Research Fellow on Energy, Environment and Resources, and author of The Future History of the Arctic.  Guest speakers will also include Sweden's Arctic Ambassador Gustav Lind, Greenland's Deputy Foreign Minister Inuuteq Holm Olsen, Robert Blaauw, Senior Advisor to Shell's Arctic programme, Bernard Funston, Chair of the Canadian Polar Commission, British Antarctic Survey glaciologist Prof. David Vaughan and Lars-Anders Baer, chair of the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.


inuitconferencelogoArctic/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 museums 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.  


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. 


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.

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