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December 7, 2011


Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The House and Senate are in session. The Senate is considering legislation regarding a US-Canadian pipeline. The House will refer the National Defense Authorization Act to conference and consider several items under suspension of the rules.


The majority of legislative work will be behind the scenes to complete work on FY 2012 appropriations legislation.  


AGU Fall Meeting, December 5-9, 2011. The American Geophysical Union's ("AGU") Fall Meeting is underway to connect with colleagues, broaden their knowledge base, and embrace the joy of science.  The groundbreaking research presented at this world-renowned event is critical to advancing our understanding of the natural world and to addressing the challenges society faces as they relate to our science. As an organization, AGU works to unite Earth and space scientists who are dedicated to the common goal: scientific discovery for the benefit of humanity.  One of the most important ways we do this is through the Fall Meeting - an event that embodies who we are as a scientific organization and that is key to helping us achieve our organizational mission, vision and goals.



Media Reviewtodaysevents  


BoehnerFinal Government Shutdown Fight Rings Out the Old Year. House and Senate appropriators are laboring to produce a $900 billion omnibus bill by the beginning of next week. Failure to reach a deal would result in a government shutdown when current funding runs out Dec. 16. All sides stand to lose public support from such a standoff, which would confirm to many that Washington no longer functions. House Republicans, eyeing approval numbers for Congress that dipped into the single digits, are keen to avoid a bruising shutdown. The Hill 


House GOP's Package of Budget Bills to Include Two-Year Cycle, Shutdown Avoidance. House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and other Republicans on his committee will introduce a package of bills Wednesday aimed in part at reversing what GOP lawmakers say are incentives that lead to higher government spending. Republicans said they hope to draw Democratic support for the package's 10 budget process measures, which are expected to be marked up early next year. Some of the proposals, such as shifting to a two-year budget cycle, are sure to draw fire from appropriators on both sides of the aisle. Congressional Quarterly


Prosecutors Say BP Didn't Learn From 2001 Crude Oil Spill: FROZEN PIPES: Spill in 2009 recalls one that occurred in 2001. When a BP pipeline froze two years ago on Alaska's North Slope, the oil company had experience with the problem. Prosecutors say BP failed to apply the lessons learned from 2001, when a different pipeline froze and broke open, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil. BP uses a different frozen pipeline to make the opposite point, that it couldn't have foreseen what would happen in 2009. Its example is from 2007 and involved a pipeline that, like the one in 2009, was feeding into its Lisburne Production Center. When efforts to thaw the pipeline in 2007 failed, BP let it sit until spring, when BP says it thawed naturally with no spilled crude or other environmental damage. Anchorage Daily News 


NOAANOAA Releases Regional Saltwater Recreational Fishing Plans Designed to Improve Fishing, Stewardship and Science. NOAA today released the first regional saltwater recreational fishing action plans designed to help improve fishing opportunities and address recreational fishing priorities in each of the nation's six coastal regions and for the angling community that fishes for tunas and other highly migratory species. Saltwater angling is a treasured national pastime that provides significant benefits - jobs, income and sales - to our nation's economy. In 2010, saltwater recreational fishing contributed $50 billion in sales to the U.S. economy and supported 326,000 jobs in fishing and across the broader economy. NOAA 


Coastal Zone Measure Clears Hurdle. Efforts to get an initiative establishing a coastal management program on next year's ballot can proceed. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell certified the initiative application Tuesday. The initiative committee now must gather 25,875 signatures to get it on the ballot. Juneau's mayor and an initiative backer, Bruce Botelho, has said the goal is to have 27,000 signatures collected before Jan. 17, the start of the legislative session. Anchorage Daily News 


nuunavutNunavut Region to Boost Renewable Power of Offset Climate Change. Nunavut, Canada's northernmost territory, is studying ways to boost its use of hydroelectric, wind and solar power to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change, Premier Eva Aariak said. The territory, about the same size as neighboring Greenland, has "abundant" renewable resources, including summer days with 24 hours of sunlight, said Aariak, in an interview yesterday. The government may consider feed-in tariffs and other mechanisms to promote the use of alternative energies, she said. Bloomberg 


Arctic Sea Freezing Fast North of Alaska But May Be Too Little, Too Late. After shrinking to one of the smallest summer extents of the past 30 years, the ice cap over the Arctic Ocean has been re-growing quickly as the dark polar winter tightens its grip. During November, plunging temperatures refroze an average of more than 30,000 square miles of ocean every day - growing enough pans and floes to cover an area almost the size of South Carolina every 24 hours. That's faster growth than usual, according to records going back to the 1970s. Alaska Dispatch 


Bowhead Whale Hunting BarrowInupiat Whaling, Drilling at Stake in Recent Alaskan Mayor's Race. Independent photojournalists Will Rose and Kajsa Sj