US Arctic Research Commission
February 10, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to consider trade adjustment assistance. The House is expected to consider a resolution directing standing committees to review administrative regulations to consider their effect on jobs and economic growth.

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Environment, Energy Are Targets of Republican Cuts. House Republicans targeted environmental and energy programs in a preview of what they say will be an austere spending plan for the remainder of fiscal 2011. The partial plan released by Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., would provide far less money than President Obama requested for a host of programs. But the committee did not provide comparisons to current funding levels or fiscal 2010 spending, making it difficult to gauge the severity of the proposed cuts. Congressional Quarterly


Eni Starts Alaskan Oil Production. Italian energy company Eni announced that it italian_US_flagstarted production at an oil field in the North Slope of Alaska in shallow waters. Eni said it started producing oil at the Nikaitchuq field. The field marks the first arctic project for the Italian energy company and holds an estimated 220 million barrels of oil. Full development, the energy company said in a statement, comes from 22 onshore and 30 offshore wells. Average water depth for the offshore section is about 10 feet and the company said facilities tied to the field are designed to minimize the impact on the environment. The PoliJAM Times 


Requiem for the Bears? [Editorial] In a recent article, I wrote about the unusual weather patterns of the last two winters, with excessive cold and snow in the eastern United States and western Europe occurring at the same time as unusual warmth in parts of the Arctic. One thing I did not mention in that article was what the likely effect on Arctic wildlife would be if this sort of thing continues. A new study offers an ominous forecast for one flagship Arctic species, the polar bear. Bears in some parts of the far north are under increasing stress because of climate change. These bears do most of their feeding during the winter as they venture onto the sea ice to catch seals. But with the ongoing decline of that ice in recent decades, life has gotten harder for many of the bears. New York Times 


Finland to Increase its Input in Arctic Region Cooperation: Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb adds momentum to collaboration with Russia during visit to St. Petersburg. Finland wants to increase its presence in the Arctic region and aims to strengthen its cooperation with Russia. "Let's keep the Arctic region partnership free from red tape", Finland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb (National Coalition Party) said in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. Stubb was speaking at the "Finnish-Russian Arctic Partnership" seminar at the Russian Geographic Society in St Petersburg on Wednesday. The Arctic partnership program, which was officially launched at the seminar, was initiated by Finland. Its exemplar could well be the cooperation between Russia and Norway in the same Barents region. Last autumn the two countries reconciled their decades-old border dispute in the extreme north and agreed on a strategy of shared energy resources. Helsingin Sanomat 


Greenland- Arctic health on the agenda. The first ever Arctic Health Ministers' AK Native family drawingMeeting will take place on 16 February in Nuuk, Greenland. The meeting is titled: Shared Challenges, Different Solutions: Arctic Health Cooperation in the 21st Century". Key issues of the meeting are to strengthen and develop health collaboration between the Arctic Countries. Greenland's Minister of Health Agathe Fontain and Denmark's Minister for the Interior and Health Bertel Haarder are hosting the meeting, which is attended by delegations from Arctic countries and Arctic indigenous peoples' organizations. ISRIA 


Finland Expand Arctic Cooperation with Russia: Possible establishment of joint shipbuilding enterprise to build high-tech Arctic vessels. Finland wants to place itself as a key-player in the Arctic; establishing EU's Arctic info-centre in Rovaniemi, holding Arctic Summit this year; developing its infrastructure towards Arctic Oceans and this week initiates political and economical ties with Russia in the Arctic. Barents Observer 


Take a Number, Mr. Walrus. [Editorial] The Pacific walrus is imperiled by climate change, which is melting its icy Arctic home, and merits protection under the Endangered Species Act, the federal Fish and Wildlife Service said this week. Yet protections must wait until threats to higher-priority species are addressed, the agency said. "The threats to the walrus are very real," Geoff Haskett, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service's Alaska region, said on Tuesday. But he added that the current size of the walrus population and the animal's ability to shift to land during periods of heightened warming "make its immediate situation less dire than those facing other species such as the polar bear." New York Times

Legislative Actionfutureevents

H.R. 574, to prohibit the Secretary of Interior and Secretary of Commerce from authorizing commercial finfish aquaculture operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone expect in accordance with the law authorizing such action (Young- introduced and referred to committee)


H.Con.Res.15, expressing the sense of Congress that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service should incorporate consideration of global warming and sea-level into the comprehensive conservation plans for coastal national wildlife refuges (Christensen- introduced and referred to committee)


Future Eventsfutureevents      


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Energy Department, February 16.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy.


Murkowski Alaska State Legislature Address, February 24. Senator Murkowski will deliver her annual address to the Alaska State Legislature.


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Interior Department, March 2.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the Department of Interior.


Fiscal 2012 Budget: Forest Service, March 3.  The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the fiscal 2012 budget request for the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture.


International Conference on Arctic Marine Science, International Law and Climate Protection, March 17-18. The German Federal Foreign Office is hosting an event that will take place on the Berlin premises of the Federal Office. The event is co-hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with additional support from prominent research institutes. The Conference will discuss the legal framework for marine scientific research in the Arctic Ocean at present and in the future. Scholars, scientists and diplomats with an interest in the Arctic Ocean are invited to attend. For more information, please contact


Arctic Dialogue & Study Tour, March 22-24, 2011. For the past four years Norway's Bod