US Arctic Research Commission
February 2, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents


The House is not in session.The Senate is expected to consider the FAA authorization and the 2010 health care overhaul.

Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Advanced Intl' Studies is sponsoring "The Future of the Arctic" in DC. Info and registration here. 

Media Reviewtodaysevents  


Inouye Relents to Anti-Earmarks Movement, for Now. Staring at a House earmark ban and a presidential promise to veto any bill containing earmarks, Senate Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye announced Tuesday that he would not seek tocapital insert earmarks into spending bills this year. "The handwriting is clearly on the wall," the Hawaii Democrat said in a statement. "The President has stated unequivocally that he will veto any legislation containing earmarks, and the House will not pass any bills that contain them. Given the reality before us, it makes no sense to accept earmark requests that have no chance of being enacted into law." Roll Call

Senator Mark Begich's response

Senator Lisa Murkowski's response


OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate Dems near compromise on oil-spill liability bill. Key Senate Democrats negotiating oil-spill liability language in a series of closed-door meetings are expected in the coming weeks to produce a compromise proposal, reviving hopes that the Senate could pass an oil-spill response bill this year. The issue of liability, or how much the company deemed responsible for an oil spill must pay in economic damages, emerged as a key sticking point during efforts last year to pass an oil-spill response bill in the Senate. A compromise on the issue indicates that senators have made significant progress in moving forward on a broad oil-spill bill. The Hill  


Cluster Encounters 'Natural Particle Accelerator' Above Earth's Atmosphere: How Northern and Southern Lights Are Generated. The European Space Agency's Cluster satellites have flown through a natural particle accelerator just above Earth's atmosphere. The data they collected are unlocking how most of the dramatic displays of the northern and southern lights are generated. Science Daily


Baffin, Barbados Face Similar Climate Threats: Inuit leaders seek common front against warming. While waters around south Baffin Island and Nunavik remained ice-free this past January, people who live more than 5,000 kilometres away to the south on the island of Barbados grappled with another problem generated by climate change: too much water. No wonder "you melt, we sink" is the nightmare that unites 43 small developing island nations of the world and Arctic organizations in their fight against climate change through a coalition called Many Strong Voices. Nunatsiaq Online


Arctic Borders. The Arctic has always been and must remain a territory of dialogue and cooperation. This is the conclusion drawn by the Arctic Borders international conference which has ended in the Norwegian city of Tromso. This scientific and practical forum was held for the fifth time and representatives of almost 20 countries took part in it. Today the Polar region's treasures attract everyone. Oil and gas companies hope to gain access to the huge resources of that remote place. A very positive factor is that the Arctic is free from political instability which is characteristic of other parts of the world rich in resources. For this reason not only the northern countries lay their claim on the pie, even China is planning to build ice-breakers, says Yevgeny Nikora, the head of the Murmansk regional parliament and a participant in the conference. The Voice of Russia

Legislative Actionfutureevents

No Arctic-related legislation was formally considered yesterday. 

Future Eventsfutureevents

President's Budget, February 7. By statute, the president is required to submit his annual budget proposal to Congress by the first Monday in February.
Arctic Technology Conference, February 7-9, 2011. The Arctic is one of the few places on the globe which still holds enormous new petroleum reserve potential. A recently completed USGS survey estimated that 20% of the world's remaining reserves were trapped beneath the Arctic Circle. OTC's inaugural Arctic Technology Conference (ATC), 7-9 February 2011 in Houston, Texas, will be a truly global event focused on the cutting-edge technologies and innovative practices needed for exploration and production in the Arctic.

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.


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