US Arctic Research Commission
March 17, 2011

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


The Senate is expected to pass a continuing resolution to fund government operations through April 8.Republicans would like any additional short-term spending extensions to include Department of Defense funding through the end of the fiscal year.  The House will consider a resolution requesting the President to withdraw from Afghanistan and legislation to bar federal funding for NPR.


HOUSE: Fiscal 2012 Appropriations: Interior and Environment, March 17, 30, 31; April 6, 7, 12. The Interior and Environment and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on the proposed fiscal year 2012 appropriations for departments, agencies, and programs under its jurisdiction.


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


Media Reviewtodaysevents  



Fiscal 2011 Funding Delays Pose Threats to Navy, Secretary Says. The Navy's top civilian leader warned Wednesday that delays in providing full fiscal 2011 funding could devastate shipbuilding accounts and create a $600 million shortfall in Navy and Marine Corps personnel accounts. The warning came in a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee a day after the House passed the sixth stopgap funding bill (H J Res 48) of the fiscal year that began last Oct. 1.The current continuing resolution (PL 112-4) expires March 18. The new CR would keep funds flowing through April 8. Senior congressional aides have indicated this could be the last CR the president would be willing to sign. Congressional Quarterly


Keep the Earmark Requests Coming, Say Some Lawmakers to Constituents. Some lawmakers are still seeking funding for their constituents, despite the voluntary earmark bans that have taken hold in both chambers of Congress. In letters and e-mails obtained by The Hill, lawmakers asked constituents for their earmark requests this year and said they will seek alternative means of funding them due to the prohibition on pet projects. The Hill


House GOP, White House Ramp Up Talks on Budget Deal. Talks between House Republicans and the administration are accelerating as both sides push for a deal in the next two weeks to avert a government shutdown. The negotiations are under way on several levels. Conversations between Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew and House Appropriations Republican staff have begun. Democratic aides said those talks are an offshoot of existing negotiations involving leadership staff from both chambers that helped produce a deal last week on a three-week continuing resolution. Talks between House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, and President Obama or a senior designee are set to begin as soon as this week, a senior GOP source said. Government Executive


Debate Over Policies, Not Numbers Dog Long-Term Budget Negotiations. Pressure on Republican leaders and the White House to hammer out a long term spending plan intensified Wednesday, as attention increasingly turned to a series of contentious policy divisions at the center of the budget standoff. With the expected passage of another stopgap spending measure, congressional leaders are looking at a three-week negotiating window to bridge the wide gap between the parties and avert a government shutdown. The Hill 


EPA Bill Passes House Committee, Amid Climate Science Debate. After a full day of debate on amendments and impassioned political statements, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted on Tuesday to slash the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. While the Republican majority voted unanimously in favor of the measure, which passed 34-19, three Democrats, Reps. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, John Barrow, D-Ga., and Mike Ross, D-Ark., sided with the majority. Government Executive


CNO Assesses Russian, Chinese Navies. When Adm. Gary Roughead, the U.S. Navy's chief of naval operations (CNO), was asked Wednesday for his assessment of America's former Cold War opponent, he said, "The Russian Navy still has great ambition, still has great pride." The collapse of the Soviet Union significantly reduced the navy, Roughead noted, with most shipbuilding programs coming to a halt or dragging out. Defense News


The Navy's testimony was presented at an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.  The testimony is available here.


Arctic Challenge for Arctic Council. Traditionally a forum for Arctic science and low-tension political questions, the Arctic Council plans to change as the Arctic changes. Ministers meet in May. Barents Observer


Aspen Commission: Amid Climate Change, Arctic Cooperation Urgently Needed. The loss of Arctic sea ice has done more than herald the extent of global warming. It has opened up the prospect of new shipping routes and new access to natural resources. As the ice has retreated, nations and private interests have advanced on the wild, remote region that affects the world--both as home to unique species, and ecosystems that provide cooling for the planet. But the question remains how to manage the competing claims on the Arctic's 11.6 million square miles (30 million square kilometers), given the potential for the interests of eight separate nations to collide at the top of the Earth? National Geographic   


Canada's Unique Wetlands Under Threat: Report. Canada must limit large-scale industrial activity in its boreal forest, the world's largest intact timberland, to preserve millions of lakes and rivers critical to forming Arctic sea ice, a new report said Wednesday. The first of its kind study by the Pew Environment Group shows Canada's boreal forest contains more unfrozen freshwater than any other ecosystem, totaling more than 197 million acres of surface freshwater. AFP 


NOAA Administrator Unveils Arctic Plan During Aspen Speech. NOAA explained today how it will concentrate scientific, service, and stewardship efforts in the Arctic when it released its first ever Arctic Vision and Strategy. Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, made the announcement during a keynote address to the Aspen Institute in Washington. "The Arctic is at once a majestic, harsh, and fragile environment. It's the region where we are seeing the most rapid and dramatic changes in the climate. And these regional changes have global implications," said Lubchenco. "NOAA's Arctic plan builds on our research history in that region to prepare us for a changing Arctic that will affect our economic, environmental, and strategic interests. The time to refocus our efforts is now and strong local, regional and international partnerships are required if we are to succeed." NOAA  


Legislative Actionfutureevents  


H.J.Res. 48, additional continuing appropriations amendments, 2011. (Rogers- read for the second time and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar)


Future Eventsfutureevents    


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