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July 10, 2012

Today's Eventstodaysevents 


Today, the Senate will vote on cloture to limit debate on expiring tax provisions. The House will consider a repeal of the 2010 heath care law.


Climate Report, July 10, 2012. Next week, the NOAA State of the Climate Report will be published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), and there will be a press release and Webinar on Tuesday, 10 July at noon DC time. The Arctic is being featured in the Webinar, and there will be a member of the panel providing a summary and highlights of the Arctic chapter in the report. You may join the Webinar as an "attendee" or simply call in by teleconference.

To join the event as an attendee

1. Go here

2. Click "Join Now".


To join the teleconference:

1-517-308-9286 or 800-857-9789

Passcode: CLIMATE



YoungDon Young's Railroad to Nowhere. Alaska Rep. Don Young brought the world the "Bridge to Nowhere." Call this the Railroad to Nowhere. Seven years ago, the veteran Republican created a cash gusher for the touristy Alaska Railroad by giving it a share of Congress's mass transit bucks. In June, he stared down the Senate to keep the subsidies flowing for another two years. Politico





canadian flagCanada's Inuit Roar in Protest Over Move to Protect Polar Bears. Doomsday predictions of the polar bear's demise tend to draw an Inuit guffaw here in Nunavut, the remote Arctic territory where polar bears in some places outnumber people. People will tell you about the polar bear that strode brazenly past the dump a month ago or the bear that attacked a dog team in the town of Arviat in November. Heart-rending pictures of polar bears clinging to tiny islands of ice elicit nothing but derision. Anchorage Daily News 


Halifax Shipyard Has $9 Million Deal to Review Arctic Patrol Ships. Ottawa has signed a "preliminary contract" worth a little more than $9 million with Irving Shipbuilding to check out existing arctic offshore patrol ships. Defense Minister Peter MacKay made the announcement Tuesday morning at the Halifax Shipyard. Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said in a release that the contract is the first in a series that will lead to new navy ships. Ottawa says this contract will allow Irving to review the design and specifications of the existing arctic patrol vessels, and create an "execution strategy" for building the new ones. The Chronicle Herald 


BP Won't Pursue Alaska Project in Current Form. BP PLC has decided not to pursue a huge oil project off Alaska's coast in its current form. It's the latest setback for BP's Liberty project, and it raises questions about how, or whether, the project will be pursued in the future. BP, at one time, expected initial production to begin in 2011. The project, which BP had said would "set standards for Arctic oilfield development while minimizing the onshore and offshore environmental footprint," called for using a man-made gravel island in the Beaufort Sea as a drilling base. It also called for a rig drilling horizontally for six to eight miles to tap what BP estimates is a 100-million-barrel reserve of recoverable oil. It had anticipated oil production of up to 40,000 barrels per day. Anchorage Daily News 


shellShell's Arctic Oil Spill Recovery Barge Refused Coast Guard Certificates. In the event of an offshore oil spill in the Arctic, Shell has previously admitted it can only "encounter" most of the oil in the frigid, pristine waters - not clean it up. However, it may lack the resources to do even that. As Shell's fleet sails north to prepare offshore drilling in Arctic waters, Shell's oil spill recovery barge, the Arctic Challenger, remains docked in northern Washington after failing to receive Coast Guard certification. The Los Angeles Times reports: The delay in certification adds another notch of uncertainty to Shell's narrow window for operations in the Arctic, which already is tight because drilling must halt by September in the Chukchi Sea and by October in the Beaufort Sea to avoid the dangerous advance of sea ice that comes with winter. Though drilling initially was scheduled to commence by mid-July, unusually heavy sea ice from the past winter has postponed that, probably until the first week of August. Oil Price

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No Arctic legislation was formally considered yesterday.

Future Events    


Polar Research Board Meeting, July 13-14, 2012. The Polar Research Board will hold a meeting in Portland, OR. Additional information to follow.           



healthmeetinglogo15th International Congress on Circumpolar Health, August 5-10, 2012. This event is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society for Circumpolar Health, and the International Union for Circumpolar Health.  The forum will consider community participatory research and indigenous research; women's health, family health, and well-being; food security and nutrition; social determinants of health; environmental and occupational health; infectious and chronic diseases; climate change health impacts; health service delivery and infrastructure; and behavioral health.


98th meeting of the US Arctic Research Commission, August 9-10, 2012. Fairbanks, AK. For more information, go to USARC 98th Meeting Draft Agenda 


Week of the Arctic, August 13-18, 2012. The Arctic is front and center in peoples' minds.  Increased maritime traffic and new opportunities for development have brought about more reasons to understand and work toward safe and secure operations both on land and off Alaska's coast. To help Alaskans understand these critical challenges and issues at stake in the Arctic, the Institute convened the first Week of the Arctic last year, drawing over 550 participants to five events in four days. The 2012 Week of the Arctic will take place August 13-18 in Anchorage, Alaska. Week of the Arctic events will include:

The Week of the Arctic's signature event is the annual Robert O. Anderson Sustainable Arctic Award Dinner on Friday, August 17th. This year we'll be recognizing Red Dog Mine for their sustainable development in the North.


2nd Cargo Airships of Northern Operations Workshop, August 22-24, 2012. Researchers from NASA Ames Research Center will provide insights into the new technologies that form the solid engineering basis for modern cargo airship systems. Speakers from the mining, oil, and gas industries will describe their transportation challenges and how they plan to exploit cargo airships in support of their businesses. Local Alaskan air freight firms will discuss how cargo airships can complement existing air transport fleets by providing additional capability and expanding air shipping services. The world's leading developers of airships will provide design and operational details on new cargo airships they're currently developing and preparing to deploy for commercial service. Representatives from the financial community will present the many options available for what has often been the missing element of airship development and operations, funding. The website will soon be updated. 


The Arctic Imperative Summit, August 24-27, 2012. The summit will be hosted by Alaska Dispatch and will bring together leading voices in this conversation, including residents from the small villages that comprise Alaska's coastal communities, state, national and international leaders, the heads of shipping and industry, as well as international policymakers and the news media. The goal of the summit is to sharpen the focus on the policy and investment needs of Alaska's Arctic through a series of high level meetings, presentations, investor roundtables and original research.


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.  

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