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April 10, 2013


Unless the Senate reaches an agreement Wednesday, the chamber will vote to invoke cloture Thursday morning on the motion to proceed to a measure that would require background checks on all firearm sales. The House considers a measure on hydropower development. 

president signingPresident Obama's 2014 Budget Proposal. President Obama unveiled a $3.77 trillion spending plan on April 10 that proposes modest new investments in infrastructure and education, major new taxes for the wealthy and significant reforms aimed at reducing the cost of Social Security and Medicare. Washington Post


Report: Redundant Federal Programs Waste Billions. Obama will propose cutting or consolidating 215 federal programs, saving $25 billion next year, according to an administration source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the budget hasn't been released. Two specific areas Obama may reorganize: the 220 science education programs spread over 13 agencies, and the more than 40 federal job training programs. Federal Times


ScienceAlaska Denies Study of Marine Invader Near Sitka. Alaska fisheries officials concerned about the spread of an invasive marine species have denied federal and university researchers permission to study the organism's effect on herring eggs near Sitka. Biologist Tammy Davis of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said Tuesday the state will instead focus on eradicating Didemnum vexillum, also known as D vex, which has been found so far only in Sitka's Whiting Harbor. Anchorage Daily News


ConocoPhillips Halts 2014 Alaskan Arctic Drilling Plans. ConocoPhillips said Wednesday it put its 2014 Alaska Chukshi Sea exploration drilling plans on hold due to regulatory uncertainty. "The company has determined it would not be prudent at this time to make the significant monetary commitments needed to preserve the option to drill in 2014," ConocoPhillips said in a statement. A recent Department of the Interior report called on industry and government to work together to develop an Arctic-specific model for offshore oil and gas exploration in Alaska. Market Watch


Begich, Cantwell Welcome Return of Icebreaker Polar Star to Service. U.S. Senators Mark Begich and Maria Cantwell today welcomed the announcement that the icebreaker Polar Star is ready again for operational deployment after spending years in Seattle in "caretaker" status. Last Friday, the Coast Guard announced the 399-foot, 75,000 horsepower heavy icebreaker was again "ready for sea." "As chairman of the Senate Oceans Subcommittee, I have made this issue a top priority. After relying on just one operational icebreaker for years, having the Polar Star back up and running is great news," Sen. Begich said. Senator Mark Begich 


US CO2 Emissions Falls to Lowest Level Since 1994. Carbon dioxide emissions from energy consumption in the United States during 2012 fell to the lowest level since 1994, finds a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a branch of the Department of Energy. The assessment concludes that some 5.3 billion metric tons of CO2 were emitted from coal, natural gas, and oil consumption during the year, a 3.7 percent decline relative to 2011 and 12.1 percent below the peak of 6 billion tons hit in 2007. The EIA cited increased use of natural gas and falling consumption of coal as the primary reason for the drop in emissions of the greenhouse gas. ENN

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


No formal legislative action was taken on Arctic legislation yesterday.

Future Events                      


Arctic Science Summit Week, April 13-19, 2013. Krakow, Poland. The ASSW is the annual gathering of international organizations engaged in supporting and facilitating Arctic research. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for international coordination, collaboration and cooperation in all fields of Arctic science and to combine science and management meetings. Side meetings organized by groups with interest in the Arctic science and policy will also be held within the week.


American Polar Society 75th Anniversary, April 15-18, 2013, Woods Hole, MA. The American Polar Society will hold a meeting and symposium at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This meeting and symposium is titled "The Polar Regions in the 21st Century: Globalization, Climate Change and Geopolitics." 


Arctic Observing Summit 2013, April 30- May 2, 2013, Vancouver, BC, CA. 

 The Arctic Observing Summit is led by the International Study of Arctic Change (ISAC). It is a Sustaining Arctic Observing Network (SAON) task and part of the broader SAON implementation process, which is led by the Arctic Council jointly with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). AOS is a high-level, biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long term (decades) operation of an international network of arctic observing systems. The AOS will provide a platform to address urgent and broadly recognized needs of arctic observing across all components of the arctic system, including the human component. It will foster international communication and coordination of long-term observations aimed at improving understanding and responding to system-scale arctic change. The AOS will be an international forum for optimizing resource allocation through coordination and exchange among researchers, funding agencies, and others involved or interested in long term observing activities, while minimizing duplication and gaps.


International Conference on Arctic Ocean Acidification, May 6-8, 2013, Bergen, Norway. The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the Institute of Marine Research, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research, and the University of British Columbia, Canada, host a conference to consider Arctic Ocean acidification. Topics will include response of Arctic Ocean to increasing CO2 and related changes in the global carbon cycle, social and policy challenges, Arctic Ocean acidification and ecological and biogeochemical coupling, implications of changing Arctic Ocean acidification for northern (commercial and subsistence) fisheries, and future developments.


Private Sector Transportation, Infrastructure, Assets, Response, Capacity, and Development in the Arctic, May 30, 2012, Seattle, WA. A recently-held Arctic transportation workshop in Iceland highlighted the need to better understand private sector transportation infrastructure and assets, recognizing industry's role in the responsible development of resources, response and supportive infrastructure. As a follow-up to its efforts to inventory and map Arctic transportation infrastructure, the Institute of the North is hosting a workshop at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Washington that focuses on three critical areas: private sector assets and infrastructure in the Arctic, staging areas outside the Arctic that support Northern development, and vessels and technology that are difficult to map but need to be measured for future decision-making. Participants include industry representatives, technical experts, researchers, Coast Guard and other response personnel.


AGU Science Policy Conference, June 24-26, 2013. (Washington, DC) Hundreds of Earth and space scientists, students, policymakers, and industry professionals will discuss key Earth and space science topics that address challenges to our economy, national security, environment, and public safety. This meeting will focus on the science that helps inform policymakers' decisions related to energy, natural hazards, technology and infrastructure, climate, oceans, and the Arctic. The event is hosted by American Geophysical Union (AGU), a Washington, D. C.-based international nonprofit scientific association.


Arctic Cities, Global Processes, and Local Realities, December 2-4, 2013 (Reovaniemi, Finland) The conference is organized jointly by the City of Rovaniemi and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland. The goal of the conference is to present the latest research scientific knowledge about the global processes as they become local realities. Even if the Conference is scientific in orientation, it aims to bridge science and knowledge into action by bringing top scholars to share their research results, and to organize joint discussion with the leaders of the Arctic Cities. Sessions include: Rovaniemi Process: past, present, future; Arctic responses to global environmental problems; people and extractive industries; tourism in the Arctic; the Arctic in global economy; climate change in the Arctic; indigenous peoples in cities; and, Arctic global flows. Cross cutting themes include: Arctic cities and global processes; management and governance in the Arctic; and, Arctic together with non-Arctic.

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