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Senate Supports Arctic Economic Council and requests an Alaskan serve as chair


April 03, 2015
Friday PM

(SitNews) - The Alaska State Senate unanimously passed a resolution today supporting the Arctic Economic Council. Senate Joint Resolution 16, sponsored by Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage), urges the U.S. Congress to stand with Alaska in its support for the Arctic Economic Council and requests that an Alaskan serve as its chair. The resolution also expresses support for the Arctic Economic Council Leadership to mirror the rotation of the chair of the Arctic Council.

“Alaska is what makes the United States an Arctic nation,” said Senator McGuire. “With all eyes on the Arctic, we’re hoping to use this opportunity to focus on the economic and development opportunities for Alaskans, the people of the north.”

The Arctic Council was established in 1996 to promote cooperation, coordination, and interaction across the Arctic. In 2013, the Arctic Council created Arctic Economic Council to serve as its primary forum for interaction with the circumpolar business community. Its goals include enhancing regional economic cooperation, informing the work of the Arctic Council through a commerce perspective, and positively impacting the communities, lives, and cultures of Arctic indigenous peoples.

“We’re hoping to see more development in the Arctic to fill up the Trans-Alaska pipeline again, create energy independence for America, and reclaim Alaska’s place as a major energy supplier,” said Senator McGuire. “There’s also an additional $100 billion just waiting to be invested in mining, shipping, and tourism in the circumpolar region.”

The resolution requests that an Alaskan be appointed chair of the Arctic Economic Council. All three of the U.S. delegates, Lori Davey, Bruce Harland, and Gail Schubert, who attended the founding organization meeting were Alaskans and Alaskans are represented in four of the six permanent participant organization.

“America has been behind in Arctic policy, but we’re catching up and taking over in the way that Alaskans do,” said Senator McGuire. “Alaskans are the ones leading the way, so we’d like to have an Alaskan at the table as chair.”

The U.S. will become chair of the Arctic Council later this year.



Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


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Alaska Senate Majority


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