Kerry to Name Envoy for Arctic Region

John Kerry
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Ben Geman
Feb. 14, 2014, 12:51 p.m.

Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry will name a “spe­cial rep­res­ent­at­ive” to the Arc­tic re­gion at a time when di­min­ish­ing ice is bring­ing new ship­ping ac­cess, com­pet­i­tion for en­ergy re­sources, and en­vir­on­ment­al risks.

Kerry an­nounced the plan in a let­ter to Sen. Mark Be­gich, D-Alaska, who has called for the po­s­i­tion.

“For a long time now, I’ve shared the view that the Arc­tic re­gion really is the last glob­al fron­ti­er, and the United States needs to el­ev­ate our at­ten­tion and ef­fort to keep up with the op­por­tun­it­ies and con­sequences presen­ted by the Arc­tic’s rap­id trans­form­a­tion,” Kerry said in the let­ter that Be­gich re­leased Fri­day.

He writes that it’s “vi­tal that we el­ev­ate the en­tirety of Arc­tic is­sues and in­terests — en­vir­on­ment­al, eco­nom­ic, en­ergy, geo­stra­tegic, na­tion­al se­cur­ity, and more with­in the State De­part­ment it­self.”

Kerry is craft­ing the new po­s­i­tion as the U.S. pre­pares to be­gin a two-year stint as the next chair of the mul­tina­tion Arc­tic Coun­cil in 2015.

The White House re­leased an Arc­tic strategy in May, while the De­fense De­part­ment un­veiled its own Arc­tic plan­ning doc­u­ment late last year.

“The Arc­tic is at a stra­tegic in­flec­tion point as its ice cap is di­min­ish­ing more rap­idly than pro­jec­ted and hu­man activ­ity, driv­en by eco­nom­ic op­por­tun­ity — ran­ging from oil, gas, and min­er­al ex­plor­a­tion to fish­ing, ship­ping, and tour­ism — is in­creas­ing in re­sponse to the grow­ing ac­cess­ib­il­ity,” the De­fense De­part­ment doc­u­ment states.

Be­gich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (who isn’t im­pressed with White House Arc­tic ef­forts) have both called for cre­at­ing an Arc­tic am­bas­sad­or po­s­i­tion.

Be­gich called State’s de­cision to cre­ate the en­voy po­s­i­tion “an im­port­ant step in the right dir­ec­tion.”

“The bot­tom line is that the changes we see in the Arc­tic war­rant a high­er level of in­volve­ment from the U.S. and this po­s­i­tion will al­low us to bet­ter ex­er­cise lead­er­ship and vis­ion in Arc­tic policy mov­ing for­ward,” Be­gich said in a state­ment Fri­day.

What We're Following See More »
PENCE BREAKS THE TIE
Senate Will Debate House Bill
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

By the narrowest of margins, the Senate voted 51-50 this afternoon to begin debate on the House's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins defected from the GOP, but Vice President Pence broke a tie. Sen. John McCain returned from brain surgery to cast his vote.

Source:
WON’T SAY IF HE’LL FIRE HIM
Trump “Disappointed” in Sessions
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

“'It’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement,'” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. 'I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.'”

Source:
MURKOWSKI, COLLINS VOTE NAY
Republicans Reach 50 Votes to Proceed on Health Bill
1 hours ago
THE LATEST
INTERVIEWED KUSHNER FOR OVER THREE HOURS
House Russia Probe: Kushner “Satisfied” Questions
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Republicans who interviewed Jared Kushner for more than three hours in the House’s Russia probe on Tuesday said the president’s son-in-law and adviser came across as candid and cooperative. 'His answers were forthcoming and complete. He satisfied all my questions,' said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who’s leading the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign."

Source:
VICTORY FOR GUN RIGHTS ADVOCATES
Appeals Court Block D.C. Gun Control Law
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday blocked a gun regulation in Washington, D.C., that limited the right to carry a handgun in public to those with a special need for self-defense, handing a victory to gun rights advocates. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's 2-1 ruling struck down the local government's third major attempt in 40 years to limit handgun rights, citing what it said was scant but clear guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court on the right to bear arms."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login