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 »
TRUMP CANCELS FLORIDA TRIP
Congress Heads Back to Work to End Shutdown
17 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate was expected to be back in session at noon, while House lawmakers were told to return to work for a 9 a.m. session. Mr. Trump on Friday had canceled plans to travel to his private resort on Palm Beach, Fla., where a celebration had been planned for Saturday to celebrate the anniversary of his first year in office."

Source:
CLOTURE FAILS
Government Shutdown Begins, as Senate Balks at Stopgap
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A stopgap spending bill stalled in the Senate Friday night, leading to a government shutdown for the first time since 2013. The continuing resolution funding agencies expired at midnight, and lawmakers were unable to spell out any path forward to keep government open. The Senate on Friday night failed to reach cloture on a four-week spending bill the House had already approved."

Source:
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN SUSPICIOUS CHECKS FLAGGED
Mueller’s Team Scrutinizing Russian Embassy Transactions
2 days ago
THE LATEST
PRO-TRUMP SPENDING COULD VIOLATE FECA
FBI Investigating Potential Russian Donations to NRA
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.

Source:
DISCLOSURES MORE THAN DOUBLED
Mueller Investigation Leads to Hundreds of New FARA Filings
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Hundreds of new and supplemental FARA filings by U.S. lobbyists and public relations firms" have been submitted "since Special Counsel Mueller charged two Trump aides with failing to disclose their lobbying work on behalf of foreign countries. The number of first-time filings ... rose 50 percent to 102 between 2016 and 2017, an NBC News analysis found. The number of supplemental filings, which include details about campaign donations, meetings and phone calls more than doubled from 618 to 1,244 last year as lobbyists scrambled to avoid the same fate as some of Trump's associates and their business partners."

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