Murkowski: U.S. Lags in Arctic Activity

IN FLIGHT - APRIL 21: A tug tows an iceberg to safer waters and away from a possible collision with an oil-drilling platform off the coast of Newfoundland April 21, 2003 in the north Atlantic Ocean. The berg, approximately five times as wide as a football field, 20 yards above the waterline and 60 yards below with an estimated weight of 20 million tons was towed by a four-inch rope that is three quarters of a mile long. The tug was harnessed to the iceberg after the International Ice Patrol found and charted the location of the berg. The patrol, organized by the U.S. Coast Guard and supported by 18 nations, has searched the waters since the year following the Titanic disaster. 
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Clare Foran
Jan. 2, 2014, 1:24 a.m.

Sen. Lisa Murkowsk wants the United States to step up in­vest­ment in Arc­tic ex­plor­a­tion, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

A num­ber of oth­er na­tions, in­clud­ing Rus­sia, Nor­way, Fin­land, and Canada are also vy­ing for a stake in the vast re­sources con­tained in Arc­tic ter­rit­ory, which is es­tim­ated to hold up to 30 per­cent of yet-to-be-ex­trac­ted glob­al nat­ur­al-gas re­serves. Pro­ponents of ex­pan­ded arc­tic activ­ity say the U.S. is lag­ging in ef­forts to ex­plore and ex­tract these re­serves and the re­gion’s un­tapped oil stores.

“On par with the oth­er Arc­tic na­tions, we are be­hind — be­hind in our think­ing, be­hind in our vis­ion,” said Murkowski, a Re­pub­lic­an from Alaska. “We lack ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture, ba­sic fund­ing com­mit­ments to be pre­pared for the level of activ­ity ex­pec­ted in the Arc­tic.”

To bet­ter po­s­i­tion the U.S. to as­sume a lead­ing po­s­i­tion in the re­gion, Murkowski has urged Sec­ret­ary of State John Kerry to ap­point a co­ordin­at­ing of­fi­cial to over­see work by vari­ous fed­er­al agen­cies re­lat­ing to Arc­tic re­search and ex­plor­a­tion.


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