Margaret Kriz Hobson
The prospect of oil exploration this summer in Alaska's northernmost waters is triggering calls for Washington to take a more comprehensive international leadership role in managing a new era of economic, military and scientific development in the Arctic.
Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar answered some of those demands, announcing plans for "targeted leasing" in the Alaska waters, while taking precautions to protect sensitive waters, wildlife and Alaskan subsistence hunters.
"The interagency working group is really trying to move beyond just discussions of permitting for oil and gas development, looking more broadly at the Arctic Ocean," said Eleanor Huffines, manager of the U.S. Arctic program for the Pew Environment Group.
"They're saying we have federal responsibilities, we have scientific responsibilities, we have responsibilities to the communities -- how are we approaching this comprehensively? What does an integrated Arctic plan look like? How do you address multiple uses?"
Read the full article, Calls for Arctic Policy Intensify as Shell Nears Final OK for Exploration, on the E&E News website.