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Senators Climate Change Tour Cancelled - May Be Rescheduled

Due to the Aug. 29 funeral for Sen. Edward Kennedy in Boston, the previously announced climate change/new energy technology visit to Alaska by other members of the U.S. Senate has been postponed.

The cancellation of the tour in Alaska this weekend allows members of the U.S. Senate to pay tribute to their colleague.

Sen. Mark Begich said today he hopes the trip can be rescheduled. (August 26, 2009)

Impacts of climate change, new energy technology on itinerary
(August 24, 2009)

U.S. Senator Mark Begich will host four other U.S. senators as part of a Climate Change tour of Alaska. The senators will get the opportunity to see first-hand the impacts of climate change on Alaska as well as new energy technology being used in the state.

Three of the visiting senators are members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, including Chairman Barbara Boxer of California. Other committee members on the tour include Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. The group will also be joined by Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

"This will be a great opportunity to show key members of the U.S. Senate the dramatic impacts of climate change on Alaska as well as the innovative energy technologies being used in our state," Sen. Begich said. "As Congress continues work on a climate change bill, there is no better time to talk about and see the experiences in Alaska."

The Alaska visit will take place over the last weekend of August. During the trip, senators will travel to Spencer Glacier in Southcentral, Alaska to see retreating glaciers, forests damaged by invasive species, and drying wetlands. Senators will also visit the North Slope of Alaska to view climate change impacts in the far North and visit the Prudhoe Bay oilfield.

The agenda also includes stops in Newtok and Toksook Bay in Western Alaska where senators will visit villages threatened by shoreline erosion and rising sea levels, meet with elders to discuss village relocation plans for Newtok and tour renewable energy projects being utilized in some parts of rural Alaska.

Sen. Begich recently introduced a package of seven bills dealing with the impacts of climate change in America's Arctic - Alaska. The legislation, named the Inuvikput package after the Inupiaq word for "the place where we live," is designed to address the results of melting ice in the Arctic which is opening waterways to shipping and tourism, affecting the health of Arctic residents and potentially making Arctic natural resources more accessible for development.

August 24, 2009

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