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Begich React to DOI’s Plan for Science-Based Decisions in the Arctic

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today released the following statement after the Department of Interior announced next steps in facilitating science-based decisions in the Arctic. Deputy Secretary David Hayes announced new efforts to strengthen the role of science in resource management decisions for both onshore and offshore energy development activities in Alaska.

“This shows again that the Obama Administration is serious about development in the Arctic. They are moving focus on the Arctic up another notch by dedicating this level of resources and attention to data gathering and information sharing.

“I’m pleased they are expanding the Interagency Working Group Model that I called for two years, and the President implemented with Executive Order. By having all of the federal agencies sitting at the same table, sharing information, we help ensure Arctic development gets done and gets done right.

“This agreement recognizes the quality science already done by Alaskans in Alaska, America’s Arctic region, and makes it more available to the public and other government institutions.

“I look forward to working with Deputy Secretary Hayes on this and other efforts to do a better job of making what we already know about the Arctic more readily available and better coordinating future Arctic research across agencies.”

Sen.  Begich is the sponsor of several bills to improve the state of knowledge about the Arctic including S. 203 that would assess and mitigate risk for maritime activities in the Arctic; S. 204 helping to improve oil spill response research and technology in the Arctic; and S. 2154 that would fund and improve basic science and monitoring of the Arctic Ocean. 

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