Restricting Energy Development in Alaska: A Loss for Alaska’s People and A Hypocritical Defense of Wildlife

Editor’s Note: We agree with the authors’ view of the significance of the US becoming chair of the Arctic Council. CRE will present its views in a letter to Secretary Kerry which demonstrate that allowing the EU to have observer status at the Arctic Council will only compound the ANWR issues identified by the authors  because of the EU adoption of the Precautionary Principle.

By Charles K. Ebinger and Heather Greenley

The Brookings Institute

Dear President Obama,

Obama administration to propose new wilderness protections in Arctic refuge — Alaska Republicans declare war

President Obama announced that the Interior Department released a revised conservation plan to better sustain and manage Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

By Juliet Eilperin

The Washington Post

The Obama administration will propose setting aside more than 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, the White House announced Sunday, halting any chance of oil exploration for now in the refuge’s much-fought-over coastal plain and sparking a fierce battle with Republicans, including the new chair of the Senate Energy Committee.

Obama issues executive order to better coordinate Arctic polic

By Yereth Rosen

Alaska Dispatch News

With the United States on the verge of leading the eight-nation Arctic Council and far-north climate warming continuing at twice the global rate, President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued an executive order to better manage federal Arctic policy. But one U.S. Senator from Alaska expressed doubts about the order’s effectiveness.

“As the United States assumes the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, it is more important than ever that we have a coordinated national effort that takes advantage of our combined expertise and efforts in the Arctic region to promote our shared values and priorities,” Obama said in his executive order.

Indigenous Groups and Arctic Governance

In that the United States is about to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council there is a need to  revisit the role of ingenious peoples in the Arctic, and in particular the Arctic Council.  CRE has  views on this matter– namely that the admission of the EU as an observer will not only weaken the voices of indigenous peoples but could also result in the adoption of the precautionary  principle– a principle  which is the antithesis of sound science.

All of  CRE views are made available for  public  comment ,


and there are some who disagree with CRE,



Should the EU be Given Observer Status at the Arctic Council?


CRE is on record as  recommending against the EU being  given observer status at the Arctic Council. CRE’s position is based upon a number  of considerations including:

(1) The EU has adopted the precautionary principle which is not only the antithesis of a sound science philosophy but is also a violation of US law, the Data Quality Act.

(2) The Arctic Council, which works off a consensus approach to decisions, will become “UNified”,  meaning it will become an expansive deliberative body with no impact and will distance itself from the interest of  its indigenous habitants.

Arctic policy expert offers UAF lecture

Fairbank Daily News-Miner

Arctic policy expert Alexander Sergunin will give a free public lecture, “Russian Arctic Strategies: Priorities, Challenges and Opportunities,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Murie Building auditorium at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Sergunin is a professor at St. Petersburg State University and at the St. Petersburg branch of the Higher School of Economics. His research focuses on Russian foreign policy and relations between Russia and the European Union.

Environmental Rules for High Arctic Seas Considered in Vote

By the Canadian Press

The Epoch Times

High Arctic waters could be a step closer to receiving their first environmental protections this week as representatives from more than 100 countries take a preliminary vote on rules for safe, clean shipping in the region.

The vote, expected Oct. 16 or 17, is happening at a meeting in London of a committee of the International Maritime Organization concerning the proposed Polar Code.

“This week, it looks as if the environment committee is going to vote to approve the environmental section of the Polar Code,” said Kevin Harun, who has observer status at the meeting. He’s a member of the non-governmental organization Pacific Environment.