Trump, reversing Obama, will push to expand drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic

Washington Post   April 27 2017

President Trump will take a major step Friday to expand oil and gas drilling off U.S. shores, directing the Interior Department to lift restrictions that President Barack Obama imposed in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. But local political considerations and the global energy market are likely to influence future exploration far more than an executive order in Washington.

Several industry officials and experts predict that oil and gas firms will bid on areas the administration plans to open to drilling, including those off the East Coast. But the targeted Arctic areas are much less attractive to investors right now, and even potential drilling in the Atlantic could be complicated by long-standing resistance from coastal communities.


Center for International Maritime Security published an article titled, “Science Diplomacy in the Arctic.” The article reads in part as follows;

“As icecaps melt and access to natural gas and oil reserves increase, the Arctic rises in importance on the geopolitical stage. In addition to the various groups of indigenous people who reside in the Arctic, eight countries Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Canada, and the United States have claimed interest in the Arctic. Diplomacy between the different groups is required for cooperation and organization in the complicated region. Due to its importance in environmental security, sizable natural resource reserves, and remote location, the Arctic incentivizes cooperation through science diplomacy.

How the Arctic Council Sets the Tone for International Cooperation

World Policy Blog published an article titled, “How the Arctic Council Sets the Tone for International Cooperation.” The article reads in part as follows;

This week, Arctic Yearbook managing editor Joël Plouffe interviews Camille Escudé, a Ph.D. candidate in international relations at Sciences Po-CERI, France, and author of “The Strength of Flexibility: The Arctic Council in the Arctic Norm-Setting Process.” Escudé explores the central role of the Arctic Council in Arctic norm setting by examining the instruments of and documents produced under the Council, international agreements, and scholarly work on the Council in regional and international affairs. Her findings are also based on a series of interviews with members and Working Groups of the Council, as well as individuals working at the Council’s Secretariat in Tromsø.   

Government outlined measures for implementing arctic policy

The Arctic Journal posted an article titled, “Government outlined measures for implementing arctic policy.” The article reads in part as follows;

“The Government has outlined measures for implementing Finnish arctic policy. Finland will reinforce its foreign and EU policy in the Arctic region, utilise its Arctic know-how, promote sustainable tourism and support transport and other infrastructure projects in the region. The objectives are included in the action plan for the updated Finnish Arctic Strategy adopted by the Government last week.

Norway, Finland talk Arctic with China

The Independent Barents Observer published an article titled, “Norway, Finland talk Arctic with China.” The article reads in part as follows;

“While Finland for years has cooperated closely with the Asian superpower on a number of key issues, the Norwegian state visit to China marks the start of a new era in bilateral relations.

The high level meetings were the first of their kind following six years of political stalemate between the countries.

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg had meetings with key Chinese decision makers, among them both President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang. The visit also included meetings on foreign ministry level and trade and economic cooperation.

Beijing aspires to bigger Arctic role posted an article titled, “Beijing aspires to bigger Arctic role.” The article reads as follows;

“China is willing and able to play a bigger role in Arctic development and cooperation, said Vice-Premier Wang Yang during the Fourth International Arctic Forum, which ended in Arkhangelsk, Russia, on Thursday.

China is an important stakeholder in Arctic affairs, and it has been participating in these affairs for a long time in accordance with laws, said Wang, adding that China upholds the spirit of respect, cooperation and sustainability.

Switzerland seeks for observer status in the Arctic Council

The Maritime Herald published an article titled, “Switzerland seeks for observer status in the Arctic Council.” The article reads as follows;

“Switzerland hopes to get observer status in the Arctic Council after the meeting of the foreign ministers of the member countries, which will be held May 10-11 in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Arctic Council is an intergovernmental organization of the Arctic states, but latest disputes and increasing interest of operations in the Arctic shelf raised concerns of the world to p[roper exploration and development of the resources. During the international forum “The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue” participated the Swiss Ambassador in Russia, as well as business officials interested in operations of the zone. The observers of the Arctic Council participate in the work at the level of working groups and can make scientific and financial contributions to all projects of the organization.