Yesterday, freshman Alaska Senator Mark Begich (D) called for ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty and introduced a package of seven bills addressing a variety of Arctic policy issues. The energy and shipping related measures in the package include:
Arctic OCS Revenue Sharing Act (S. 1560) - gives Alaska natives the same 37.5% share of royalties from offshore oil and gas production in federal waters that Gulf of Mexico states currently receive. This is similar to the measure introduced by senior Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) last week.
Arctic Climate Change Adaptation Act (S. 1566) - provides funding for Alaskans to adapt to the impacts of climate change, including clean energy development.
Arctic Ambassador Act (S. 1563) - creates a new U.S. Ambassador to the Arctic Council.
Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Implementation Act (S. 1564) - provides funding to replace the U.S. icebreaker fleet and build new forward operating Coast Guard air bases, as well as other measures to ensure safe and reliable maritime transportation in the Arctic region.
Arctic Oil Spill Research and Recovery Act (S. 1561) - calls for more research to improve oil spill prevention and response in the Arctic.
Arctic Science, Coordination and Integration Act (S. 1562) - requires a new study to create a comprehensive strategy to coordinate Arctic research and make recommendations to Congress. The bills are available through Thomas. You can view Sen. Begich's press release here.