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May 2013 Issue

Senate Approves Jewell as Interior Secretary
In an 87-11 vote, the U.S. Senate approved Sally Jewell as the next secretary of the Interior, reported Reuters.

Jewell’s background includes time spent in the private sector where she worked as an oil company engineer, banker and chief executive at REI, an outdoor clothing company.

As secretary of the Interior, Jewell will work to both conserve and develop natural resources, as well as weigh in on controversial environmental issues including fracking and drilling for oil in the Arctic.

Jewell will take over for Ken Salazar, who previously served as a U.S. senator and attorney general for Colorado. Salazar stated that he would be leaving his post as Interior secretary last January and intends to return to his home state.


UCAR Opens Washington Office
For the first time in its 53-year history, the University Corp. for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), based in Boulder, Colorado, has opened a full-time office in Washington, D.C.

The new office will advocate on behalf of its 104 member universities that study the atmosphere and work to improve weather forecasting. It will also pursue business development opportunities with private-sector businesses and foundations that have an interest in atmospheric research.

UCAR is a consortium of more than 100 universities, most of which grant doctoral degrees in the atmospheric sciences. It helps set priorities for the nation’s research on weather, climate change, air quality and other topics in the atmospheric sciences.

UCAR also manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a laboratory sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

The new office is colocated with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

UCAR will coordinate with the consortium, as well as with other leading science organizations, such as the American Geophysical Union, to educate policymakers about the nation’s research priorities.


Mario Cordero to be Next Federal Maritime Commission Chairman
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. has submitted his resignation to U.S. President Barack Obama.

Commissioner Mario Cordero of Long Beach, California, who joined the FMC in June 2011, will serve as the next FMC chairman.

The change of leadership for the commission happened on April 1.

Since becoming chairman in September 2009, Lidinsky had three major administration goals for the 128-person agency, which has its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at major seaports around the country. They were: refocusing the commission on giving a voice to U.S. citizens, taxpayers and job creators during its deliberations; eliminating unnecessary rules and red-tape regulations that were particularly harmful to small businesses; and promoting greening in U.S. ports to help both the environment and employment.

The FMC is an independent regulatory agency created in 1961 to oversee the foreign waterborne commerce of the U.S. More than 95 percent of U.S. foreign trade exits or enters the country on vessels that are primarily foreign-owned.


R.Adm. Ostebo Discusses Coast Guard Arctic
The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard held a hearing in March on “Assessing U.S. Preparedness and Response in the Arctic: The Opportunities and Challenges of Increased Marine Activity.” U.S. Coast Guard Commander R.Adm. Thomas Ostebo was among those who testified.

Ostebo discussed the mission and current projects of Coast Guard Arctic.

Currently, the Coast Guard is working on preventing pollution and developing responsible energy practices. Two systems, the Vessel of Opportunity Skimming System and the Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS), have been developed to handle oil spills in a region where cold, dark conditions make disaster response more difficult. Though the systems are not effective in ice, SORS was recently tested offshore Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost deployment point.

Since fisheries are a vital part of the region, the Coast Guard has been policing illegal fishing practices.

The Arctic Council and the International Maritime Organization are among the international organizations the Coast Guard is working with. The Coast Guard also heads the U.S. delegation to the Arctic Council Oil Spill Task Force.

Since 1867, the Coast Guard has had a presence in Alaska. The Coast Guard is responsible for 950,000 square miles of Arctic waters. Marine safety, environmental protection and scientific exploration are among its initiatives in the Arctic.


Massachusetts Representatives Call for Cape Wind Loan Guarantee
Massachusetts senators and congressmen are urging the U.S. Department of Energy to grant funding to Cape Wind, the United States’ first wind farm to be built off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, reported The Boston Herald.

The delegates sent a letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu asking for the approval of a Department of Energy loan guarantee for the project.

The letter, supported by all Massachusetts delegates, stated that Cape Wind will create nearly 1,000 local jobs and boost the clean energy industry. The wind farm could help produce cleaner air and reduce greenhouse gases. Cape Wind is the only offshore wind farm to have all federal, state and local permits, as well as approval of its construction plan.

The project is backed by environmentalists, as well as labor and health organizations.

The letter was signed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. William Cowen (D-Mass.), Rep. William Keating (D-Mass.), Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.).

Aiming to develop 54 gigawatts of wind power, the Department of Energy has set a clean energy goal that is intended to create thousands of jobs and revive ports.



2014:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV
2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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