Washington, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today shared the following message as the United States assumes its two year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, an eight nation intergovernmental organization for Arctic nations and its peoples:
Congressman Young shares his thoughts on U.S. Chairmanship of Arctic Council (click here to watch).
“Today, we are taking over the two year chairmanship of the Arctic Council. This is a big step for the state of Alaska.
“The nation, the United States of America, is an Arctic nation because of the state of Alaska. I realize there will be a lot of interest placed in this position to talk about climate change. This is one of the factors we can look at, but as Alaskans we must also insist that activity in Alaska – resource development, transportation, and infrastructure – is also taken into consideration. We have to make sure the United States and Alaska consider this type of activity as we try to improve Arctic acknowledgment for the betterment of our state and nation.
“I remained concerned that there will be too much emphasis placed on climate change. To me, that would not be the correct thing to do for Alaska or for the nation itself. We are going to have to adapt to climate change and we have to make sure we adapt correctly, where the cultures and economics of the state of Alaska are protected. That’s going to be our biggest challenge and your biggest challenge.”
As a senior member and former Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Young has continued to push back on the Obama Administration’s unbalanced approach to Arctic activity and development, which has added costly and timely regulatory burdens for the people of the region. Congressman Young has also used his position on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to further discussions regarding Arctic development and Coast Guard operations.
Congressman Don Young created the Congressional Arctic Working Group with Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA) in 2014 to bring together bipartisan stakeholders from across native, environmental, oil and gas, national security, and navigation communities to advise Congress on the many opportunities and challenges for the Unites States as an Arctic nation.