President Obama calls for a bigger presence in the Arctic.
President Obama is on a three day trip to Alaska. The trip turned out to be quite interesting. His decision to rename Mount McKinley to Denali has caused quite a stir. Today Obama makes another announcement concerning Alaska and ice.
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He will call for new Coast Guard icebreakers that can operate year-round to catch up with Russia. The global competition is on to gain a foothold as the Arctic becomes more accessible.
The Coast Guard only has two icebreakers right now in service. Russia has 41 vessels says a report in the New York Times.
The new plan will move up an ordered icebreaker from a 2022 release to 2020. Obama's plan will also call for the construction of more icebreakers and will ask congress for sufficient funding.
It will be a challenge to find a balanced approach of exploiting and protecting the Arctic.
Barack Obama is blogging about his Alaska visit on Medium. He posted his first post yesterday.
He put the focus on the fact that Alaska is already heavily affected by climate change.
Obama says in his blog post: "Climate change is already affecting the salmon stock that generations of natives have relied on as an integral part of their lives. So my Administration is taking new action to make sure Alaska Natives have direct input into the management of Chinook salmon stocks. They’ve taken care of the salmon population for centuries and there’s no reason they shouldn’t now."
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We expect another post from President Obama today.