The Senate Budget Committee today released the text of a fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would pave the way for a tax overhaul without Democratic votes. The 89-page legislative text includes reconciliation instructions that allow the Senate Finance Committee to add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. The budget also includes instructions for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to save at least $1 billion over a decade. A vote is expected next week and the resolution is expected to be approved. Here is a summary of the resolution, and here are its tables and an explanation of how it enables tax reform.
The Trump administration is quietly moving to allow energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in more than 30 years, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, with a draft rule that would lay the groundwork for drilling.
Congress has sole authority to determine whether oil and gas drilling can take place within the refuge's 19.6 million acres. But seismic studies represent a necessary first step, and Interior Department officials are modifying a 1980s regulation to permit them.
Sea ice is sparse in Arctic waters off Alaska, and the implications for animals, upcoming winter weather and next year's ice pack are reported to be profound.
A lack of floating ice forced walruses to the shore of Alaska's Chukchi Sea earlier than any time on record. Perilous melt conditions forced biologists monitoring Alaska polar bears to cut short their spring field season. Other scientists sailing in the region marveled at the extraordinarily warm water temperatures. A ship, a Finnish icebreaker, made the earliest recorded vessel crossing of the once-impenetrable Northwest Passage, sailing from the Bering Strait to Greenland in July.
Last week’s record breaking Hurricane Irma had maximum winds of 185 mph with gust up to 225 mph and produced dangerous storm surges and heavy rain. As of this writing, after leaving a path of destruction through parts of the Caribbean, Irma's eye moved through the lower Florida Keys and was preparing to slam into Florida's southwest coast near Tampa.
The world's average global temperature is only one degree Celsius away from a potential climate catastrophe to which few regions would be more vulnerable than the Arctic. That's according to well-known author, historian and journalist Gwynne Dyer, who is a frequent commentator on international affairs, security and climate change. Globally, there's time for a reversal of global warming, said Dyer, speaking to Nunatsiaq News in advance of a presentation he is set to give in Iqaluit later this week.
The state of Alaska on Thursday filed a motion in federal court to intervene alongside President Donald Trump in a lawsuit brought by conservation groups seeking to prevent drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean. "In filing this motion, our objective is to make sure that the state of Alaska has future development opportunities in the Arctic (federal waters)," Gov. Bill Walker said in a prepared statement Thursday.
In the glow of the midnight sun, we're paddling down the wild Utukok River in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Here, the wilderness swallows you, from the sweeping tussock grasslands, to the never-ending ridges that flow across the open landscape.
Caribou trails stitch the tundra as far as the eye can see. Wolf tracks lace the sand bars. A bear tears apart a caribou carcass on a distant ridge. This region has the highest concentration of grizzlies and wolverines on the North Slope, along with Alaska's largest caribou herd — the Western Arctic.
YUKON DELTA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Alaska — The Arctic is warming about twice as fast as other parts of the planet, and even here in sub-Arctic Alaska the rate of warming is high. Sea ice and wildlife habitat are disappearing; higher sea levels threaten coastal native villages. But to the scientists from Woods Hole Research Center who have come here to study the effects of climate change, the most urgent is the fate of permafrost, the always-frozen ground that underlies much of the state.