Alaska Senate Majority informs that it welcomes news that Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., the 24th Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard since May 25, 2010, has been appointed by the U.S. State Department as a Special Representative for the Arctic Region.
The Co-chairs also were very pleased to see Fran Ulmer, President Obama's Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, named Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy.
“As Co-Chairs of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, we have fought hard to make sure Alaska’s voice is heard. We would like to congratulate Admiral Papp on his appointment and look forward to working closely with him in the future, and helping him understand Alaska’s unique position and interests in the Arctic.” said Senator Lesil McGuire.
“Fran Ulmer is a great choice to be named Special Advisor on Arctic Science and Policy. Fran Ulmer is great to work with, has been invaluable to the AAPC’s work, and as an Alaskan, I know she will put Alaskans first. Research is so important to Alaska’s arctic, the issues so diverse, and no one understands these better than Fran.”
“With the United States behind other countries in Arctic development, it is great to see Washington making steps in the right direction – North,” said Senator McGuire. “Alongside the commercialization of our North Slope gas and our oil industry, the Arctic is the third leg of the stool that will be the future of our state. We are happy to see two people on the Federal level that can help us advance our interests.”
"The Coast Guard is so important to Alaska -- ensuring Alaska's coastal waters are protected and the hazards of responsible development mitigated are vital to our future,” said Representative Herron. “Perhaps the appointment of Admiral Papp to this position indicates the federal government is committed to providing the Coast Guard with the resources it needs to fulfill its Arctic mission - maybe the federal government is finally accepting the responsibility for funding construction of a world-class icebreaker in the near future."
“The State Department’s announcement comes at the right time with the United States taking over as chair of the Arctic Council in 2015,” said Senator McGuire. “While our entire congressional delegation has been very strong in forwarding Alaska’s Arctic agenda, much of the credit in this step forward should be given to Senator Lisa Murkowski. We’d like to thank her for her continued focus and leadership on this issue.”