The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

Giessel named to Arctic commission


State Senator Cathy Giessel is being appointed to the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, announced the senator last week. Alaska House Representative Bob Herron made the announcement during an Arctic Caucus meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in June.

Senator Giessel is a member of the Arctic Caucus, a subcommittee of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER). She is eager to participate in the important Arctic discussions.

The Arctic Policy Commission was created by the legislature in 2012 for the purpose of putting Alaska in a leadership role in the development of a nationwide comprehensive Arctic policy. Despite being an Arctic nation, the United States does not have a comprehensive policy specifically focused on economic, ecological and security issues in Alaska and the OCS. Both Arctic and non-Arctic countries are moving forward with building additional infrastructure, including ports, safe harbors, search and rescue centers, and icebreakers and other Arctic-capable vessels. “It is vital for this country to establish the infrastructure and clearly identify security, resource management and economic stability practices for our Arctic regions,” said Giessel.

Giessel is one of three senators who have been appointed to serve on the commission. “Working with the Arctic Policy Commission will provide the opportunity for bringing Alaska’s interests to the forefront in these landmark decisions,” said Giessel.

In 2010, Senate President Gary Stevens appointed Giessel to Energy and Public Lands, Mining Safety, Fiscal Affairs, and Western Economic Development committees in Council of State Governments-West (CSG-W). In addition, President Stevens appointed her to the Agriculture and Energy, Budgets and Revenue, and Labor & Economic Development committees in the National Council of State Legislators (NCSL). In June, Giessel accepted the position of co-chair of the Workforce Development Committee of PNWER. Focusing on specific resource issues, Giessel, working with other state’s legislators, is launching the Energy Producing States Coalition.

“As legislators, we all have many committee responsibilities outside of the regular legislative sessions,” Giessel said. “Groups such as PNWER, the Energy Council, and CSG-W are particularly relevant to Alaska’s economic and resource issues. Working with the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission will draw on my experience and knowledge, both as a lifelong Alaskan and as a legislator.”


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