Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, continued to press U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy officials today about the importance of a stronger icebreaking fleet and better coordination of Arctic policy at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
"The race to secure interests in the Arctic is not slowing down, and it is past time the U.S. pays more attention to this region of the world. Today's subcommittee hearing brought needed focus to the work we have to do to make sure the U.S. can compete.
"At the hearing, I asked both the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy for a clearer picture of how they will carry out their Arctic missions. I agree with Chairman Hunter--we need less talk and more action when it comes to the Arctic. Without a commitment from the administration and Congress to increase our investment in infrastructure like icebreakers in the Arctic, our country will fall behind.
"As the U.S. gears up the chair the Arctic Council starting next year, we need a more coordinated approach to ensure we can live up to our obligations as an Arctic nation. I have proposed establishing an ambassador level position for U.S. Arctic affairs, like every other Arctic nation. Countries like Russia and China recognize the strategic value of the Arctic. The U.S. must do the same," Larsen said.