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The Cordova Times: Begich: increased traffic is greater threat than offshore drilling

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, says declining Arctic sea ice, which has increased incentives for shipping through the Bering Strait and the Arctic Ocean, poses a greater risk to the marine environment than from oil and gas drilling in the Arctic.

The senator’s comments came during a Senate Oceans subcommittee hearing on Arctic marine activity chaired by Begich March 27 at the University of Alaska Anchorage consortium library.

“I’ve always said we face greater risks from the increasing traffic we’re seeing along Russia’s Northern Sea Route and later through Canada’s Northwest Passage, than we do from oil and gas drilling in the Arctic,” Begich said.