Arctic Alaska and icebreaking : an assessment of future requirements for the United States Coast Guard.
Garrett, Jeffrey M.
Evered, Roger D.
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Technological advances, increased energy demand, and political events have coalesced in recent years to make the extraction of hydrocarbon energy resources in the arctic attractive. U.S. efforts in this direction have begun on Alaska's North Slope and are poised to expand into offshore areas. These developments could have, particularly in conjunction with marine transportation, a dramatic impact on the U.S. Coast Guard and especially its icebreaking mission. Evaluation of this impact is approached by a background review of the Coast Guard's icebreaking role, and historical development in Alaska; and by evaluation of five issues which seem to be primary determinants of the relevant future. These include (1) energy development; (2) energy-related transportation; (3) concerns for the natural and social environment; (4) Canadian arctic developments; and (5) the international perspective. Trends in these five issue areas are then integrated to formulate a projection of future Coast Guard icebreaking requirements in the Alaskan Arctic.
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