By Libby Casey
The chair of the U-S Arctic Research Commission Mead Treadwell is stepping down, and has filed a letter of intent today to run for Lieutenant Governor on the G-O-P ticket.
The Obama Administration was planning to replace Treadwell on the Arctic Research Commission, since he’s a Republican, within a Democratic Administration.
Treadwell tendered his resignation in a letter to President Obama yesterday. He cited frustrations that the Commission’s recommendations have gone “unanswered in Washington,” on everything from oil spill research to the problem of suicide in rural Alaska.
Treadwell says the commission has repeatedly warned that the nation’s oil spill research program has been, quote, “whittled down to almost nothing.” He says it will soon publish a white paper urging the President and Congress to have a long-term continuous oil spill research program.
The interesting thing about this white paper we’re publishing is we brought together stakeholders, environmental groups, industry groups, local govs like the North Slope Borough, academics, and everyone agreed we need a research program. The oil industry may tell you their response to the regulations is appropriate now, but nobody disagrees you want to improve the technology.
Treadwell also slams the federal government for not getting more engaged in fighting the problem of suicide in Alaska Native villages.
His resignation will be effective early next month at the Commission’s next meeting in Washington. The Obama Administration is expected to announce a new chair soon.
The seven-member Commission was started in the 1980s to establish national priorities and goal relating to the Arctic, promote and coordinate research, and work with a variety of federal agencies on Arctic issues.
Treadwell worked for the state as a member of the Hickel administration and is now a Senior Fellow with the Institute of the North.