June 12, 2015
BRUNSWICK, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a founding member and co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus, released the following statement today after the U.S. State Department selected Portland to host a meeting of the Arctic Council in 2016:
“This is outstanding news for Portland and for the entire state,” Senator King said. “Maine will now play a central role in the important Arctic Council conversations about how a changing environment in the High North can foster cooperation, increase commerce, and help cultivate greater economic opportunity not only in Maine, but across the nation. I am pleased the State Department recognized and rewarded Portland’s great potential, and I look forward to seeing Maine play a vital part in these discussions.”
The U.S. Department of State selected Portland to host the Arctic Council’s Senior Arctic Official meeting, which will take place October 4th-6th, 2016. The meeting is expected to include up to 250 senior arctic officials, including experts and possibly Heads of State. Maine, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. are currently the only places set to host meetings in the next three years.
In May, Senator King sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry strongly urging him to consider the city and underscoring the important role Maine will play in Arctic activities in the years to come.
In April, Senator King and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), the Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the other founding member of the Senate Arctic Caucus, traveled with Secretary of State Kerry to Iqaluit, Canada where the United States formally assumed its two-year tenure as Chair of the Arctic Council. Chairmanship of the Council presents the United States with the opportunity to demonstrate greater leadership within the region.
Senator King is a founding member and co-chair of the Senate Arctic Caucus.