E&E reporter Manuel Quinones explores U.S. mining interests in the Arctic and related geopolitical and legal issues in a piece for GreenWire. Portraying the region as a hotbed of territorial disputes precisely because of its mineral potential, Quinones quotes American Resources principal Daniel McGroarty, who points to the pivotal role Alaska can and must play in the United States’ efforts to stake its claim in the Arctic as other nations try to leverage the Law of the Sea treaty to advance their positions:
“Alaska is America’s foothold in the Arctic. …This will prove incredibly important. We don’t see it now, but the strategic resource value of this single state could drive U.S. growth and competitiveness in the decades ahead.”
Unfortunately, this realization has yet to sink in in the United States, at a time when even non-Arctic countries like China have their eye on the Arctic’s natural resource treasures and are making their presence felt. The bottom line according to McGroarty:
“We need to be more serious. The resource wars of the mid-21st century are already under way in the Arctic.”
Click here for the full piece (subscription required), and here for more background on the race for the Arctic’s resources.