Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated January 6, 2021] [open pdf - 3MB]
From the Introduction: "The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. Issues such as geopolitical competition in the region between the United States, Russia, and China; increased military operations in the region by the United States, Russia, and other Arctic countries; growth in commercial shipping through the Arctic; and oil, gas, and mineral exploration in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, tension, and/or competition. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial political, economic, energy, environmental, and other interests in the region. Decisions that Congress makes on Arctic-related issues could significantly affect these interests. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS [Congressional Research Service] reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section."
CRS Report for Congress, R41153
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/