Congress and White House differ over icebreakers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Congress and White House differ over icebreakers


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The country's only two heavy-duty icebreaker ships are old and broken, and Congress and the White House are at odds over how to respond as the melting of polar ice increases the economic and security stakes in the Arctic region.

The House is working on a Coast Guard spending bill that would decommission the Polar Star, slated to be the last somewhat seaworthy icebreaker after its sister ship, the Polar Sea, goes out of service in the near future.

The White House says it strongly opposes that legislation because decommissioning the Polar Star would "create a significant gap in the nation's icebreaking capacity."

In the Senate, meantime, Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell has added a provision to its Coast Guard bill that would block the decommissioning of either ship.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-11-04-11 1448CDT

Powered by Frankly