gCaptain points out that the administration is planning to expand offshore drilling and in this particular case the expansion will include drilling off the North Slope.
“U.S. officials acknowledged they lack a full understanding of the Arctic’s environment and ecosystem. For that reason, the U.S. decided to delay lease auctions in the Arctic until 2015 and 2016 “to use the intervening years to better address the science gaps,” Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes said.”
This puts a rush on the Coast Guard to develop infrastructure in this area. Considering the pace of Congressional action and the hesitance to add to appropriations, it will be very difficult for the Coast Guard to be fully ready when the initial capability is required.