Energy & Environment: Markey Wants Answers on Rare Earths
• Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., "is pressing the Obama administration for information about alleged Chinese restrictions on the export of rare earth minerals used in defense and energy technologies, warning of threats to U.S. interests," The Hill reports.
• "Three months after BP capped its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico, the state of Louisiana is still building a chain of sand berms off its coast to block and capture oil even as federal officials and many scientists argue that the effort will prove pointless," the New York Times reports.
• An Idaho couple has "sued the state to stop the shipments by Imperial Oil and ConocoPhillips" to an oil sands site in Canada, "arguing that the" truck loads delivered there "would threaten the integrity of Idaho's historic portion of U.S. 12, as well as the safety of communities that depend on it as the main road in and out of the area," the Times also reports. "National environmental groups and climate change activists are supporting their efforts, seeing a broader opportunity to stall development of Canada's oil sands, which they denounce as a dirty source of energy. "
• "Combating climate change has long taken a back seat to coal production in West Virginia, but in the hard-fought House race in this state's 1st district, global warming hasn't even made it onto the bus," The Hill reports. "In interviews on Thursday, both the Democratic and Republican nominees for Congress voiced skepticism of the science behind global warming, and the Republican, David McKinley, flatly called concerns about climate change 'an attack on coal.'"
Biography provided by participant
As a Senior Vice President of the energy and climate change practice group at B&D Consulting, Andrew Wheeler employs his extensive background in energy and environmental policy. He helps lead the firm's practice by advising numerous types of clients on comprehensive legislative, regulatory and operational strategies before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch involving all aspects of energy and environmental policy.
Wheeler previously served as the Majority Staff Director, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. In those roles, he worked on every major piece of environmental and energy related legislation over the last decade, including greenhouse gas emissions legislation, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Clear Skies Act and the Clean Air Interstate Rule and the last two Highway Bill reauthorizations.
Prior to his work at the full Senate EPW Committee, Wheeler served in a similar capacity for the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, Wetlands and Nuclear Safety, under the Subcommittee Chairmanships of both Senators James Inhofe and George Voinovich. He started his career at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics. He holds an MBA from George Mason University and a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.