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
Dr. Arun Majumdar became the first Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), the country's only agency devoted to transformational energy research and development, in October 2009. Dr. Majumdar also currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Secretary.
Prior to joining ARPA-E, Dr. Majumdar was the Associate Laboratory Director for Energy and Environment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His highly distinguished research career includes the science and engineering of energy conversion, transport, and storage ranging from molecular and nanoscale level to large energy systems. In 2005, Dr. Majumdar was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for this pioneering work.
At Berkeley Labs and UC Berkeley, Dr. Majumdar helped shape several strategic initiatives in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage. He also testified before Congress on how to reduce energy consumption in buildings. Dr. Majumdar has also served on the advisory committee of the National Science Foundation's engineering directorate, was a member of the advisory council to the materials sciences and engineering division of the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences, and was an advisor on nanotechnology to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Additionally, Dr. Majumdar has served as an advisor to startup companies and venture capital firms in the Silicon Valley.
He received his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1985 and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.