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
Becker was hired in 1980 as the first executive director of the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO) - the national associations representing clean air agencies in 53 states and territories and over 165 local areas across the country. In the ensuing nearly 28 years, he has emerged as a national leader in the field of clean air. In October 2006, the two groups merged into one organization - the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.
Becker serves as the association's chief spokesperson and liaison with numerous federal, state, and location organizations, as well as public interest and business groups. Becker and his staff advise and support the many committees of the associations in addressing an array of issues including criteria pollutants, toxic air pollutants, mobile sources and fuels, permitting, New Source Review, enforcement and compliance, ambient air monitoring, emissions and modeling, global warming, energy, agriculture, public education and outreach, program funding and training.
Prior to joining the group, Becker worked for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, and directed the environmental affairs departments of two national associations. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a Master's degree in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University.