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
William J. Snape, III is presently senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity, and a Legal Fellow and Practitioner in Residence at the American University Law School. He is also head swim coach at Gallaudet University. Previously, Snape was vice president and chief counsel at Defenders of Wildlife for almost a decade. Snape has litigated both NEPA and global warming cases in federal court, and argued Center for Biological Diversity v. Interior (D.C. Cir. 2009), which rejected the federal government's plan for oil and gas drilling off the coast of Alaska in part because of climate change concerns. Snape is the author of numerous articles on natural resource issues, and is editor and author of Biodiversity and the Law published by Island Press. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Honors College at the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his law degree from George Washington University, where he was also the assistant swim coach.