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. David Hunter is Manager, Federal and Industry Affairs, for the Electric Power Research Institute. Prior to joining EPRI, Hunter was the founding US Director of the International Emissions Trading Association, where he was in charge of all state and federal policy for IETA. He previously spent 9 years on Capitol Hill, where he was the principal energy, environment, and climate change adviser to Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Staff Scientist for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and a Congressional Science Fellow for Air, Energy, and Climate in the office of Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, he drafted numerous bills and amendments relating to energy and environmental policy; oversaw hearings on climate change, chemical security, and environmental regulation; and was a principal author of the chemical security legislation signed into law on October 4, 2006. He previously served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development and was a Department of Energy Global Change Fellow at the White House Office on Environmental Policy. He holds a bachelor's from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Earth Science from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where his research focused on climate variability.