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
Eric Haxthausen is Director of U.S. Climate Change Policy at The Nature Conservancy. He leads the Conservancy's efforts to develop and advance public policies in the United States that reduce carbon emissions - including through support for investments in forest conservation and restoration - and support ecosystem-based approaches to preparing and for adapting to climate change.
Eric has extensive experience in climate, energy, and environmental policy. He began his career in the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he coordinated Administration review of major air quality and other environmental regulations relating to the transportation, electricity, refining, and manufacturing sectors and provided oversight of several aspects of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory program, receiving four Professional Achievement Awards from the Director of OMB for his work. Later, Eric led Environmental Defense's advocacy to improve federal fuel economy standards for light trucks, where his work influenced the design of these standards and led to the consideration of climate change impacts in federal agency benefit-cost analysis. He was also actively involved in the design of state climate programs in California and the Northeast. Eric has worked as an economic consultant on climate change and other environmental topics, and has been quoted in major news outlets such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, and Newsweek.
Eric earned an M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he completed all coursework and exams for the Ph.D. He also holds a Masters in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Eric began his career in the physical sciences, earning a bachelors degree in astrophysics from Columbia University, and studying atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.