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
Erich Pica is the President of Friends of the Earth. Over the past decade, most recently as Director of Domestic Programs, he has led Friends of the Earth's efforts to reform U.S. tax and budget policy related to global warming and energy. Erich has been at the core of Friends of the Earth's fight against nuclear, oil and gas, biofuels and coal subsidies. He has also spearheaded the organization's advocacy work on global warming legislation over the past two years.
Erich's experience goes beyond energy and climate policy. He has designed and launched many of Friends of the Earth's current campaigns including efforts to bring uncontrolled technologies such as nanotechnology and synthetic biology under greater public and regulatory control and efforts to reform how the federal government manages and invests in our transportation system.
As a nationally recognized expert on energy subsidies, Erich has testified before Congress and has appeared on NBC, PBS and the FOX Business Channel. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio and Marketplace and has been extensively quoted in publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Economist, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and E/The Environmental Magazine, as well as by wire services including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, and Reuters.
Erich comes from a family of farmers and educators in a conservative part of southwest Michigan. He discovered his passion for the environment while attending Western Michigan University. After school, he moved with his wife-to-be Amy to the Washington, D.C. area. He is a trombonist in the Montgomery County Symphony Orchestra, is an avid golf hacker, and enjoys working in his small chemical-free vegetable garden.