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
Holmstead, who served as assistant administrator for air and radiation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency during President Bush's first term, now heads the Environmental Strategies Group at Bracewell & Giuliani. This group advises a variety of companies and business groups on major environmental and energy development challenges, both domestically and globally.
Holmstead headed EPA's Office of Air and Radiation from 2001 through 2005. During his tenure, he was the architect of several of EPA's most important initiatives, including the clean air interstate rule, the clean air diesel rule, the mercury rule for power plants, and the reform of the new source review program. He also oversaw the development of the Bush Administration's clear skies legislation and key parts of its global climate change initiative.
Prior to his appointment at EPA, Holmstead was a partner in the environmental group of Latham & Watkins, an international law firm he joined in 1993. Between 1989 and 1993, he served as associate counsel President George H.W. Bush, where his primary focus was environmental law and policy. In this capacity, he was involved in the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the key steps taken to implement that Act. From 1987 to 1988, he served as a law clerk to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.