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
Jeffrey Smidt is the general manager of the Global Energy Business at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL), the global leader in product certification, providing a broad array of services in 98 countries with nearly 7,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue of $1 billion. In this role, Smidt is responsible for the strategic planning and related execution activities for UL's Gas & Oil, Renewable Energy and Large Battery industries.
Prior to this role, Smidt was general manager of UL's Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Division. In this role, he was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the division, directing sales, marketing and account management activities as well as identifying and pursuing acquisition targets to meet corporate growth goals.
He joined UL in 2004, having worked for BearingPoint, Inc., as a manager within their consulting services. There he provided project management and process/technology design expertise to several large-scale clients within the services sector.
Smidt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Drake University, Iowa and a master's degree in business administration from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He lives in Chicago area with his wife, Ashling, and their two young sons Benjamin and Timothy.