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
Jim Kerr is the leader of the firm's Energy Policy Practice. He is a partner with McGuireWoods LLP and also a senior advisor with McGuireWoods Consulting LLC.
As leader of the Energy Policy Practice, he helps clients craft and execute legal, policy and business strategies involving issues such as energy sources, generation facilities, renewable energy sources and portfolio standards, transmission issues, carbon regulation, climate change policy, environmental regulation and compliance, and innovative finance solutions. He also serves clients with interests in regulated industries such as energy, telecom, water and waste water.
Before joining the firm, Kerr served as a Commissioner on the North Carolina Utilities Commission (2001-2008), he was president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)(2007-2008), and president of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (SEARUC)(2002-2003).
He has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress and North Carolina General Assembly, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has also been a frequent speaker on regulatory issues to such groups as the Energy Regulators Regional Association (Central, Eastern Europe and Eurasia), the American Bar Association, North American Energy Standards Board, Electric Power Supply Association, Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the Harvard Electricity Policy Group.
In 2007, he was a delegate to the 6th European Union - U.S. Energy Regulators Roundtable in Athens, Greece. In 2005, he was named the 2005 Bonbright Honoree by the James C. Bonbright Utilities Centre, Terry College of Business, University of Georgia.
Kerr has been active in various bar-related and community service organizations, including the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys.