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
Wellinghoff is a commission at FERC, which oversees wholesale electric transactions and interstate electric transmission and gas transportation in the United States. He joined the commission in 2006 and was recently re-appointed to a second term.
Wellinghoff is an energy law specialist with more than 30 years experience in the field. Before joining FERC, he was in private practice and focused exclusively on renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation. Wellinghoff represented an array of clients -- from federal agencies, renewable developers, and large power consumers to energy efficient product manufacturers and clean energy advocacy organizations.
Wellinghoff was the primary author of the Nevada Renewable Portfolio Standard Act and worked with clients to develop renewable portfolio standards in six other states. He served two terms as the State of Nevada's consumer advocate for customers of public utilities, representing consumers before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the FERC, and in appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court. He also authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute, which has become a model for utility integrated planning processes across the country.
At FERC, he was instrumental in creating the commission's Energy Innovations Sector, which is responsible for investigating and promoting new efficient technologies and practices in the energy sectors under FERC's jurisdiction.
Wellinghoff is co-chair of the Demand Response Collaborative launched jointly by FERC and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and is a member of NARUC's Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Institute for Electric Efficiency and served as an advisor to the Defense Science Board's Energy Policy Task Force.