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
Jonathan Wootliff heads the Corporate Accountability practice at Reputation Partners, a corporate communications firm based in Chicago (www.reputationpartners.com). He specializes in helping multinational corporations build productive relationships with NGOs, advocacy and activist groups through effective engagement. Wootliff has undertaken client assignments for a wide range of companies including Altria, British Petroleum, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Merrill Lynch, Owens Corning, Procter and Gamble, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, Unocal, the Whirlpool Corporation and the Indonesian paper and pulp producer, APRIL.
His true expertise lies in helping corporations understand and navigate environmental and climate change issues. He was formerly the Communications Director for Greenpeace International, located in Amsterdam, Netherlands where he was a member of the organization's Senior Management team. With overall responsibility for a department of 42 professionals, Wootliff managed the organization's public outreach and communications in over 35 countries.
During his tenure at Greenpeace, Wootliff was engaged in a wide range of difficult and controversial issues including genetically modified organisms and climate change. This involved leading many high profile challenges targeted at the fossil fuel industries and major chemical companies. But he was also involved in many behind-the-scenes dialogues with corporations. Among his many assignments, Wootliff managed the Greenpeace communications work at the Kyoto climate ministerial summit and served as the organization's liaison with the Sydney Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games. He has participated in all Conference of the Parties (COP) sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Wootliff also worked with the Washington DC-based World Resources Institute both in helping them create the Global Forest Watch initiative and in establishing the organization's strategy and presence at the 1999 WTO summit in Seattle.
Wootliff's current work with Reputation Partners involves improving clients' understanding of the demands of the NGOs and other Civil Society groups by identifying critical issues of concern as they relate to particular companies and industry sectors. He evaluates the risks of corporations being exposed to public controversy and explores viable ways for senior corporate managers to meet these stakeholders' expectations and explores opportunities for establishing mutually beneficial partnerships.