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
Gawell has been the Executive Director of the Geothermal Energy Association since 1997, prior to which he was the Director of Government Affairs for the American Wind Energy Association. His background includes senior positions in several national environmental organizations, including the National Wildlife Federation and the Wilderness Society. He worked in several positions in the U.S. Congress, including Associate Staff of the House Appropriations Committee, Legislative Director for Representative David Skaggs (D-Colo) and Legislative Assistant to Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minn). He was Business Manager for the Rockford Corporation in Charlottesville, Virginia and an analyst and Project Manager for the U.S. Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory). He recently served on the Renewable Energy Advisory Board of the US Export-Import Bank, and has been an advisor to the US EPA, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and the United Nations. He has a BSFS from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and studied in the Department of Economics at the University of Nottingham in England. Gawell has published numerous papers and articles on energy and environmental policy, testified before Committees of the U.S. House and Senate, and appeared on various national television and radio shows. Gawell, together with co-author Dr. P.M. Wright, was awarded the President's Certificate for Excellence by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for their presentation "International Geothermal Development" in 1998.