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
Michael A. Livermore is known for his thoughtful and refreshingly pragmatic approach to environmental and health issues, advocating for strong regulations that also make economic sense. Livermore began his career working for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). Working his way up to environmental campaigns director, he established himself as a leading voice of the state's environmental community. But he also saw firsthand that environmental groups were losing key battles because they weren't prepared to respond to industry's cost-benefit arguments.
After graduating magna cum laude from New York University School of Law where he published scholarship on regulatory issues, he collaborated with Richard L. Revesz, the dean of NYU Law, on Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health (Oxford University Press, 2008). Praised as "an important book" and "essential reading for the thinking environmentalist," the book argues that properly conducted cost benefit analysis can be used to shape regulations that will create a clean environment--and a thriving economy.
He is now executive director of the Institute for Policy Integrity, a think tank and advocacy center he and Revesz founded at NYU Law in July 2008 to improve the quality of government decision-making. IPI conducts research and advocates for a wide variety of environmental, public health and safety reforms, from adding green standards in the stimulus bill to conducting an unbiased economic analysis of offshore oil drilling. Recently, IPI conducted a detailed legal analysis on EPA's next steps for regulating greenhouse gases.
Livermore's views on regulatory policy have been featured in BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Diane Rehm Show, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Grist and Time.