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 Schmidt is an energy policy analyst and consultant. He currently leads GolinHarris' Energy and Environment Group and is a principal in GH's global sustainability practice, which he helped launch in 2007. He advises clients on energy and climate issues and devises strategies that leverage his understanding of policy, politics, public opinion and markets. Mike provides public affairs counsel to one of the largest energy users in the world. Last year, he provided strategic support to a business-environmental coalition advocating for climate change legislation. He is an advocate for energy efficiency and is proud to serve as overall lead of Virginia's consumer education program, Virginia Energy Sense.
Mike joined GolinHarris after nine years with the Financial Times Group and the Platts division of McGraw-Hill, where he was chief energy policy correspondent and managing editor of The Energy Report and Inside Energy. He covered Congress, the Clinton and Bush administrations and four energy secretaries. He spent years chronicling the lengthy debate that led to the 2005 Energy Policy Act. He also covered the emergence of climate change as a major issue; electricity deregulation and re-regulation; the California crisis and the fall of Enron; dozens of DOE programs and initiatives; the department's development of Yucca Mountain; DOD's move to develop alternative fuels; the Cheney energy task force; and the 2005 blackout.