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
Ned Helme is the founder and president of the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP). As a leading expert on climate and air policy, he advises Members of Congress, state and international governments, the European Commission and developing countries on these issues.
A noted speaker and facilitator, Helme is the author of more than 50 key studies on climate change, air quality, electricity regulation, and transportation policy. With more than twenty-five years experience in climate and air policy, Helme has a broad and deep understanding of cap-and-trade programs and other market and nonmarket approaches to addressing climate change.
Helme played an instrumental role in the development and passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990, which established the first national emissions trading program in the U.S. He was also a driving force behind the Decin Project in the Czech Republic, a pilot program to implement projects that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable development, and led stakeholder discussions that produced the design of the Clean Development Mechanism. Helme also led the expert team that developed the original design of the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme. In addition, he has testified before Congress on multiple occasions on key issues such as how developing countries are fighting climate change and what options the U.S. needs to consider to help the UN establish a post-2012 global climate change agreement.
He serves on the Board of the Transportation Research Board and the BP Alternate Energy Advisory Board, and has taught as an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.
Prior to starting CCAP, Helme directed the Natural Resources Division of the National Governors Association and was a legislative director to a U.S. Congressman. He holds an M.P.P. from the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley and a B.A. in political science and psychology from Haverford College.