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
Peter Lehner is the executive director of NRDC, a national environmental group which uses law, science, and the support of 1.2 million members and online activists to promote a safe and healthy environment. Lehner is also the executive director of NRDC Action Fund.
Before his return to NRDC in 2007, Lehner served as chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's office for eight years where he supervised all environmental litigation by the state and developed innovative multi-state strategies targeting global warming, acid rain, and smog causing emissions. Lehner previously served at NRDC as a senior attorney in charge of the water program.
Lehner holds an AB in philosophy and mathematics from Harvard College and is a graduate of Columbia University Law School, where he continues to teach environmental law. He also has extensive experience in sustainable farming and green business.