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.'"
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
Biography provided by participant
Dingell has represented Michigan's 15th district since 1955 and is the longest serving current Member of the House and second longest serving Member in our nation's history.
Over the last five decades, Dingell has written some of the best known laws protecting our health and our environment, as well as the rights of workers and consumers. One notable example is the 1990 Clean Air Act which is credited with cleaning up the air we breathe, while preserving American competitiveness. He fought for the passage of revolutionary legislation such as the Endangered Species Act. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, and senior member on the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, Congressman Dingell successfully passed legislation to create North America's first international wildlife refuge, protecting thousands of acres of natural habitat in Southeast Michigan and Canada. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Nature Conservancy of Michigan.
In the past, Dingell led successful efforts to stop the Bush Administration from allowing higher arsenic levels in drinking water and from cutting funds to investigate and prosecute environmental crimes. A defender of the "polluter pays" principle - which protects taxpayers from picking up the tab on environmental damage - he is fighting efforts by the Defense Department to exempt itself from some of our cornerstone environmental laws.
Dingell served in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant. After the war, he attended got a bachelor's degree at Georgetown University and a law degree at Georgetown Law School. He then worked as a forest ranger, a prosecuting attorney for Wayne County, and ran his own private law office. When his father passed away while still a Member of the US House of Representatives in 1955, the younger Dingell stepped up to fill the void, beginning his career on Capitol Hill at the age of 29.