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 L. Mica, R-Fla.
Biography provided by participant
Congressman John L. Mica of Florida is the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As the leader of one of the largest committees in Congress with broad legislative jurisdiction, Mica is responsible for developing and overseeing federal policy and projects relating to aviation, highways, transit, rail transportation, pipelines, the Coast Guard, maritime transportation, water infrastructure and resources, economic development, public buildings, and emergency management issues.
Mica is a nationally recognized leader with extensive experience and numerous accomplishments in transportation and infrastructure issues and policy. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the Committee's Republican leader. From 2001 to 2006, he chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation. Mica has served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee since being elected to Congress in 1992.
As the Chairman of the Committee, Mica's top priorities are creating jobs and improving our nation's infrastructure and economy. With the budgetary challenges facing the nation, he is committed to reducing the federal bureaucracy, cutting red tape to complete projects more efficiently, better managing our federal assets, and finding innovative ways to finance projects.
He is a strong advocate of rebuilding and improving our highways, airports, rail systems, waterways and maritime transportation systems and other infrastructure in a cost effective manner that responsibly expands employment opportunities. To help achieve these goals, Chairman Mica is strongly committed to enacting a long-term reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs.
As the Aviation Subcommittee Chairman at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mica is credited with helping bring America's devastated aviation industry back from the brink of economic disaster. He also coauthored the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001. He is leading the effort in Congress to reform the massive TSA bureaucracy and improve the nation's transportation security.
In 2003, he successfully led the House in passing the last long-term Federal Aviation Administration law, and enacting a new authorization of the FAA is another of his top priorities in the 112th Congress.
Mica has been instrumental in the passage of numerous Water Resources Development Acts containing authorizations of the Army Corps of Engineers water resources programs. He has prioritized new legislation to streamline the Corps and make significant programmatic improvements.
A strong supporter of the U.S. Coast Guard, he is also working to reauthorize the service's important missions.
Mica was the primary author of the legislation that established guidelines for the cost effective development of U.S. high-speed passenger rail service. Mica has pledged to help bring true high-speed rail to regions of the nation where it makes sense, with a primary focus on the congested Northeast Corridor, in a manner that utilizes private sector expertise and capital. He is also committed to bringing reforms and more accountability to Amtrak, the national intercity passenger rail provider.
Chairman Mica supports a comprehensive approach to national transportation policy. He advocates an interconnected network incorporating all modes of transportation for greater efficiency and economic benefits.
Other priorities for Chairman Mica include improving the administration and operation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and better management of federal real estate assets to save the taxpayers money.
Mica is also a senior member of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. He has previously chaired that panel's Civil Service Subcommittee and Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Subcommittee.
In addition to his work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Mica is a strong advocate of our nation's veterans. He has received national awards from nearly every major veterans association.
Mica previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins of Florida and is a former member of the Florida House of Representatives. Before holding elected office, Mica was a successful businessman, active in real estate, communications and international trade.
He is a graduate of the University of Florida.
Mica is currently serving his tenth term representing Florida's 7th Congressional District. He and his wife, Pat, have resided in Central Florida since their marriage in 1972.