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
Rich Wells was named Vice President, Energy, The Dow Chemical Company, in January 2007. He has responsibility for Dow's entire Energy portfolio, which includes activities related to power, natural gas, steam and industrial gases. In addition, Wells has a lead position in the management of Dow's position and global advocacy activities in the areas of Climate Change and Energy policy.
Wells joined Dow in 1982 and has held diverse roles within Engineering and Manufacturing in Texas. From 1992 to 1998, he served as Production Leader within the Epoxy Products and Intermediates Business. In 1998, he was named Global Director of Hydrocarbons and Energy Supply Chain and relocated to Terneuzen, the Netherlands. In 2001, with Dow's merger with Union Carbide, Wells returned to the United States and assumed the added responsibilities of Business EH&S Director. Wells was named Business Vice President of the Chlor-Alkali business in August 2004, and added responsibility for Chlorinated Organics in February 2006. As part of this role, he served as Vice Chairman of the Chlorine Institute's Board of Directors.
Wells is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), a non-profit coalition that promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security. He also serves as Board Secretary and co-chair of the Policy and Programs Committee for ASE.
In 2008, he was appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Climate Change Action Council, which is comprised of members representing academia, a broad base of industry, utilities, state and local government, and environmental groups working together to develop recommendations to address climate change issues in the state of Michigan.
Wells holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.