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
Ron Binz is a principal in Public Policy Consulting, specializing in energy and telecommunications economics and policy issues. He is also a Senior Policy Advisor at the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University
Until April 2011 Ron was Chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, appointed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter in January 2007. As Chairman, Ron led the Colorado PUC in implementing the many policy changes championed by the Governor and the Legislature to bring forward Colorado's "New Energy Economy."
Ron was an active member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, serving as Chair of NARUC's Task Force on Climate Policy. He is a member of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group, the Keystone Energy Board and recently served on the Advisory Council to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
Binz has testified before Congressional committees fifteen times.
Ron received a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Louis University in 1971 and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Colorado in 1977. He also completed course work for a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Colorado.