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
Scott Sklar runs a clean energy technology optimization and strategic policy firm, The Stella Group, Ltd, which he founded in 1995 and came on full time to lead in 1999. The firm facilitates clean distributed energy projects for commercial, industrial and military applications. -- specializing on blending technologies and financing for projects, as well as assisting companies to scale-up market penetration.
Previously, Sklar served as Executive Director for 15 years of two national trade association concurrently, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the National BioEnergy Industries Association. Prior of running trade associations, Sklar was Political Director of The Solar Lobby for two years, -- a renewable energy advocacy group founded by the big nine US environmental organizations. And for three years previous to joining the advocacy organization, served as Washington Director for two years and Acting RD&D Director for one year of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), a federally-funded applied technology institution promoting renewables and energy efficiency.
Sklar started his energy career serving as a military and energy aide to Senator Jacob K Javits (NY) on his Washington personal and Committee staff for nine years, and cofounded the Congressional Solar caucus in the mid-1970's where most of the renewable energy legislation first was passed by the US Congress as a result of the first and second oil embargos..
He serves on the Boards of Directors of three national non-profits: Business Council for Sustainable Energy (climate change), Renewable Energy Policy Project (energy analysis), and The Solar Foundation. He also serves as Steering Committee Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Coalition, composed of the 20+ national energy efficiency and renewable energy industry organization, advocacy groups, think tanks, and environmental groups.
Sklar has coauthored two books, "The Forbidden Fuel: A History of Power Alcohol, published in 1985 which is updated and was updated and re-released in 2010 by University of Nebraska Press, and a "Consumer Guide to Solar Energy" first published in 1998 and is in its third publishing. Sklar is an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University teaching a unique multidisciplinary sustainable energy course. On November 4, 2010 Secretary Locke approved Sklar's appointment to the Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (RE&EEAC).