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.'"
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Biography provided by participant
A forceful advocate for families, children, consumers, the environment, and her State of California, Boxer was elected to the Senator in 1993 after 10 years in the House of Representatives. A national leader on environmental protection, Boxer is the first woman to chair the Environment and Public Works Committee. She also chairs the panel's Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, and Children's Health Protection. Boxer authored the amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act ensuring that drinking water standards are set to protect children and other vulnerable populations. She has been a leader in the fight to remove arsenic from drinking water, block oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and along California's coast, stop the use of human subjects in pesticide testing, and revitalize the Superfund by making polluters - not taxpayers - pay to clean up the toxic waste they leave behind. In addition to her chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee, the California senator also serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Commerce Committee, is the Democratic Chief Deputy Whip, and serves on the Democratic Policy Committee's Committee on Oversight and Investigations.