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. Ben Cardin, D-Md.
Biography provided by participant
Sen. Ben Cardin has been a national leader on health care, retirement security, the environment and fiscal issues since coming to Congress in 1987. In 2006, he was elected to succeed Paul Sarbanes in the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, he serves on the Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Environment and Public Works, Budget and Small Business Committees.
The Washington Post has said that Cardin is "a legislator's legislator" and he "is sensible, tough-minded and independent." The Baltimore Sun has said, "He has been able to work both sides of the aisle" to help workers save for retirement and to champion the expansion of Medicare benefits.
In the 111th Congress, Cardin was successful in getting a guaranteed dental benefit included in the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program. The America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included his amendments to provide first-time homebuyers with an $8,000 tax credit for the first 11 months of 2009, and to raise the cap on surety bonds for small businesses from $2 million to $5 million.
From 1987-2006, Cardin represented Maryland's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1967-1986 and as Speaker from 1979-1986.
He has often been a voice for our most vulnerable citizens. In the 110th Congress, he received a grade of "A" from the NAACP and a score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign. He also has received a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.
Cardin also has a long-standing interest in foreign affairs. He has been a Commissioner on the U.S. Helsinki Commission since 1993, and is currently chairman of the Commission for the 111th Congress. He also is Vice President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.
A 1967 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law (1st in his class); he earned his B.A. degree in 1964 from the University of Pittsburgh (cum laude). He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Baltimore School of Law (1990); University of Maryland at Baltimore (1993); Baltimore Hebrew University (1994); Goucher College (1996) and Villa Julie College (2007).
Cardin is married to Myrna Edelman Cardin.