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. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.
Biography provided by participant
Bingaman has served in the U.S. Senate since 1982 and as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee from 2001-2002 and again beginning in 2007 to present. In the 109th Congress, he played a major role in the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the first comprehensive energy bill to become law in 13 years. Just two years later, Sen. Bingaman was the lead sponsor of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which required a historic increase in vehicle fuel economy, boosted homegrown biofuels, and mandated the most sweeping energy efficiency legislation ever to be put into law. Bingaman serves on the Senate Finance Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure. He is also a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and a senior member of the Joint Economic Committee. Before coming to the Senate, Bingaman was elected New Mexico attorney general. The New Mexico Senator has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and law degree from Stanford.