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
Steven Stoft, the director of the Global Energy Policy Center, received his Ph.D. in economics from U.C. Berkeley in 1982, studying under George Akerlof. He has been an energy economist since 1987 when he joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and has been an independent consultant since 1999, specializing in electricity market design. He has recently published his second book, Carbonomics, and has now shifted focus to energy and climate policy.
In 2002 he served as the expert economic witness before FERC for California's Public Utilities Commission in their attempt to recover part of the $40 billion spent on long-term contracts during the electricity crisis. From 2004 to 2006, he helped design ISO‐New England's capacity market and served as ISO-New England's expert economic witness, successfully defending the market design before FERC. From 1999 to the present he has consulted for the market monitor of the PJM power market. In 2002 he published Power System Economics, which has been translated into Chinese and Russian. Prior to consulting, Stoft served in the office of economic policy at FERC, was a research associate at the University of California's Energy Institute, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory focusing on appliance standards, and an assistant professor at Boston University. He also holds a B.S. in engineering mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley.