Interior Secretary Says Coal Companies Will be Held Accountable for Cleanup Costs

first_imgFrom Lawyer Herald:The Department of the Interior’s goal is to protect taxpayers from $3.6 billion in self-bonding liabilities, thus urging the companies to cover restoration efforts.This move is being faced with concerns, particularly with the firms’ ability to make good on their liabilities as they face trying economic times.According to Midwest Energy News, Tom Sanzillo, finance director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, the responsibility attached to mining companies would be washed away if they declare bankruptcy. If bankruptcy proceedings are decided in their favor, there’s a looming possibility that their commitments would be largely reduced, leaving taxpayers with the bigger financial burden.The state of Wyoming has granted temporary relief to bankrupt coal firm Arch Coal, STL Today reported. In a bankruptcy proceeding, Arch Coal was required to shell out only $75 million for cleanup costs in the meantime. Since Arch’s total liability amounts to $485.5 million, it will settle the remaining amount with new bonds once it recovers from bankruptcy.A similar deal was agreed upon by Wyoming and Alpha Natural Resources, in which the latter promised to pay $61 million to contribute to $411 million in cleanup efforts.The unpaid balance is currently being covered by self-bonds.Mining companies urged to cover cleanup costs, save taxpayers from financial burden FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Patrick Rucker for Reuters:The ailing coal industry must face the costs of cleaning up spent mines even as companies get pushed toward bankruptcy, the U.S. Interior Secretary said on Tuesday.The mining industry is responsible for restoring old mine sites but a taxpayer subsidy called “self bonding” has allowed some of the largest companies to forego a large share of cleanup insurance.Bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal have sought to jettison cleanup liabilities in bankruptcy court and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said officials will not tolerate such maneuvers.“Even at a time of financial distress, it is still the responsibilities of these companies to do the reclamation that they signed up for,” Jewell told reporters after a meeting of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.“We need to make sure that those companies are held accountable.”Struggling coal companies must face their cleanup costs: U.S. official Interior Secretary Says Coal Companies Will be Held Accountable for Cleanup Costslast_img read more

U.S. Coal-Generated Electricity Drops to Less Than 30% Market Share in February

first_imgU.S. Coal-Generated Electricity Drops to Less Than 30% Market Share in February FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From Jeffrey McDonald at Platts:Coal dropped to 29.6% of US utility-scale power generation in February as natural gas and renewables each captured greater market share, the US Energy Information Administration said Thursday.The agency’s Electric Power Monthly showed that coal generation totaled 92.9 GWh in February, down 18.3% from January and 26.9% from the same month a year ago.Natural gas and renewables comprised 31.3% and 17% of the total energy mix, respectively, up from 31.1% and 14.9% in January. For renewables, it was the highest monthly grab of the energy pie since April 2014. Natural gas has topped coal for seven of the last eight months, including the last six months of 2015, according to EIA data. Prior to 2015, coal was always dominant to natural gas for power generation.A year ago, coal comprised 37.9% of electric power generation while gas made up 27.2% and renewables 14.1%. That share began dropping with coal-fired plant retirements resulting from implementation of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and falling gas prices.Full article: EIA says coal drops to 29.6% of US energy mix on generation declineslast_img read more

Nevada to vote on 50% renewable standard in November

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Las Vegas Review-Journal:Nevadans will be able to decide if they want to up the state’s renewable energy production after the initiative was officially qualified for the November ballot on Wednesday.Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future last month submitted more than twice the needed to make it onto the ballot. On Wednesday, the secretary of state’s office notified local county election officials and the backers of the initiative to confirm that 133,005 of the signatures were deemed valid, surpassing the needed 112,554 signatures needed to qualify.“This is a landmark day for Nevada’s families, Nevada’s air, and Nevada’s economy,” said Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future campaign manager Katie Robbins. “For far too long, we have done too little to take advantage of our immense solar and geothermal resources. For far too long, we have inhaled too many fossil fuel emissions. We will change this in November when Nevadans vote YES on Question 6 to guarantee that at least half of our power comes from renewables and begin building a better future for the economic and physical health of everyone in our state.”Roughly 20 percent of the energy in Nevada currently comes from renewable sources, and the state’s current Renewable Portfolio Standard, or RPS, calls for that figure to increase to 25 percent by 2025.Question 6 would double that standard to 50 percent by 2030, which would put Nevada’s RPS on par with the likes of California, Oregon, New York and New Jersey. Since it is a constitutional initiative petition, meaning it seeks to amend the state constitution, voters would need to approve Question 6 in 2018 and again in 2020 to become law.More: Renewable energy measure qualifies for Nevada ballot Nevada to vote on 50% renewable standard in Novemberlast_img read more

Report: Energy efficiency as a resource is two or three times bigger than commonly known

first_imgReport: Energy efficiency as a resource is two or three times bigger than commonly known FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:A new paper by the cofounder and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) seeks to challenge conventional wisdom when it comes to energy efficiency, positing that the size and cost of the potential resource base is much larger and cheaper than previously believed.The misunderstanding is fundamental, according to physicist Amory Lovins. By examining individual energy-consuming technologies, rather than the whole buildings, vehicles and factories which they power, the industry is significantly underestimating the resource.“Most traditional analysts and deployers of energy efficiency see and use only a modest fraction of the worthwhile efficiency resource,” Lovins writes. “In energy efficiency as in geology, total reserves exceed proven reserves, and the resource base, increasingly exploitable as exploration and extraction techniques improve, far exceeds both.”The paper does not seek specific energy or economic conclusions of efficiency’s potential, RMI Principal Mark Dyson told Utility Dive in an email. However, he said RMI sees evidence of an energy efficiency resource potential that is two to three times larger than typically expected, “and often at lower costs, when using integrative design approaches.”More: Energy efficiency is fundamentally undervalued, RMI findslast_img read more

Mountain Mama: How to Stay Fit During the Holidays

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,The cooler temperatures, leftovers, football, and online shopping have left me feeling as if I’ve melted into the couch. I’m nervous that the next four weeks will derail my exercise routine. How do I stay committed to fitness during the holiday season?Thanks,Couch-Man———————————————————————Dear Couch-Man,Too often the food and cocktails conspire to add inches to our waist-lines. Even worse, the alcohol, sugar, and fat leave us feeling so sluggish that we lose motivation. Count ’em, there are 35 days of temptation this year between Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Here are four tips to fortify your commitment to health and stay fit during the holidays:Get Outside.Sure, the fire is cozy and the sofa is comfortable. Instead, embrace your inner child and discover the winter wonderland waiting outside your front door. The ski reports look promising for powder turns this winter. Even if you can’t hit the slopes, winter offers plenty of opportunities to play, from sledding and snowball fights to ice skating and snowshoeing.Start Active Traditions.Create something for you and your family to look forward to when the thermometer plunges. Check race calendars for jingle bell runs and New Year’s resolutions races. Encourage your family to ride their bikes to Christmas Eve service. Or rally your friends for a caroling jog around the neighborhood. Reinvent how you spend the holidays by adding a hike, run, or ride as part of your seasonal traditions.Bring Healthy Treats.The buffet line and dessert tray interferes with even our best of intentions. To ensure there’s a healthy option at the next holiday party, be sure to bring a dish that’s easy on the waistband. Consider healthy swaps while baking, like coconut oil instead of butter or almond flour in place of white flour.Incorporate Exercise.It’s easy to miss your bike ride because you had to mail a holiday package or attend the office party. If your calendar is crammed full of obligations, get creative and incorporate exercise into your holiday errands. Be the first one to get on the dance floor at the next party. Load up the jogging stroller with holiday packages and run to the post office. Worse case scenario, lace up your sneakers and power walk around the mall.Couch-Man, don’t let the turkey and leftovers lead to a downward spiral. Staying committed to your exercise routine will reinforce healthy eating choices. By eating right and working out, you’ll have room on your New Year resolution list for new fitness goals, like registering for a marathon or signing up for a century bike ride.Cheers!Mountain Mamalast_img read more

Daily Dirt: Beech Mountain Brewing, GSMNP Hikers Rescued, LeDuc Dopes

first_imgYour daily outdoor news update for January 6th, the day Nancy Kerrigan was attacked for being a good figure skater in 1994:Beech Mountain Brewing OpensYou will now be able to enjoy craft beer slope side at North Carolina’s Beech Mountain Resort. The newest brewery in micro-brewery heavy western North Carolina is the aptly named Beech Mountain Brewing Co., which opened its doors in the resort’s village between Christmas and New Year’s. The new nano-brewery will have a 100-gallon a day capacity and features three ales on tap brewed with the assistance of brewer Will Young of Blind Squirrel. On tap now are the flagship 5506 Pale Ale, the lighter, session-able Liberty Ale, and the winter warmer Yardsale Ale (at 8.1% ABV, we see where it gets the name), and they are available in the pint or growler. The brewery will also be open year-round to serve skiers, mountain bikers, and others alike. The grand opening will be January 11, in conjunction with Beech’s annual Winterfest Weekend.Combined with the new mountaintop restaurant and lodge and the mountain biking achievements of the past few years, Beech is making major moves. What screams major moves like opening your own craft brewery on site?Hypothermic Hikers Rescued in GSMNPThis was the group’s first hiking trip together. It could have been their last.Three South Carolina men are in good condition following a failed hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ranging in age from 21-32, the men had set out from Fontana Dam on a 10-day backpacking trip when they ran into cold, wet weather and called for help. They were airlifted out of the park by the North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team Friday, and transported to Asheville. The men were burning their clothes to keep warm. According to authorities, the men were mainly wearing cotton clothes and did not have a tent – they were planning on sleeping in shelters along the way. The park got five inches of snow, the winds kicked up to 35 mph, and temperatures dropped to 20 below zero with the wind chill.So, no shelter, not properly clothed, not familiar with the area, bad map. Maybe it will be their last hiking trip together after all.David LeDuc Dopes“I told them don’t even waste your time testing the ‘B’ sample, I’m guilty.”That is the quote masters cycling racer David LeDuc gave the News & Observer after he tested positive for a bevy of banned substances at the U.S. Masters national Road Championships in Oregon this past summer. The 62-year-old LeDuc is a legend in the North Carolina masters cycling scene, a 21-time national champion before getting popped for amphetamines, synthetic testosterone, and EPO. The story from Jay Price is a great read, delving into not only the tired issue of doping in cycling, but the issues surrounding amateur doping, aging racers, anti-aging medicines, etc. Also, the reaction from local riders who have been losing to this guy for years, and are understandably pissed off about the piss test.Here is the link.last_img read more

These Drainage Nets From Western Australia Could Help Our Waterways

first_imgIn a trial run, over 800 pounds of garbage has been retained, recycled, and composted.Trash is, unfortunately, an all to common sight across our region. Whether you’re hiking a remote backwoods river or fishing a local stream, it follows us everywhere. Bottles, bags, fishing line, wrappers, you name it, it’s everywhere. All we can do is pick it up, but the amount of waste in our beloved mountain waterways is seemingly insurmountable.That could change with the help of an ingenious device developed by the city of Kiwana, Australia.As a trial run to reduce waste in the Henley Reserve, officials have placed nets on 750mm and 450mm-diameter concrete drainage pipe outlets. The nets collect trash and debris, letting the water run freely into the preserve.Since their implementation in March, they been cleaned three times. Not one animal has been found in the nets.Over the past five months, the nets have kept around 815 pounds of trash from polluting the reserve. That’s almost one ton of trash per year. The trial run has cost around $20,000 dollars to date. According to Kwinana Mayor, Carol Adams, “After seeing the nets in action in other local government areas, the City determined the net to be the most cost-effective and safest option over other methods which can be up to four times the cost per unit and are sealed and submerged structures.”Check out the interview with Carol below for more information on the nets.Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes.last_img read more

Philadelphia nurse lands an Olympic ‘A’ marathon qualifying time

first_imgPhoto by: Chuck Utash / Dyestathttp://chuckutashphotography.com/ Full-time Philadelphia nurse Samantha Roecker, 27, is making waves in the distance running world after a third-place finish at the California International Marathon in December. Roecker, who is unsponsored, finished the 26.2-mile race in 2:30:25, two minutes behind the winner. Her finish time smashed her previous marathon PR by nearly eight minutes and ranked her as the 12 th –fastest woman so far heading to the Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020. center_img Roecker logs about 100 miles a week, running whenever she can, usually around 5:30 in the morning before tackling four 7:30am to 6:30pm hospital shifts each week. “I have to be hyper-focused,” Roecker told Runners World. “I measure out every minute.”last_img

Prize Medal For The 5th Military World Games To Be Released in Brasilia

first_imgBy Dialogo June 01, 2011 Developed by the Brazilian Mint to crown the winners at the Rio 2011 Games, the prize medals will be presented (in gold, silver, and bronze) on June 1st, starting at 2:30 p.m., at the POUPEX Theater in Brasilia (address: Av. Duque de Caxias, S/Nº – Setor Militar Urbano). Designed by visual artist Luiz Henrique Peixoto Ferreira, the medals display on the obverse the symbol of the CISM (International Military Sports Council), and on the reverse, the logo of the 5th Military World Games Rio 2011, as well as the name of the sport. The official musical theme of the Games will also be presented at the same event. In celebration of the fifth edition of the CISM Military World Games, a commemorative medal will also be introduced. This medal will be produced in limited quantities, and as a consequence, it is necessary to deface the original molds, in order to prevent the production of new copies. This will be done during the release ceremony, by Defense Minister Nelson Jobim. The Brazilian Mint manufactured the medals, with support from the Savings and Loan Association (Associação de Poupança e Empréstimo – POUPEX). Theme of the Games Honors Overcoming Obstacles Engagement, dedication, and overcoming obstacles served as inspiration to Sgt. Ricardo Cesar Ferreira, of the Music Company of the Military Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro, in composing the theme for the 5th CISM Military World Games. The theme will be presented by the Symphonic Band of the Presidential Guard Battalion, at the conclusion of the event. Armed Forces teams interested in covering this event should send their names/media (Armed Forces radio, TV, print, institutional website) to [email protected], so that we can set aside the press kits.last_img read more

Honduras Seeks Advice from Chilean Police

first_imgBy Dialogo January 05, 2012 Honduran Security Minister Pompeyo Bonilla declared in a press conference his intention to travel to Chile with the goal of seeking advice from the Carabineros, Chile’s national police force, in order to review the Honduran police’s training processes. According to Bonilla, the Chilean Carabineros are “an institution respected on the world level and considered one of the best police forces in the world.” “We don’t have to go around inventing things; we have to go to get advice and see how this police force that is effectively meeting its commitment to its people functions,” he affirmed. Honduran President Porfirio Lobo recently spoke with his Chilean counterpart, Sebastián Piñera, in order to reach agreement on collaboration between that country and Honduras. The security minister also explained that he hopes for a rehabilitation of the police as an institution, following their loss of the people’s trust. Various sectors of the Honduran population have demanded an intervention in the police force with the help of international institutions.last_img read more