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More problems for troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Rocky Mount Telegram:A planned interstate natural gas pipeline through Nash County may have run its course before any fuel has flowed.In a case of bad news coming in threes, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline recently has been downgraded as an investment, taken the brunt of a scathing environmental report and got trounced in a federal lawsuit by a local farmer. The now-struggling 600-mile pipeline project would carry natural gas from a fracking site in West Virginia to North Carolina.Moody’s Investors Service has changed its rating of the pipeline project to credit negative due to the project’s latest increases in costs and delays in construction. “As cost estimates continue to rise and as the completion date is pushed further out, Dominion’s path for financial improvement is starting to look more uncertain,” said Moody’s Vice President Ryan Wobbrock.A late-January report titled “The Vanishing Need for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline” contends that diminishing consumer demand and more affordable renewables have cast doubt on the overall feasibility and profitability of the pipeline. There’s a growing risk that the pipeline won’t be able to recover costs from rate-paying customers, according to the report released by the pro-environmentalist Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and Oil Change International“The demand outlook for gas has changed dramatically since the project’s inception and much of the original justification for the pipeline has evaporated,” said Cathy Kunkel, IEEFA energy analyst and co-author of the report.The pipeline — a joint venture of energy companies Duke Energy and Dominion — was approved in October 2017 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Originally believed to cost $5.1 billion, projections have been raised by about 30 percent to $6.5 billion to $7 billion, excluding financing costs, according to the report.More: Pipeline hits new setbacks More problems for troubled Atlantic Coast Pipelinelast_img read more

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IEEFA update: Tipping point looms for fossil fuels as capital flows to renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享December 21, 2019 (Sydney IEEFA) — A tipping point for the future of fossil fuels may have been reached this year as financial markets massively down-rated traditional energy companies, with their slumping share prices destroying “staggering” amounts of shareholder wealth.That is the view of Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, who argues in his new report Tipping Point: Global Renewable Energy Leaders Outperform on Global Markets that professional investors now recognise the inevitability of thermal coal’s decline and the uptake of clean, renewable energy.Investors in coal-fired power plants, he notes, “are banking on questionable premises. First that governments will not put a substantial price on carbon emissions or pollution, and secondly, that the double-digit deflation in renewable energy and battery technologies will cease.”BUCKLEY CONTRASTS THE PERFORMANCE OF EIGHT OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST LISTED, PRIVATE RENEWABLE ENERGY ASSET OWNERS/INVESTORS that are aggressively decarbonising their holdings with diehard fossil fuel stocks, showing that renewable energy investments vastly outperform them.The stock price of Australia’s Macquarie Group, a leading investor in green energies, has risen 129% over the last five years, quadrupling the Australian equity market’s growth. But in 2019 alone, Australia’s four main coal miners – Whitehaven, Yancoal, New Hope Corp and Coronado Coal, have declined between 18% and 37%.“As the capital flow moves to predominantly bankrolling renewable energy, the capital market derates the incumbent industry now owning stranded thermal power plants,” say Buckley.“The world could well look back on 2019 as the tipping point: The moment when global capital markets accepted the technology-driven inevitability of a crossover from polluting thermal coal and increased uptake of sustainable, clean, renewable energy.”Full report: Tipping Point – Global Renewable Energy Leaders Outperform on Global MarketsMedia Contacts Kate Finlayson ([email protected]) +61 418 254 237Eric Meijer ([email protected]) +61 490 449 601 Author contact: Tim Buckley ([email protected])About IEEFAThe Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) conducts global research and analyses on financial and economic issues related to energy and the environment. The Institute’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy. IEEFA update: Tipping point looms for fossil fuels as capital flows to renewables Shareholder wealth destroyed as thermal coal goes up in smokelast_img read more

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Western Australia government approves proposed 15GW solar and wind project

first_imgWestern Australia government approves proposed 15GW solar and wind project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Argus Media:The Western Australia (WA) state government has approved development of a 15,000MW solar and wind project, which will export electricity to Indonesia and supply the WA iron ore sector.The project, in the Pilbara region of the state, is the first stage of the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH), which is targeted to expand to 26,000MW, WA minister for state development Alannah MacTiernan said.Most of power generated from the project is earmarked for export to Indonesia, while 3,000MW will supply the local mining sector.The project will also provide markets in Asia with green hydrogen and ammonia, MacTiernan said.The AREH consortium includes Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas and Australian private-sector energy firms CWP Renewables and InterContinental Energy.AREH is the largest renewable energy export project planned in Australia. The 10,000MW Australian-Asean Power Link in the Northern Territory (NT) includes the construction of a 3,000MW high-voltage power transmission cable which will transmit power from a proposed solar farm to Singapore.[Kevin Morrison]More: Western Australia OKs renewable power export projectlast_img read more

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This Guy’s Alright

first_imgFriends and heroes pay tribute to the iconic Guy Clark on two fantastic new releases.I must admit to being a bit of a Davey-come-lately to the music of Guy Clark.  In fact, up until just recently, Guy’s music had spent zero time in my ears.  And, at the risk of irreparably dinging my folksy musical street cred, I must even admit to a time in my life when, in my ignorant mind, Buddy Guy and Guy Clark were, at worst, the same guy, or, at best, confused with each other.With much happiness, however, I can report that I am befuddled no more.The genius in Guy Clark’s songwriting has been reverberating through my skull since late last year, when two fantastic records crossed my desk.  The first, Guy Clark – Songs & Stories, is a live release recorded at the historic Belcourt Theater in Nashville, Tennessee.  Joining Clark on stage were his long time playing partner, Verlon Thompson, percussionist Kenny Malone, bass player Bryn Davies, and Shawn Camp, perhaps this generation’s closest embodiment of Clark’s musical spirit.  Clark and company traded songs and stories, working their way through some of his most well known tunes – “L.A. Freeway,” “Homegrown Tomatoes,” and “Magnolia Wind” – while working a cover of Townes van Zandt’s “If I Need You,” a song Clark notes that Townes wrote while asleep in Clark’s house, and a newer tune, “Maybe I can Paint Over That,” a collaboration between Clark, Thompson, and Camp that is, perhaps, my favorite tune on the record.Clark’s voice hums with an easy – and earned – weariness on Songs & Stories.  Though over 70 years old, the joy Clark feels at being on stage with close friends and musical compatriots is evident in his singing and storytelling.  This was the perfect introduction to the work of Guy Clark.But, as good as Songs & Stories was, it didn’t prepare me for what was in store when I first listened to This One’s For Him – A Tribute To Guy Clark.  Though Guy doesn’t sing a note on this two disc tribute to his astounding body of musical work, the collection of Americana icons who do sing is jaw dropping.  The liner notes read like a who’s who of contemporary roots, folk, and country music – Lyle Lovett, Roseanne Cash, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Joe Ely, Jerry Jeff Walker, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson.  And that’s not even half of the performers who have a go on one of Clark’s tunes!Clark’s way with a word is so beautifully evident in these songs.  To call him a singer-songwriter is too simple; the man was a poet-songwriter, with songs that gushed folksie wisdom and lyrical eloquence.  Take a listen to Emmylou and Prine on “Magnolia Wind,” Kristofferson on “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” or Ron Sexsmith on “Broken Hearted People.”  Clark wore his feelings on his shirt sleeves, or perhaps his guitar strings, and the reverence felt for these songs is expressed wonderfully by each of the artists on this collection.Finally finding Guy Clark is bittersweet – I am thrilled that I am now digging into his discography, but I am kicking my own ass for waiting so long.  Most importantly, I am stunned by the ability Clark’s music has had in making me reevaluate my understanding of what great songwriting truly is.For a taste of what you can find on This One’s For Him, take a listen to Willie Nelson’s “Desperadoes Waiting On A Train” on this month’s Trail Mix for free right here on the Blue Ridge Outdoors website.last_img read more

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Sandbagging

first_imgOne pet peeve I have when racing is I get quite tired of hearing all the excuses before the race from various competitors. Now I know I’m not totally immune to this sort of behavior and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this a time or two. I know lately I find myself using the age card excuse too much. However I do try to have the attitude that if I’m toeing the start line, I am ready to race to the best of my ability. I definitely do not need to go around spreading self doubt to other runners. I realize it is probably human nature to deflect some of the race day pressure by publicly announcing an array of excuses as to why your performance will not be your best. It probably starts as children by abdicating responsibility instead of accepting it. The excuses are verbalized so when the self-fulfilling prophecy occurs on race day, everyone already is prepared for his or her failure.That being said I still believe it is best to keep all the sandbagging internal as it really deters from how others feel about their own race. There is nothing like having a great race and knowing your strongest rival has given you three or four excuses why they won’t be able to keep up with you. Win or lose it takes away from your own performance whether your opponent realizes this or not. The best thing to do pre-race is to try not to engage him or her in conversation or you will be trapped in a downward spiral of reduced expectations.I’ve dealt with a myriad of sandbaggers at races and here are some of my favorite pre-race excuses:I have not done any speed workouts in monthsI just started back to speed workouts this past weekI’m cross training more so my running has sufferedMy big goal race is actually next weekMy big goal race was last week, I doubt I’ve recoveredI’m just training through this race and using it as a semi-hard workoutI’m just here to “participate”I’ve been injured for weeks I hope I can make itI’m currently injuredI feel like an injury is coming on so I may have to pull outI’m way over-trained and have tired legsI’m way under-trained and out of shapeI wore the wrong shoes, I thought this was a trail raceI’m not good at racing in hot weatherI’m not good at racing in cold weatherI did not have time to eat breakfastI was up all night and got no sleepI went on a pub crawl last nightI forgot to take my “special” pillI’m doing doubles so I need to take it easy for my 2nd run later todayI hope I remember what it feels like to race I have been out of it for so longI’ll try to hang with you for as long as I can. I’ll see you on the podium.I forgot my I-pod and I can’t race well without musicMy horoscope says today is not a good day for physical exerciseI’m sure many you can add some excuses you have heard to this list. So the next time you have some sort of self doubt pre-race, don’t spread it around like a virus at the start line. If you choose to pay the entrance fee to race, bring the effort not the excuses.last_img read more

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How To: Crested Butte, CO

first_imgThe coal-mining-town-turned-ski-hub that is Crested Butte is hands down one of our absolute favorite places on Earth for all of the reasons we love Colorado—alpine lakes, craggy peaks, stellar singletrack, backdoor access to BLM lands, and of course the skiing (though we personally didn’t get to experience this). We crossed over high mountain passes, dipped in snowmelt lakes and hot springs, and even saw two bull moose! We’ll definitely be back, but if you happen to beat us to it, this how we decided to #gooutsideandplay in CB.Hail Jacket Hail Jacket-169 Hail Jacket-157 Hail Jacket-176PlayGothic Road is like a gravel beltway of adventure. Pass through the old town of Gothic and park at the Copper Creek trailhead. Four-wheel drive cars will be able to access the Judd Falls trailhead just beyond Copper Creek’s parking area, but don’t sweat it if you can’t drive up there. It’s a short, half-mile climb up to the trail itself. From there it’s five miles of relatively flat walking (at least until the final mile) to Copper Lake, a stunning alpine lake that sits in a bowl of picturesque mountains.Hail Jacket-143 Hail Jacket-10 Hail Jacket-35 Hail Jacket-58We decided to base camp here for the next day’s out-and-back excursion to Conundrum Hot Springs. Start early to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. It’s a pretty steady two-mile butt-buster up to Triangle Pass, but the views are amazing. The trail hugs the mountainside and is often loose scree, so be careful as you hike. Drop down over Triangle Pass and hike until you reach Conundrum Creek. The hot springs are extremely popular and can be accessed from Aspen, so don’t be surprised to see people here. We recommend heading there on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Go in the summertime when the wildflowers are in bloom—the valley is absolutely spectacular. Round trip mileage comes in around 24 miles, which makes for a great two- or three-day excursion.Hail Jacket-80_MG_3118 Hail Jacket-109 Hail Jacket-150 Hail Jacket-144StayCamping in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness requires all visitors to have a bear canister, so be sure to bring one yourself or you can rent one from The Alpineer for $20. At certain times of the year there are free dispersed car camping sites along Gothic Road, as well as a pretty primitive campground (rates from $12 per night), so be sure to check local guidelines depending on the season.EatWe’re coffee fiends, so when we landed at First Ascent Coffee Roasters, we thought we’d died and gone to heaven. They make their own bread here (check out the bagel breakfast sandwiches) and offer WiFi as well as a quiet place to work upstairs. It’s the perfect place to post up when CB’s weather turns damp, which is practically every day sometime after 2pm._MG_3079_MG_4006 _MG_3213 _MG_2937Like what you see in this post? Check out the portable and easy-to-use LifeStraw Go Water Bottle, apparel and shoes from La Sportiva, the Damascus Elite hiker sock from Farm to Feet, the always comfortable Crazy Creek chair, and the most useful GPS made, the DeLorme InReach Explorer.last_img read more

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Bill Introduced to Abolish the EPA

first_imgEarlier this month, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) proposed a bill to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The bill is co-sponsored by Thomas Massie (R-KY), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA).The EPA, a federal agency started under the Nixon administration, works to protect human health and the environment across state lines. In 2016, the agency had an $8 billion budget and employed over 15,000 people.The agency is primarily responsible for writing and enforcing regulations that enact environmental legislation. For example, though it is up to Congress to pass legislation on different types of pollution, it is the EPA who determines how to reach the goals laid out by such laws.Gaetz and the cosponsors believe that the EPA holds too much power; they hope to abolish the agency in full, leaving environmental issues to state and local governments.The EPA has “exceeded their original mission substantially under both Republican and Democratic presidents and violated the sovereignty of the states” Gaetz writes. “I think we need a fresh start.” Though details on the bill are not yet available, Gaetz says the agency’s termination would be effective December 31, 2018.Such a bill is a long shot for Gaetz as a freshman representative. Additionally, abolishing the agency would require repealing a web of interwoven laws. And though Trump hopes to dramatically downsize the EPA, it is doubtful the administration wants to abolish it altogether.The EPA has already undergone changes under the new administration: a freeze on new contracts and grants, a temporary gag order, and the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as head honcho. But termination of the agency? Doubtful.Like many of the political headlines since Trump’s inauguration, Gaetz’s bill more about making a statement than enacting a law—and once again environmental deregulation is the rallying point.last_img read more

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All About Timing: Mother Nature’s Calendar is Changing

first_imgAbout three years ago I was introduced to phenology, the study of the cyclical timing of natural phenomena. One interested in phenology looks at the exact timing of the emergence of milkweed shoots from the soil, the bursting of leaf buds on a red maple, and the sudden appearance of the black-throated green warbler from its Central American winter breeding grounds. Stated simply, phenology is the study of nature’s calendar.I was introduced to phenology during a trip with a colleague and our environmental science classes to the Appalachian Highland Science Learning Center, located on the eastern edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sitting at just over 5,000 feet in elevation on Purchase Knob, the center offers educational programs for students and houses scientists collecting data on air quality, salamander health, phenology, and other topics. In addition to its functional capacities as a research site, Purchase Knob is beautiful, affording visitors stunning views of the Southern Appalachians.I read the supporting pre-lab materials offered by the program, but it took a while for me to grasp the essence and importance of phenology. “Why would anyone want to spend time studying phenology?” I wondered.Here’s why: Climate change is not only about warming temperatures, rising sea levels, and stronger storms. Quite subtly, climate change affects the timing of spring and fall events, such as when oaks leaf out and flower in spring—and then drop their leaves in the fall—and when insect larvae (caterpillars) hatch. Climate change threatens to alter these timings, and scientists are already gathering evidence of phenological mismatches. For example, what happens to worm-eating warbler populations if, after their long flight across the Gulf of Mexico in spring during their annual northerly migration, they encounter forests with decreased populations of caterpillars, which have begun their reproductive cycle earlier due to climate change? It may be that the worm-eating warbler may alter its timing, too, but it may also be that the warbler cannot adjust as rapidly as events change due to climate change. Hence, the study of phenology.After the trip with my class to Purchase Knob, I returned to Asheville School and set up our “phenology circuit,” a 20-minute walk with six forest trees tagged for us to monitor over the years. Throughout the school year, my classes and I walk the loop with clipboards and pencils, and we note the various phenophases of each of our trees—flowering dogwood, two red maples, Northern red oak, American hornbeam, American beech—looking closely at the leaves, flowers, and fruits. We enter our data on our Nature’s Notebook page, run by the USA National Phenology Network, which organizes the phenology data collected by students, researches, and volunteers, and then makes the data and developed models available for use available to the public.Here are some reasons why I like this simple project, and why I encourage you to consider participating, too:We are participating in citizen science, collecting data with thousands of others across the country for the greater good. Through studying years of collected data, scientists will be able to understand the effects of climate change on many different living organisms.The project is a great excuse to get outside. Inevitably, many other observations and learning opportunities arise during a phenology walk.One’s observation and estimation skills are sharpened. For example, it is not enough to note the white “flowers” of the flowering dogwood, because these are not the reproductive parts of the tree. What we generally consider to be flowers are leaf-like bracts, and the flowers are the small reproductive parts in the center of the bracts. As shown in the figure above, our flowering dogwood had 25-49% of its flowers open on April 13, and 75-94 % of its flowers open six days later.These observations allow us time to appreciate the trees. One of our trees is a small Northern red oak, and I have enjoyed simply watching it grow since the fall of 2014.Participation in this project is easy, and I encourage everyone to participate. Find a tree (or herbaceous plant or even animal) in your yard, neighborhood, or a nearby park; sign up on the Nature’s Notebook website; print out some data sheets; and get started. You’ll have one more excuse get outside, have one more reason to practice mindfulness through observation, and you’ll collect valuable research data all the while. The climate is changing, and we can all take part in helping to understand the impacts of climate change on the other living organisms in our midst.last_img read more

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More Than 120 Countries Will Analyze Multinational Anti-Drug Operations in Mexico

first_imgBy Dialogo March 31, 2011 More than 120 countries on five continents will study the creation of a common front against drug trafficking during an international conference in the Mexican beach resort of Cancún (in eastern Mexico) at the beginning of April, Mexican authorities announced on 29 March. The shared project calls for the implementation of “multinational operations against specific objectives, on the basis of the exchange of intelligence and the coordination of efforts,” the Secretariat of Public Safety explained in a statement. With the formation of this “common front,” governments will also exchange “information related to irregular movements of money and the diversion of chemical products,” the agency added. The twenty-eighth edition of the International Drug Enforcement Conference, first held in 1983 in Panama, is expected to meet from 5 to 7 April in Cancún (on the Caribbean). The previous meeting was in 2010 in Rio. The government of Mexico, which for more than three years has been experiencing a wave of violence attributed to drug cartels in part of its territory, will be represented by Secretary of Public Safety Genaro García Luna and Attorney-General Arturo Chávez. In one of the few conference events about which advance information has been released, García Luna will give a presentation on 6 April about the ties between Mexican and Colombian cartels, together with Colombian Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera and the police director of that South American country, Óscar Naranjo.last_img read more

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Criminal Gangs Seek to Expand Control before Colombian Balloting

first_imgBy Dialogo July 28, 2011 Electoral violence may increase sharply in Colombia this year after a decade of sustained decline, as criminal gangs seek to consolidate and expend their control over local governments with a view to the upcoming elections, the Crisis Group think tank said on 25 July. The organization, headquartered in Brussels, fears an increase in attacks on candidates in the elections scheduled for late October, when Colombians will elect approximately 1,102 mayors, 32 governors, and thousands of town councilors and local legislators. It will be the first electoral test for the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking to prevent the interference of illegal armed groups in the process. “Illegal armed groups seek to consolidate and expand their holds over local governments in the October 2011 governorship, mayoral, departmental assembly and municipal council elections,” Crisis Group said. The organization said that the emerging criminal gangs made up of former extreme-right-wing paramilitaries, which constitute Colombia’s chief security threat, do not appear to be taking a unified approach to the balloting. “Some will be content with minimal relations to local politics to guarantee their impunity, access to information and freedom of action. But NIAGS (new illegal armed groups) are rapidly evolving into larger, more robust criminal networks, so some could develop a more ambitious political agenda,” the organization warned in a report. Government officials and candidates in Colombia were accused for years of connivance with paramilitary groups, leftist guerrillas, and other illegal armed organizations. Massacres, murders, kidnappings, and attacks against the country’s economic infrastructure declined after 2002 due to a U.S.-supported military offensive by former president Alvaro Uribe.last_img read more

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