Month: December 2020

Appalachia in Transition: Call for ‘a Policy That Includes a Source of Revenue’

first_imgAppalachia in Transition: Call for ‘a Policy That Includes a Source of Revenue’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Taylor Kuykendall for SNL:Adele Morris, senior fellow and policy director for the climate and energy economics project at Brookings Institution, said declining demand for coal on the global stage looks even more dismal when you drill it down to domestic U.S. producers and it only gets worse when you further zoom into Central Appalachia.Morris said that it “almost doesn’t matter what kind of climate policy we have.” The fact remains coal has “key disadvantages,” including a high carbon intensity and competition from a lot of alternatives that suggest coal country should likely brace for even further declines in coal production.Morris said that while there is no precedent for the sudden economic shift that must occur in Appalachia as coal declines, a policy that includes a source of revenue for the region would likely best aid a transition.Morris called for a carbon tax that would allow lawmakers to target burdened areas, return revenues to taxpayers and distribute funds in a way that holds poorer households unharmed. Noah Kaufman, an economist with World Resources Institute, also advocated for a carbon tax.He said a carbon tax could produce $100 billion to $200 billion in revenue annually and just a small portion of that going toward investment in coalfields communities would push tremendous change.While talk of carbon pricing or cap-and-trade once rankled coal states like West Virginia, groups like Kaufman’s suggest it might be their best hope as momentum to take climate action builds.Full article ($): Replacing Coal, part 3: ‘The Clean Power Plan is the battle, not the war’last_img read more

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Australia’s largest solar PV project now producing power

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Australia’s “largest fully-operational photovoltaic facility” has commenced full-scale commercial operation, it was announced Thursday.French firm Neoen said in a statement that its Coleambally Solar Farm in New South Wales has 567,800 solar photovoltaic panels and would generate more than 390,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy per year. This, Neoen said, is enough to power over 65,000 homes in New South Wales. Photovoltaic refers to a way of directly converting light from the sun into electricity.The Coleambally development is situated in the state’s Riverina region and is spread across 550-hectares of land. It is backed by a 12-year power purchase agreement with EnergyAustralia, an energy retailer. Under the terms of the deal, EnergyAustralia will use 70 percent of the facility’s output, with the rest sold directly to market.“Coleambally Solar Farm is an example of the projects that will underpin a modern energy system in Australia,” Franck Woitiez, Neoen Australia’s managing director, said in a statement.Blessed with an abundance of sunshine, large-scale solar electricity is “rapidly expanding” in Australia, according to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Over 2 million Australian homes have a solar system installed on their rooftop, ARENA adds.More: Australian solar farm starts full-scale commercial production Australia’s largest solar PV project now producing powerlast_img read more

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Texas landowners, city file suit to stop Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline

first_imgTexas landowners, city file suit to stop Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Houston Chronicle:Hays County, the city of Kyle, and a coalition of Hill Country landowners have filed a lawsuit to fight the route of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Permian Highway Pipeline and challenge how the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry allows companies to use eminent domain laws.During a Monday morning news conference at Kyle City Hall, the coalition released copies of a 19-page lawsuit against the Texas Railroad Commission, five agency executives, pipeline operator Kinder Morgan and a subsidiary of the Houston company overseeing the project. The lawsuit, filed in state District Court in Travis County, asks a judge to block construction of the 42-inch pipeline designed to move 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin of West Texas to the Katy Hub near Houston. That’s roughly enough gas to fuel about 10 million U.S. homes per day.Opponents claim that the Railroad Commission is allowing the 423-mile pipeline to run through residential areas of Kyle, about 20 miles south of Austin, near the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Stonewall and less than a mile away from Jacob’s Well, a popular summertime swimming hole near Wimberley.Legal fees for the lawsuit are being paid for by the Texas Real Estate Advocacy and Defense Coalition, or TREAD, which represents landowners. The nonprofit advocacy organization was founded last year in response to concerns over property taxes, water rights and eminent domain issues.Railroad Commission officials declined to comment amid pending litigation, but the agency’s website states that it is authorized to oversee only rates and safety issues for pipelines within state boundaries — not eminent domain proceedings and pipeline routes. Texas law grants pipelines that move products on behalf of other companies “common carrier” status and the authority to use eminent domain, which allows the companies to take private land after compensating owners for the value of the property.The TREAD Coalition, however, contends that the agency has the authority under the Texas Constitution to hold public hearings, oversee routes and deal with eminent domain issues. Under current regulations, operators of pipelines within the state are required to file a report only with the Railroad Commission 30 days before construction starts.More: Railroad Commission, Kinder Morgan sued over route of Permian Highway Pipelinelast_img read more

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Has coal helped Appalachia?

first_imgIllustration by Wade MickleyCoal provided jobs and income for several generations when little else would. While it would be great to phase out its use, the money it still provides to thousands of families will be hard to replace anytime soon.—Mark Wenger, Williamsburg, Va.——————-I would love to answer this question with an unequivocal “no,” but to do so would be to deny the incredible importance that coal has played in the lives of my fellow citizens of southwest Virginia. It would ignore the reality that coal from these hills fired the forges that helped create the steel girders that frame the highrises housing so many coal naysayers enjoy today. And, most importantly, it would dishonor the memory of my grandfather, who was an engineer and superintendent for a coal company here in Wise County and provided for my father’s family. I wholeheartedly understand, and mourn, the drastic effects of coal mining on our mountains, and I look to the future when coal isn’t a necessary ingredient in energy production, with great anticipation. However, knowing the role that coal has played in Appalachia’s history, the only honest answer for me is yes. —Ernie Slemp, Wise, Va.Do mountains grow back? If not, then coal has not helped. Over 470 named mountaintops have been leveled for coal mining, and many more miles of streams have been filled or polluted from associated blast material.—Daryl Johnson, Charleston, S.C.——————-Many of the old coal towns have closed or are impoverished, with the residents in poor health. Coal was a brief boon to people years ago, but the long-term negative effects that they still experience today far outweigh any short-term benefits. We need to move away from the fossil-fuel age and toward a more productive and less environmentally harmful energy source. Unfortunately because of constantly increasing population growth, the solutions are really just compromises, so we must look at what hurts people and the environment the least. Maybe nuclear energy sources are a better way than coal, as they have pretty good track record over a half-century of use. But coal certainly isn’t the answer.—Gregory Rowley, Richmond, Va.——————-Any resource extraction industry that pollutes in every stage of its lifecycle is not good for Appalachia. Coal pollutes rivers and groundwater when it is blasted and scraped out of the ground; it pollutes when it is transported hundreds of miles by diesel truck and train; and it pumps mercury, sulfates, and lead into our air when it is burned. While it has given short-term, black-lung-type jobs and has provided energy for our power-hungry economy (that’s you and me), it has done far more harm than good. Until people change their consumptive habits, coal will continue to “help” Appalachia. One of the easiest ways to reduce your consumption is to install energy conserving technologies in your home. If every homeowner took the simple step of increasing air sealing on their ducts and in the thermal envelope of their home with mastic and caulk, valuable conditioned air would not seep out of the home and we would ultimately use less coal—just one of the hundreds of things homeowners could do to help reduce our dependence on local coal. —Lela Stephens, Asheville, N.C.The short of it is that money trumps the environment–and the poor valley folks that are getting dumped on.Big money goes to mine owners, the coal industry, and the state in the form of taxes and severance fees.The long of it is that, a century from now, people will look at the horrible scars on the mountains and wonder how others could have been so short-sighted in allowing that to happen.—John Lefebure, Ringgold, Md.——————-On any objective analysis, the answer must be yes. Critics muddy the issue. In their dislike of coal mining, they ironically blame one of the few valuable resources in the region for the stunted economic growth resulting from the very dearth of resources there. It’s as if someone were to blame doctors for the sick people we find in hospitals.A West Virginia University Center for Business and Economic Research study assessed the economic impacts on the state’s economy from the so-called Haden decision that would have made mountain top mining uneconomic for the state. The decision was subsequently overturned on appeal, but the economic impact it would have had—15,000 jobs lost, and a $2.4 billion hit to aggregate state economic output—suggests the contributions that the coal industry makes to the region.Note too the study’s scathing assessments of the view that tourism could somehow replace coal as a viable economic activity: “absurd” is the reaction from economists who’ve looked closely at this issue. What the original study and an update both underscore is not only coal’s net contributions to West Virginia’s economic welfare, but the impacts to “non-coal” counties if coal mining were to stop. It’s particularly foolish and possibly heartless for coal’s critics to so cavalierly dismiss this severe economic impact that would fall hardest on coal counties.—Luke Popovich, Vice President, National Mining Associationlast_img read more

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Help Identify Butterflies and Moths

first_imgThe Butterflies and Moths of North America’s online database of images and species profiles welcomes help from any enthusiast or curious mind to submit their own observations and photos of the insects. The website doubles as a citizen science project that hopes to catalog all North American species and learn more about where they live and how their populations change over time.This is a big help to scientists, as there isn’t enough research money to finance all the field work it would take to match the volume of work dedicated citizen scientists can contribute for free. So grab your camera and go discover the butterflies and moths in your area. Share your findings and photos and learn more about these insects on  http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/last_img read more

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Trail Mix: Claire Hawkins

first_imgAs a teacher for the last 18 years, I have learned one central truth when it comes to imparting knowledge to my students – kids learn best by doing.To a large extent, that is true for adults, too. I know it is for me. If I watch someone do something I need to learn how to do and participate in the activity, I know I am much more apt to retain the skills involved.Claire Hawkins is getting a healthy dose of learning by doing at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, a department of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, in NYC. Having written her first lyrics at the age of nine, Hawkins is now a rising junior at Clive Davis, learning the all of the ins and outs of the music biz.Last week, Hawkins shared with the world evidence of her learning with the release of Even These Words, a recording project that features both her impressive songwriting talents while showcasing the production and engineering skills she has learned in school.I recently caught up with Claire to chat about the new EP, studying music, and being a student at Clive Davis.BRO – You were involved with all aspects of this EP. What part – production, engineering, songwriting – most got you out of your comfort zone?CH – The production process was really fun because it was new to me. That did make it intimidating in some ways, but I was really lucky to have some incredible teachers and mentors to guide me through it. I really enjoyed the creative control that producing the EP gave me to make sure that the songs I had written reached their full potential on the record.BRO – Your release party was just last week. How did it feel to get these songs out there to your friends and family?CH – It was so much fun. It was really incredible to have so many friends and family there to finally hear the songs I’ve been working on for so long. The night was extra special because it was both the celebration of the release of Even These Words and my last show in New York before I move to Europe for nine months. I couldn’t imagine a better send off!BRO – Biggest takeaway from your time at Clive Davis?CH – One of my favorite things about the Clive Davis Institute is how the school prepares you for anything by requiring that we learn about all aspects of the music industry, regardless of our individual focus. It’s really taught me to be open-minded when it comes to music opportunities.BRO – We are featuring “August” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?CH – This was the first song I wrote for the EP. It came from a place of frustration following a long period of writer’s block. Writing the song was a great moment for me, because it launched me into this wonderful creative period where I finally stopped worrying about not writing enough and I just wrote, which led to the creation of this EP.BRO – I’ve just gotten to NYC. Give me one place that this folk music fan should visit.CH – If you’ve never been, I recommend checking out The Bitter End. It’s such an historic venue, and it’s really cool to see all the folk legends who have played there listed above the bar.With a trip to Europe in the near future, Claire’s stateside show calendar is quiet. Here’s hoping, though, that she totes that guitar with her as she heads across the pond and will be playing some shows over there. Safe to say that, upon her return home, Americana music fans will be waiting to hear her play.For more information on Claire Hawkins and how you can grab a copy of her new EP, Even These Words, please point your browser towards her website.last_img read more

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unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley

first_imgThe inaugural event was atremendous success, with 600 riders falling in love with the route (some lovedthe climbing, even more loved all the descending), and the town of Lewisburg.This year’s event will have entries for up to 800 riders on the 3 unPAvedcourses, each of which showcases some of the best gravel riding Pennsylvaniahas to offer. All routes leave from the Miller Center for Recreation &Fitness and head west from Lewisburg on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail and intothe Bald Eagle State Forest, which is filled with long climbs, lovely descents,mostly-smooth-but-sometimes-chunky gravel & dirt roads, aid stations,pretty trees, running streams, tunnels, and hardly a bar of cell-service. unPAved of the Susquehanna River Valley,a premier raw road adventure through the forests & farms of CentralPennsylvania, returns on Sunday, October 13th, 2019. Our fabulous partners are equally excited to be part the second edition of unPAved. Returning for 2019 are title sponsor Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau, partners Salsa Cycles, Stan’s NoTubes, and GU Energy Labs, as well as Philly Bike Expo, SpeedSleev Products, Ritchey Logic, Voler Apparel, and Purple Lizard Maps. New sponsors for this year are Susquehanna Life magazine, Velocio, Ergon, Mohn Standard, Nittany Mountain Works, Giro, Vargo Outdoors, Gilson Snowboards, Dirt Rag, NetCrafter Solutions, Squirt Cycling Products, ESI Grips, and Chamois Butt’r. 2018 Men’s Champ Matt Curbeau(Velocio Northeast) is planning on bringing the whole family in 2019. “With anevent like this that is so family friendly I have a good chance at convincingmy wife that a 54-mile off-road gravel ride would be an awesome way for her tobreak into the bike racing/gravel riding scene. At the end of the day we bothget to race our bikes, our child is loved by family all day and we do it all inthe awesome community of like minded cyclists.” Alison Tetrick (Specialized) isalready thinking about defending her Whoopie Pie championship. “The beauty ofgravel riding is that you can explore roads that you didn’t know existed, seeviews that you can’t forget, and meet a community that is just like you. unPAvedof the Susquehanna River Valley introduced me to a beautiful part of thecountry that is seared in my mind. I had a blast riding my bike through theforest and found such satisfaction in not only the scenery, but also in myaccomplishment to challenge myself on a course that offered so much option andbeauty. And heck, it’s a great party at the end!” While the Plenty and Propercourses are big rides, the Full 120-mile unPAved is a rugged challenge ofstamina and skills. “The Difference” section packs four mountain passes, onegnarly downhill trail, and three seemingly endless descents into a 30-mile loopfrom the GU Energy Labs Oasis and back again. October 12-14 is an officialNational Holiday, and unPAved is going to take full advantage of it.center_img Find out more at unpavedpennsylvania.com, facebook.com/unpavedPA, instagram.com/unpavedpennsylvania or via #EasyOnTheEyesHardOnTheLegs. Excitement Abounds Friday: “Get un(G)ravelled” Downtown Pub Crawl,with stops in a number of the pubs & fun college bars in Lewisburg. Saturday:Gather round at the Lewisburg FallFestival which offers beer, food vendors, music, a bike rodeo, the“Wooly Worm Winter Prognostication,” and fun family activities at theLewisburg Children’s Museum. Plus, there will be plenty of bike vendors andsocial rides starting & finishing at Hufnagle Park. That night, riders willwalk the red carpet to the rider meeting in the historic Campus Theatre.Sunday: unPAved, with the Full route startingright at dawn (roughly 7am) and the other fields riding off on the BuffaloValley Rail Trail at 8, 9, and 10am. While riders are on course, the MillerCenter and Children’s Museum offers “Play Care” for children. Asriders finish, they will hop off their bikes and hop into the DONEpaved Party at the finish line,with beers from Rusty Rail Brewing, food & whoopie pies from theCornerstone Cafe, and podium awards and plenty of sponsor prizes for all theriders. Easy on the Eyes. Hard on theLegs. About the Weekend last_img read more

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WanderLove Is Calling You to Scott County, VA

first_imgCelebrate all things Scott County with the LOVEwork located at the entrance to Gate City. The design incorporates elements of the local heritage, including a cowboy boot, inner tube, bow and arrow, violin, and fly fishing rod. Or take a photo with the 50 Years of Love mural across from the county courthouse Located in the southwestern tip of Virginia, nature enthusiasts, music lovers, and history buffs alike will fall in love with all the rich opportunities the area provides. Discover the best spots to play, eat, and stay in this guide to Scott County. Anglers Way Swinging Bridge WanderLove is about reconnecting with what you love. Experience natural wonders, scenic overlooks, and all of the winding roads in between when you road trip through Scott County, Va. From the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests to the Clinch River, immerse yourself in nature on your getaway to Scott County. Devil’s Bathtub Start your morning off with daily baked sweets, coffees, and smoothies from The Family Bakery. The Front Porch Store & Deli sells just about anything you need, including homemade meals like the always popular Whitefish Platter. Teddy’s Restaurant is a local favorite with old-time community charm and delicious milkshakes. Stop at La Caretta for authentic Mexican cuisine and daily drink specials. With views of Clinch Mountain, Roberts Mills Suites offers a relaxing loft just minutes from outdoor adventure. Conveniently located near the cities of Kingsport and Bristol, the Estillville Bed & Breakfast’s central location makes a great base camp while you’re exploring southwest Virginia. Stay in authentic 19th century log cabins with modern comforts at the Boone’s Pointe Cabins along the historic Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail. Immerse yourself in nature and sleep by the water at Camp Clinch. After a long day out on the road, kick back and take it easy at one of the many lodging opportunities in the area. Sit on the deck at the newly renovated Happy Trails Cottage and watch the sun come up over the farm. The Sugar Maple Inn seamlessly combines history and modern amenities with a large sitting room, uniquely decorated rooms, and a two story wrap around porch. Whether it’s just you or the whole family, enjoy a spacious getaway in one of the Appalachian Mountain Cabins featuring fire pits and open spaces. Estillville Bed & Breakfast Paddlers and anglers of all types and abilities will find a waterway to fit their needs. The Clinch River is one of the most biodiverse rivers in the world with several access points along the way. Both the Clinch and Holston rivers are full of smallmouth, spotted, rock, and largemouth bass, as well as other species. Access Big Cherry Reservoir with four wheel drive for some high elevation adventure. Natural Tunnel Yurts Fuel Up Hidden Gems Clinchport Swinging Bridgecenter_img See the sights from your car as you drive Scott County. Follow in the footsteps of Daniel Boone as you head out on the Daniel Boone Wilderness Road as you experience the best of the backroads. Lean into the twists and turns of Twin Springs Road, part of the Skull Cracker Motorcycle Route, as you look down on the Clinch River and valley below. Explore the county by visiting the 11 swinging bridges that cross rivers and creeks in the area. Cross the bridges on foot or enjoy the scenic waterways like Cooper Creek, Big Moccasin Creek, Holston River, and the North Fork of the Clinch River from the bank. Relax and Unwind Several outfitters and shops in the area can provide all you need for an outdoor adventure. Go for a relaxing float downstream with Clinch River Life. Pick up your basic gear necessities from the Mountain View Market. SomeThing Squatchy Adventures offers a little bit of everything, including tube rentals, guided raft trips, shuttles, and a campground on the Clinch River. Beginning at the High Knob Lookout Tower and ending at the Hanging Rock Recreation Area, the Chief Benge Scout Trail will take you 19 miles through national forest with views of five states and two high-elevation lakes. Hike Devil’s Fork Trail Loop, seven miles round trip, to the famed Devil’s Bathtub. This technical trail has just about everything, including impressive rock formations, waterfalls, mountain views, swimming holes, and stream crossings. Please check local guidelines and regulations before making plans to get outside. Remember to practice social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and respect others’ health when outside. Experience WanderLove for yourself when you visit Scott County, Va. Go Outside and Play Known for their soft serve ice cream, Hob Nob Drive-In is your go to for a social distancing meal. You’ll find hamburgers, hot dogs, and potatoes done just about every type of way from ChuBeez. Find the best of hometown cooking at the Campus Drive-In. LOVEworks Natural Tunnel State Park features seven trails that lead to various features in the park. Explore everything from the tunnel floor to the gorge ridge at this geological wonder. The whole family can learn something new about rare and endangered species at the Creation Kingdom Zoo. Or take a train ride excursion powered by a small-scale engine at Powers Mill.last_img read more

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Plácido Domingo Praises Juanes’s ‘Courage’ and Says That He Wants to Sing in Cuba

first_imgBy Dialogo September 08, 2009 Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo, visiting the Caribbean beach resort of Cartagena de Indias, praised the “courage” of Colombian singer Juanes in going through with the concert planned for 20 September in Havana and said that he would also like to sing on the island. “I think that Juanes has taken a positive attitude and is a very courageous person who deserves everyone’s support,” Domingo indicated to reporters upon arriving in the prestigious Caribbean port, where he will offer an exclusive concert on Saturday. “I’ve been invited to sing in Cuba many times, but it was many years ago, and my friends over there (Cubans living in Miami) told me not to go, but I believe that the conditions are different now,” the singer added, going on to say that “there is nothing worse than exile, that a person can’t walk through the streets that belong to him.” With regard to the blast of criticism levied at Juanes by a segment of the Cuban exiles in Miami for giving a concert in Havana, Domingo commented, “I understand the exiles’ reasons, but so many years have gone by that it’s time for us all to cooperate, for everyone to be able to travel everywhere without problems.” “For this reason I believe that it takes a lot of courage to put up with a negative reaction, as Juanes is doing, but he’s doing what he’s doing in the name of peace. Am I going to live all my life without singing in Cuba? It would be a great happiness for me to be able to walk through the streets of Havana,” he concluded. Miami exile organizations accuse Juanes of supporting the communist government with his “Peace without Borders” concert, which will be held in Havana’s Revolution Square. Juanes recently denounced threats against himself and his family as a result of the concert, but his agent, Fernán Martínez, dispelled rumors about the suspension of the recital. The author of “La camisa negra” (“The Black Shirt”), who says that he wants to help build a bridge between the United States and Cuba with his concert, will perform accompanied by Spaniard Miguel Bosé, Puerto Rican Olga Tañón, and Cuban Silvio Rodríguez, a founder of the Nueva Trova (New Ballad) movement, among others.last_img read more

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French Striker Thierry Henry Has Donated 56,000 Euros To Haiti

first_imgBy Dialogo January 22, 2010 Barcelona’s French striker, Thierry Henry, donated €56,000 to the NGO Doctors Without Borders to help Haiti after last week’s earthquake on Jan. 12, the club announced Friday. The Barça striker “has worked with Doctors Without Borders and has contributed €56,000 to help the Haitian people,” wrote Barça on their website. Speaking on television and the website, the Barça striker said: “This tragedy has greatly affected me and it’s good that everyone mobilizes to help Haiti.” “It touches me closely because 20 years ago a similar case happened on the island of Guadalupe, so I know what the Haitians are going through,” he added. “I have many friends there. Haiti is a former French colony. It is as if we were cousins. It’s never easy to see what is happening and we should help. I felt I had to do something. So I decided to make a donation to the NGO Doctors Without Borders,” he said. According to a latest report on the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the quake caused at least 75,000 dead and 250,000 wounded, while about one million people have been affected. In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused 26 deaths on the Antilles islands, and 15 in the French island of Guadeloupe, where some 20,000 people were affected. Henry, who joined Barcelona in 2007, is one of the best paid players in Spain with an estimated annual net salary of €7.5 million Euros, according to Spanish media.last_img read more

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