Ohio Versus FirstEnergy Explained FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dan Shingler for Crain’s Cleveland Business:The bottom line seems fairly simple: FirstEnergy wants the PUCO to give the company the authority to have its distribution arm enter into “power purchase agreements” with its power plants.For that to work, the PUCO and eventually the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must approve special “riders” that will increase what ratepayers pay for their electricity.The PPA would ensure that FirstEnergy can continue to operate some of its older plants, knowing their power could be sold at a guaranteed price.Two out-of-state power plants in which the company owns a small stake are involved, but what’s really at the heart of the matter is FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station near Toledo and its coal-fired W.H. Sammis plant in Stratton.Falling prices for renewable energy and especially natural gas have put those plants in a position where they can’t compete in the open market — and other power providers are telling the PUCO that they want to sell into Ohio’s market at market rates.Houston-based Dynegy Inc. and Chicago-based Exelon Corp. both have testified against FirstEnergy, claiming its plan could prohibit them from selling cheaper power to Ohio customers.Even the operator of the power grid for Ohio and much of the Northeast United States, PJM, has come out against FirstEnergy’s plan as being potentially “anti-competitive.”“That’s rare,” said David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis for the Cleveland-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which also opposes FirstEnergy’s proposal.“What’s significant about this case is we’ve got the big generators on our side.”Those opposed to FirstEnergy’s plan say it will only keep a few dirty coal plants running for a few years longer, while the rider attached to ratepayers’ bills will cost them up to $4 billion in additional electricity costs.“Whatever happens, gas prices are going to stay low,” Schlissel contended. “The future of coal plants like Sammis is not optimistic; it’s pretty bleak. That’s why we don’t think ratepayers should foot the bill to keep uneconomic plants operating.”Full article: Welcome to the energy battle of Ohio: FirstEnergy vs. PUCO
Rockefeller Descendants Sell Exxon Stock, Plan Divestment From Other Fossil-Fuel Holdings FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Joe Carroll for Bloomberg News:Descendants of John D. Rockefeller sold their Exxon Mobil Corp. stock and plan to dump all other fossil-fuel investments in the latest move against the industry that made their fortune.The Rockefeller Family Fund concluded there’s “no sane rationale” for companies to explore for oil as governments contemplate cracking down on carbon emissions, according to a statement on the website of the New York-based philanthropic foundation Wednesday.The fund singled out Exxon, the world’s biggest oil explorer by market value, for what it called “morally reprehensible conduct,” a reference to a series of articles last year by InsideClimate News that alleged the oil titan knew about global warming as far back as the 1970s and sought to hide what it knew from investors, policymakers and the public. The Rockefeller Family Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund both are listed as financial backers of InsideClimate News on its website.“It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company since they’re already funding a conspiracy against us,” Alan Jeffers, a spokesman for Irving, Texas-based Exxon, said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.Exxon, which traces its roots to the 1880s and John D. Rockefeller’s integration of refineries and Pennsylvania oilfields, has dismissed the InsideClimate News allegations as products of “anti-oil and gas activists who cherry-picked documents” to distort the company’s role in climate research.Fossil-fuel investments represent about 6 percent of the Rockefeller Family Fund’s $130 million in holdings, Lee Wasserman, director of the foundation, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.Rockefellers Dump Exxon Holdings That Made Family’s Fortune
Gold miner looks to cut costs with solar-plus-storage development FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Energy Storage News:Australian firm Resolute Mining has signed an agreement with Africa-focused power developer Ignite Energy to set up a 40MW hybrid solar, battery and heavy fuel oil (HFO) plant at its Syama Gold Mine in Mali, according to an Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) filing.This will replace an existing 28MW diesel-fired power plant at Syama. The new project, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2020, could become the world’s largest off-grid hybrid power plant for a stand-alone mining operation and will offer around 40% energy cost savings at Resolute’s gold mine.The plant will also reduce Resolute’s exposure to oil price escalations as well as making savings on fuel logistics. The ASX filing stated: “Resolute said that HFO fuel costs can be up to 50% lower than diesel with larger modern generating units substantially more efficient than Resolute’s current engines.”The energy storage batteries will be used to provide spinning reserve and manage loads efficiently.The plant will be financed, owned and operated by Ignite Energy. It will supply power to the mine on a guaranteed basis over a 12-20 year term, although the power purchase agreement (PPA) is expected to be finalised in the first half of 2019.More: Mali gold mine to halve energy costs with 40MW solar-storage-HFO plant
European Investment Bank to stop funding natural gas projects by 2022 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The European Investment Bank said on Thursday it would stop funding fossil fuel projects at the end of 2021, a landmark decision that potentially deals a blow to billions of dollars of gas projects in the pipeline.The bank’s new energy lending policy, which it said was approved with “overwhelming” support, will bar most fossil fuel projects, including traditional use of natural gas.Under the new policy, energy projects applying for EIB funding will need to show they can produce one kilowatt hour of energy while emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide, a move which bans traditional gas-burning power plants.The policy raises new risks for the gas industry, which has more than $200 billion in liquefied natural gas projects lining up to go ahead worldwide over the next five years, aiming to provide a cleaner alternative to coal and oil.“The EIB’s new financing criteria will make lending to gas projects very difficult,” Nicholas Browne, a Singapore-based research director with global energy and mining consultancy Wood Mackenzie, said in a note. “In turn this would be a major strategic challenge for companies that have identified gas as the key driver of future growth,” he said.Under the new policy, gas projects would have to be based on what the bank called “new technologies,” such as carbon capture and storage, combining heat and power generation or mixing in renewable gases with the fossil natural gas.More: European Investment Bank to cease funding fossil fuel projects by end-2021
South African water ruling could stall plans for future coal-fired power plants FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Climate Home News:South Africa is tightening environmental demands for new coal-fired power plants, after what campaigners called a ‘landmark’ ruling that licenses for water use should consider the risks of climate change.The nation’s Water Tribunal in Pretoria upheld an appeal by environmental campaigners to scrap two water use licenses granted in 2017 by the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation to Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power for the development of the 600MW capacity Khanyisa coal-fired power station.groundWork, the environmental justice group which made the successful appeal, this week hailed the little-noticed 21 July ruling as a landmark in the fight against coal and global warming. “The landmark aspect is that for the first time climate change is specifically confirmed to be a ‘relevant factor’ to be taken into account when considering a water use license application,” Michelle Koyama, attorney at the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), which acted on behalf of groundWork, told Climate Home News on Thursday.The tribunal’s ruling means ACWA will have to re-submit applications for water use, requiring new rounds of public and expert consultation, likely to take months, in a new blow to the project. ACWA and the South African government did not immediately reply to requests for comment.Environmental activists in South Africa have taken legal action to try to stop Khanyisa and another coal-fired project, Thabametsi. They are also lobbying banks, investors and developers to shun coal projects, saying they are at odds with South Africa’s commitments under the 2015 Paris climate agreement.The Water Tribunal’s final decision focused on procedural lapses by ACWA and the government in granting licenses, but its 54-page document stressed the need to consider climate change.[Alister Doyle]More: South Africa tightens restrictions for new coal power in ‘landmark’ ruling
Toward the end of 2010 I recall saying out-loud *(and regretting it) “Life is peaceful right now and I am fearful that cannot last.”Well, I had reason to worry. Although there are great blessings in the world, we all will face trials and tribulations. Many of them. In the last 3 weeks, the following has happened in my small little world:a friend was hospitalized because her baby boy was trying to come 7 weeks early, before his lungs were readya friend lost her grandfather, only to find out his wife of 61 years is now suffering from a most awful cancerfriends packed their home in one city, for a new home, new jobs , new everythinga loved one with a chronic illness experienced renewed pain and difficultymany friends have spent long hours, weekends and days off at work rather than spending time with their familiesa Member of Congress is targeted and shot in the headLet’s face it.Life is hard.At some point, we will all face trials and tribulations, experience pain, sadness and loss. That is not in question. What is in question however, is how we handle these trials and tribulations when they happen to us or others around us.Do we receive support and give support?Do we love & encourage without question?Do we reach out to our loved ones and ask for help?Do we lift one another up in prayer?Do we help carry the burden by making meals, acts of service, holding hands and LISTENING?I am currently reading a book written by Henri Nouwen. If you don’t know him, look him up. Anyway, he was a Priest spending a few months at a monastery trying to rebuild after a difficult year. And while walking in damp upstate New York woods one fall afternoon, he realized something.He realized there was much beauty in the world he had not yet seen.His observation was encouraging to me this week and last as I spent 14 days in a row at my desk. There is much beauty in the world I have not yet seen.Like the small hands of a little boy born 6 weeks early, and the smile on his mother’s face when he opens his eyes – orThe miracle of gun shot victim opening her eyes and smiling at her husbandThe peace of sitting by the fire with your family, even if you are in a new town, with new peopleor knowing that even if you are in pain, or ill, you are loved and supportedI know I am constantly giving advice. I am sorry. It’s actually my job most days. But today’s advice is a little bit softer, and more like an observation.There is much beauty we have yet to see. But you have to seek it out sometimes. You have to look for it, in the woods, in the NICU, in a laugh, a smile, an encouraging email, in the small places where you least expect it. Keep looking, I know it will be a blessing to us all.
There’s been a lot of confusion lately about trail etiquette, especially when it comes to dealing with other people in the woods, so here is a synopsis directly from the International Mountain Bike Association and the Southern Offroad Bicycle Association, sweetly translated by me:Yield Appropriately: That means you need to be warning people that you’re about to come flying up on them while they are quietly photographing dragonflies. By the way, all pedestrians have the right of way, whether on the road or in the woods. You, being a high-speed weapon, doesn’t mean they better “watch out!” Know to watch out around the turns. Look for oncoming traffic, just like you would in a car.Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. I think I’m going to make bumper stickers and jerseys that say this. People seem to be verrrrry confused about this simple and obvious rule. When someone is sucking wind, why ever would you expect them to stop, let alone restart on an incline?!Try not to ride the trails when they are too wet. It causes erosion and damages the trail. This means that even if the day after flooding is sunny and warm and you’re itching to ride, either hit the road or some high elevation where it’s not likely to be a quagmire. Take note that well-built trails will drain quicker.Ride in the middle of the trail and learn to pedal over the obstacles – fallen trees, roots, rocks, etc. Going around that stuff means the trail will become wider, because the next lazy rider will do the same thing. Getting off the bike is the way to go if it’s too technical, but why not take a learning opportunity and go back and do it again until you’re able? And God forbid, don’t go ripping out vegetation that happens to be in the way of your minimal skill level.Do not create a bypass trail around a fallen tree. Land managers hate this. It’s far more fun to fall off the top of such a tree, precariously teetering across your big ring. It’s especially useless to reach the ground at this point. However, it’s a great idea to lift and fling your bike over it. After all of that, just call a trail advocate to report it.Ride on open trails only. No poaching. Even if you’re ultra-cool. 1 2
Hey Doc,I was working outside and was bite on my hand by some type of spider. Initially, my hand hurt for a solid 10 minutes then gradually eased off. The spider was huge, possibly brown, with a body the size of a quarter. I could not capture it after it fell in the bushes, and I did not go to the emergency room because of the wait and the pain went away. What does a brown recluse spider bite feel like? Any idea of what type of spider it was? Bitten and Confused, Chattanooga TN ———————————————————————————Ouch! Suspected or confirmed spider bites are a common presenting problem in emergency rooms and primary care offices. Aside from an allergic reaction to the particular spider there are only two common spiders in the Southeastern U.S. that have venom that is harmful to humans. The first and least common of the two is the black widow. The black widow’s most recognizable features are its characteristic black body with a red hour glass. It may take up to an hour until the bite causes pain and swelling. The venom affects a person’s neurological system causing a range of symptoms from diffuse muscle pain, sweating, tremor to even loss of muscle control.The second spider is the brown recluse. Brown recluse spiders are almost always less than ½ inch in size, are brown to tan with lighter legs, no color banding of the leg, and have three sets of eyes (six eyes total). Pain and swelling may not occur initially either for several hours. However, when the pain occurs it is significant! One of the most dreaded complications of this type of venom is its ability to destroy skin and blood cells. Days following a bite, a person will notice blistering and a large amount of swelling. Both spiders form webs in isolated places not out in the open. Usually pain control and anti-inflammatory drugs are all that is needed. In extreme cases a person may need hospitalization and potentially surgery. Given the spider’s size and the bite my guess would be a wolf spider. This type of spider can grow several inches and is great in gardens to keep away other pests. Its venom is harmless to humans.
The Southern Appalachian Loop Trail (SALT) is one of the most exciting and ambitious new long-distance footpaths in the country. The 350-mile loop will connect several iconic trails like the A.T., the Art Loeb, and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail with new segments to create a highlight reel of the Blue Ridge. It passes through four states—North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, and it includes classic Southern Appalachian landmarks like Clingmans Dome, the Chattooga River, Shining Rock, and the waterfalls of DuPont.Blue Ridge Outdoors’s contributing writer Matt Kirk was the first to hike the entire loop trail in 2012, and last month, he was also the first to write about it (read his BRO exclusive on the SALT Trail here).This Thursday, Matt will be presenting a SALT Trail Talk to the public at 6 p.m. at 60 Market Street in downtown Asheville. Among the topics he will discuss is The Missing Link, a short section of trail still etween DuPont State Recreation Area and Mountain Bridges Wilderness in South Carolina that is still privately owned and off-limits to hikers. The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is working to acquire the final missing segment of the SALT loop, and they can use your help and support. Join Matt this Thursday to learn more.
Photo by Travis HallMemorial Day Weekend is one of the most popular weekends of the year for outdoor activity. While this is good news for outdoor industry folks and lovers of the outdoors in general, it can make for crowded trails and packed out campgrounds. Use this list from our Editor in Chief Will Harlan to ditch the crowds and find some solitude this weekend.Middle Prong Wilderness, North Carolina“This gem of a wilderness area is right next to the Shining Rock Wilderness. While Shining Rock seems to get all the love and attention, the mountains, creeks, and trails of Middle Prong are just as powerful with far fewer crowds.”Santeetlah Lake Trail, North Carolina“This brand new trail system is similar to Tsali: purpose-built trails that roll along the shores of a lake. But unlike Tsali, which is so crowded that it requires user fees and alternating bike/equestrian days, nobody uses Santeetlah. You’ll have the trail all to yourself.”Cherohala Skyway, Tenn.“Forget the Parkway. The Cherohala Skyway is just as breathtaking but without the traffic. Hike to balds and waterfalls from scenic overlooks.”Upper Bald River Gorge, Tenn.“It’s probably the wildest and remotest section of southern Appalachia, and it’s been proposed for wilderness designation. The waterfall here is massive and jaw dropping, but few people venture this deep into east Tennessee to experience it.”