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Monthly Archives: December 2020

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Trump’s EPA Contemplates a Coal-Ash Cleanup Reversal Worth Up to $35 Billion to U.S. Utilities

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:Federal regulators will reconsider Obama -era rules governing waste from coal-fired power plants, accepting a request from utility companies that were faced with possibly closing dozens of coal-ash dumps nationwide.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the decision Thursday, putting into question rules from 2015 that one trade group estimated would cost power companies from $23 billion to $35 billion over 20 years. It wasn’t immediately clear how far the agency’s review might go, and agency officials did not respond to requests for more detail.Coal ash is byproduct from coal-fired power plants, which scrub potential air pollutants from their emissions. That ash can contain arsenic, selenium, lead and mercury, and the EPA spent years debating the need for strong controls on it. Much of it gets dumped into ponds and landfills that can leach into groundwater, and more than a third of it gets used to make cement, particle board and other products.In a statement, the agency said it wants to consider changes that would help give states clarity and flexibility on how to deal with their coal-ash sites. EPA is not committing to changing any part of the rule or to agreeing with industry’s request for changes, and it will give public notice and go through a full public-comment period if it eventually does, the agency added.This is the Trump administration’s latest in a series moves to reconsider or roll back environmental regulations put in place under the Obama administration. President Donald Trump has said he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, and his EPA is trying to unwind Obama-era attempts to expand authority over major rivers and lakes, and power-plant emissions. Many of the moves are aimed at assisting coal, an industry Mr. Trump campaigned on helping as it loses ground to natural gas and renewable power.More: ($) EPA will reconsider Obama-era safeguards on coal waste Trump’s EPA Contemplates a Coal-Ash Cleanup Reversal Worth Up to $35 Billion to U.S. Utilitieslast_img read more

U.S. Bailout Proposal Gets Coal Lobby’s Support, and a Thumbs Down From Everyone Else

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Examiner:The coal and nuclear industries made a big, last-minute sell on why the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should approve a proposed rule from Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would prop them up, as the comment period on the proposal ended at midnight.The coal groups argue that FERC must employ its Federal Power Act section 206 authority on guarding against unfair rates by approving the rules, explaining that renewable energy and other generators have gained unfair advantages that forced many nuclear and coal generators to retire.A broad coalition of energy groups that includes everyone from the oil and natural gas industry to solar and wind is standing firmly against the Perry plan.Major trade associations held a call Tuesday morning with reporters calling it “wrong-headed” and completely unneeded.A solution without a problem: The coalition argued in its comments that “there is substantial evidence showing that electric systems that lack, or are transitioning to lesser reliance on, coal and nuclear resources are nonetheless operated in a manner that is both reliable and resilient.” Furthermore, any “outages caused by disruptions of fuel supply to generators appear to be virtually nonexistent.”Grid operator gives a big thumbs down: PJM Interconnection, which operates the largest of the FERC-overseen power markets, says the Perry plan is unnecessary.More: Daily on Energy: Coal, nuclear push Perry plan to prop them up U.S. Bailout Proposal Gets Coal Lobby’s Support, and a Thumbs Down From Everyone Elselast_img read more

New York environmental regulators reject Williams Companies’ natural gas pipeline

first_imgNew York environmental regulators reject Williams Companies’ natural gas pipeline FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The New York Times:In a major victory for environmental activists, New York regulators on Wednesday rejected the construction of a heavily disputed, nearly $1 billion natural gas pipeline, even as business leaders and energy companies warned that the decision could devastate the state’s economy and bring a gas moratorium to New York City and Long Island.The pipeline was planned to run 37 miles, connecting natural gas fields in Pennsylvania to New Jersey and New York. Its operator, the Oklahoma-based Williams Companies, pitched it as a crucial addition to the region’s energy infrastructure, one that would deliver enough fuel to satisfy New York’s booming energy needs and stave off a looming shortage.But environmental groups said Williams was manufacturing a crisis to justify a project that would rip apart fragile ecosystems, handcuff New York to fossil fuels and hobble the state’s march toward renewable resources.The result was an arcane but fevered battle, over what was potentially New York’s most fraught environmental decision since it banned fracking in 2014. The fight also took on political overtones, as progressive activists pressed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to urge his Department of Environmental Conservation to reject the application, casting it as a threat to his environmental legacy.In a statement announcing the denial, the conservation department did not refer to the firestorm that had preceded its decision, aside from noting that it had received comments from more than 45,000 people about the project — 90 percent of whom opposed it. The department laid out its decision in technical terms, noting that construction would contaminate New York’s waters with mercury and copper.“Construction of the NESE pipeline project is projected to result in water quality violations and fails to meet New York State’s rigorous water quality standards,” the department said, referring to what is formally called the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline.More: New York rejects Keystone-like pipeline in fierce battle over the state’s energy futurelast_img read more

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway pulls out of $7.1 billion Saguenay LNG project in Canada

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享 Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has pulled out of a planned investment in the Saguenay LNG project in Quebec, Canada, suggesting that harder times are ahead for the country’s LNG ambitions.CBC reports the investment company had shelved its plan to put $3 billion (C$4 billion) into the $7.1-billion (C$9.5-billion) LNG project because of the “current Canadian political context,” according to a spokeswoman for the company behind the project, GNL Québec.The news is the latest sign that all may not be well for Canadian LNG plans. Last year, there were reports that Chevron was planning to sell its stake in the Kitimat LNG project, as was Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, amid a growing LNG glut. Now, on top of the glut, the LNG industry in Canada has been fighting an uphill battle with environmentalist opponents to every new energy project.Last month, environmentalists staged a series of railway blockades in an attempt to stop the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline that should deliver natural gas to the only LNG project that has started construction: the LNG Canada facility in British Columbia.In the second week of February alone, Canadian National Railways had to cancel 400 trains as environmentalists and rights activists blockaded rail lines and ports, as well as road intersections and government offices as a demonstration of solidarity with members of a First Nation, the Wet’suwet’en, who oppose the Coastal Gaslink pipeline.The blockades only began to be taken down this week, after Wet’suwet’en chiefs reached an agreement with representatives of the federal and British Columbian governments to resolve some of the problems around the Coastal GasLink project. The opponents, however, stand ready to resume the protests if they feel the need to do it, which has substantially heightened the uncertainty around Canada’s LNG plans.[Irina Slav]More: Buffett pulls out of Canadian LNG project as opposition intensifies Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway pulls out of $7.1 billion Saguenay LNG project in Canadalast_img read more


first_imgA friend of mine and her three children write a list of things they want to do each summer. The list is usually 100 activities, celebrations, meals, or events they want to enjoy during their summer break.I love this idea, and I love their list (enjoy it yourself here).Watermelon appreciation day.No electricity day.They have some terrific ideas and since school starts in just a matter of days, I hope their list is almost complete.But as my head and heart begin to ache for cold nights and bright crisp days, I have been thinking about my Fall things to do list, anxiously awaiting the bright colors of October and clean air that follows.I want to make apple butter.Carve pumpkins I grew.Go on hikes.Sit and listen to the leaves in transition.I want to drink cider that was made locally, and eat crusty whole wheat bread that my favorite farm to table restaurant makes.I want to keep my windows open at night so fleece is required the minute I get out of bed.I want to take my friends on a picnic and sit on old quilts enjoying cheese, and fruit, soft and bitter.I want to go to a festival or two and hear bluegrass, tap my toes, close my eyes to hear more.This fall I want to make butternut squash soup, and take walks, ride my bike to Floyd on the Parkway.This fall I want to be still. Quiet. Let the world’s rhythm do the talking and keep my mouth closed, for once.Perhaps I will get to visit our local dog park and sip coffee to stay warm while Gracie and Atticus romp about.Perhaps we will find the perfect camp site and build a fire, boil water, make tea, tell stories.All things are possible this Fall. With a new Season, everything is new and brilliant, bright and unexpected.Don’t miss out because you are too busy.Too focused.Too hurried.Let’s plan to enjoy the blessings of the Season together. And I would love to hear about your plans, hopes and expectations for Fall.last_img read more

Burrowing Owl Conservation Network

first_imgOnce a common species in California and across North America, the Western burrowing owl has become a rarer and rarer sight over the last three decades given habitat loss and other environmental perils the bird faces. Photo credit: iStockPhoto/ThinkstockEarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What is the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network and why is it so important to put so much effort into saving one species?                                                  — Ginny Bateman, Portland, ORWestern burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) are tiny, long-legged members of the owl family, native to the Americas and preferring open landscapes where they can dig new holes or use existing ones (such as abandoned prairie dog, skunk or armadillo homes) to nest and rear their young. Unlike most other owl species, these small but charismatic birds are more often seen out and about during daylight hours, but they are most active and do their primary feeding at night, preferring a diet of small rodents and large insects.Once a common species in California and across North America, the Western burrowing owl has become a rarer and rarer sight over the last three decades given habitat loss and other environmental perils the bird faces. Biologists consider the bird an indicator of wider ecosystem health, so if its population numbers are healthy then local ecosystems are likely thriving. But these days the bird is endangered in Canada and threatened in Mexico, is a state endangered species in Colorado, and is considered a “species of special concern” in Florida and most of the western U.S. It is also listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) international “Red List” of endangered and threatened species (albeit as a species of “Least Concern” in comparison with others in more dire straits).A group of dedicated birders, conservationists, biologists and concerned citizens in San Francisco’s East Bay came together to protect dwindling burrowing owl populations locally but ended up creating a movement that spans the entire North American continent. Their group, the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network (BOCN) believes that burrowing owls are vital to maintaining healthy, functioning ecosystems, and as such is working on several fronts to help protect habitat and reverse the animal’s population slide.First and foremost, BOCN works to conserve habitat for burrowing owls in California and beyond, including constructing artificial burrows to help re-establish burrowing owl colonies while larger ecosystem restoration efforts are underway. Teaching children and communities about ways they can help protect and improve burrowing owl habitat is another important part of BOCN’s work. Other ways the group helps the owls is by advocating for legislation and policy changes that encourage conservation of habitat, networking with like-minded individuals and institutions, and conducting field and laboratory research to increase understanding about how to help burrowing owls and create habitat conditions ideal for their survival.The fact that burrowing owl populations in other parts of the world are rebounding gives hope to BOCN and other wildlife advocates and environmentalists. The birds are common and widespread in Central and South America, where they inhabit fields and even sometimes parks in urban areas.Whether the birds can replicate their success in Latin America up north remains to be seen. As for what readers can do to help, learning about the behavior, biology and habitat needs of wild animals like the burrowing owl is a sure way to develop respect for nature’s inhabitants and a lifelong willingness to protect them. And nothing beats witnessing burrowing owls go about their rounds. Seeing them in the wild is enough to convince anyone that they are worth fighting to protect.CONTACTS: BOCN,; IUCN Red List,® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: Free Trial Issue: read more

Weekend Pick: Music Midtown Atlanta’s Music Festival

first_imgMusic Midtown Festival is here and stronger than ever! The event takes place this coming weekend, September 20th – 21st, in Atlanta, Georgia’s Piedmont Park. Gates open at 4pm on Friday and noon on Saturday.  There will be 22 bands and musicians scattered throughout the three stages, which should keep you more than busy. Acts such as Phoenix, Cake, and Journey will be performing on Friday. A few of Saturday features are the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kendrick Lamar, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. You can find the entire lineup schedule here on their website.Tickets can be purchased anytime online or at The Tabernacle (where there are no service fees) this Friday between 11am and 4pm.  Tickets will also be sold at the gates, but be warned – they are likely to sell out by the time you arrive. Prices are as follows: a two-day pass is $110, just Friday is $50, and Saturday is $80. There are also unique VIP and Super VIP options providing special treatments like parking, a t-shirt, private restrooms, and complimentary food and beverages. While there isn’t any camping available on the grounds, there are plenty of hotels around the venue. The event is most definitely family friendly and welcomes people of all ages.There will be an artist market with unique and eclectic handmade goods. Vendors such as Williamson Brothers BBQ, Nectar Food Truck, and Publik Draft House will be on site providing food and refreshments. Working ATMs will be on festival grounds for all your cash needs.Music Midtown was first started in 1994 and took place annually for nearly 12 years.  In 2006, one of the festival’s co-founders decided to cancel the event. Luckily, it was resurrected in 2011 thanks to the support of the mayor and access to a new location.  Last year’s festival drew in 90,000 people, so get ready for a fun and energetic weekend!View Larger Maplast_img read more

Summer Adventure Giveaway

first_imgRules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on July  31, 2016 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before July 31, 6:00 PM EST 2016 – date and time subject to change. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. This contest is over.last_img read more

Fancy Chairs and Backcountry Beers

first_imgIt’s amazing what a little bit of pampering will do for you, especially when you’re deep in the backcountry and subsisting on crunchy, half cooked freeze-dried meals and muscle memory. I spent three days backpacking in Pisgah last weekend, a last-ditch attempt to engross myself in the fall color. Usually I spend all fall frantically trying to mountain bike as much as possible in an attempt to absorb the glory of fall foliage, but my arm is still broken and my doctor won’t let me get on the bike yet. I figured if I can’t ride right now, I’ll just walk all over the damn forest. We took a route that skirted the edge of Shining Rock Wilderness, hitting a highlight reel of the Southern Appalachians that included high elevation balds, grassy meadows, tight rhodo tunnels and world-class fly fishing streams. The miles were stunning, with steep, technical climbs and Instagram gold all over the place. But no matter how good the hiking is, you still have to spend half of your time in a campsite. Just hanging out. Sitting there. If you’re like me, you spend hours, maybe days cutting unnecessary items from your pack in order to get it as light as possible. Do I need this toilet paper when there are so many leaves in the forest? Why bring a cup when I can just scoop water with my hands?It’s easy to appreciate this sort of minimalist approach when you’re slogging through steep climbs. But when you set up camp and things settle down, and you’re just…sitting there…you can start to question your weight-cutting approach. You have all of the necessities—shelter, warmth (by “warmth” I mean whiskey), food (by “food” I mean whiskey)—but there’s no joy. No comfort.This last trip through Pisgah, I took a slightly different approach and stuffed a couple of completely unnecessary items in my pack—a chair and a couple of beers. The chair was the new REI Flexlite Low Chair, which hovers 10 inches above the ground on aluminum feet. It weighs just over a pound, so it’s an easy thing to justify cutting from your pack. Honestly, I’ve never brought a chair backpacking before because there are so many rocks in the woods to sit on. But let me tell you what’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than a rock: this freaking chair. After two nights of sitting around a campfire with my butt resting comfortably in the Flexlite, I don’t see myself ever sitting on a rock again. I sandwiched a couple of Asheville Brewing Shivas in my pack as well. They were warm by the time we reached camp, but I stuck them in the river for an hour while I set up my tent and started a fire, and by the time I was ready to relax in my fancy chair, I had a cold IPA to sip. I cursed the extra weight during the hike, but having a comfortable place to sit and a cold beer after a long, hot day on the trail made my campsite feel like home. Next time I’m bringing my iPad and Netflix account.last_img read more

Trail Mix – November 2018

first_img Fear of Trains William Elliott Whitmore Embed 4:08 2:50 3:52 5:57 Apocalypse Now (& Later) Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers 3:47 Here Rebecca Blasband 3:19 Out Of My Head Fastball Sunstroke Timber Whole New Life Reverend Horton Heat Is It Cheating Belle Plain Highway 70 Blues The Bottle Rockets East LA Monteagle 2:33 Our Memories Taylor Martin 3:45 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 2:15 3:14 We Used to Be Birds Jonathan Byrd 3:39 Rolling Thunder The WATSON TWINS Icarus Arts Fishing Club Audio PlayerJonathan ByrdWe Used to Be BirdsUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 4:08 One year ago, the boys from Greta Van Fleet were gearing up for the release of their double EP,  From The Fires, and were poised to take the rock world by storm.Trail Mix was lucky enough to catch up with the the band to discuss that EP last November, just before they caught fire and began a twelve month run of atmospheric buzz and sold out shows around the world. At the time, the quartet had just wrapped up some recording sessions for their first full length album, Anthem of the Peaceful Army, which dropped in mid-October. The new record has the band continuing its psychedelic rock ways, delivering with arena-sized bombast reinterpretations of 70s era rock and roll.Check out “You’re The One,” an acoustic gem plucked from the new record, on this month’s mix.While you are around, take a listen to new tunes from old friends Granville Automatic, Jonathan Byrd, Timber, The Bottle Rockets, Old Man Canyon, and Tellico.Be sure to check out tunes from Belle Plain, Taylor Martin, The Reverend Horton Heat, Rebecca Blasland, Jeremy Dion, Monteagle, The Watson Twins, William Elliott Whitmore, Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers, and 90s hit makers Fastball, who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their seismic 1998 release All The Pain That Money Can Buy.Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog this month for chats with Martha Spencer, The Brother Brothers, and Arts Fishing Club.And do you have any buddies out there looking for some new music? How about turning them on to Trail Mix and the many great artists sharing their music right here. Grab an album or some concert tickets. Spread the word about this great music and give back to the great folks sharing their music on  Trail Mix. 3:23 4:01 4:11 Marbles Granville Automatic 3:30 2:34 3:16 Good While It Lasted Old Man Canyon 2:47 You’re the One Greta Van Fleet Evangeline Jeremy Dion Blue Ridge Mountain Lullaby Martha Spencer Frankie The Brother Brothers 4:27 Courage For The Morning Tellico 2:36last_img read more