New Questions on Peabody’s Financial Ability to Clean Up Its Mine Leavings

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mead Gruver:An environmental group is formally questioning Peabody Energy’s ability to fully bond its coal mines in Wyoming and elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain region, saying the St. Louis-based company has insufficient funding to qualify for self-bonding.Bonding helps ensure funding is in place to fill in mines that close and restore them to a natural state. Self-bonding exempts companies from posting conventional bond in exchange for showing they have sufficient resources to pay for all potential mine reclamation.St. Louis-based Peabody has almost $900 million in self-bonding obligations in Wyoming. They cover three big open-pit mines in the Powder River Basin, a region that supplies almost 40 percent of the nation’s coal.“It’s time to stop letting bankrupt coal companies ride on the backs of the America public,” Jeremy Nichols with WildEarth Guardians said.WildEarth Guardians filed its complaint Tuesday with the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Groups also have raised concern about self-bonding for Wyoming mines operated by St. Louis-based Arch Coal and Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources, two companies that recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.Full article: Group questions Peabody Energy’s coal mine self-bonding New Questions on Peabody’s Financial Ability to Clean Up Its Mine Leavingslast_img read more

Relief agencies turn to solar

first_imgRelief agencies turn to solar FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Thomson Reuters:Cheap, reliable and hard to hijack, the sun could be an ideal energy source in many war zones and disaster areas, prompting aid agencies to consider ditching costly fuel for solar power.While the technology has not advanced far enough to make a full swap viable, some solar projects are already underway in the field and aid workers expect many more to follow.“It’s very easy to exploit the fuel chain and it happens in a number of big emergencies. It’s too easy to nick. There’s a lot of bad practice around making money out of fuel,” said Andy Bastable, head of Oxfam’s water and sanitation projects.Traditional fuel can be used as a weapon, hijacked by militants, sold on the black market, or must be flown vast distances to reach off-grid relief camps, increasing costs and volatility for the hard-pressed aid sector.And the sun shines in most areas where they work.“In 90 percent of cases, we are acting in places where there is abundant solar supply,” said Per-Erik Eriksson, an engineer with medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF).“To avoid logistical challenges and over time, to save costs, (solar energy) would certainly be a very good solution in most of our projects,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Renewable energy sources, such as solar power, are key to reducing climate-changing emissions and keeping the earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.A report this week by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said renewable energy would need to supply 70-85 percent of electricity by 2050 to stay within a 1.5C limit, compared with about 25 percent now.More: Aid agencies eye solar power to replace volatile, costly fuellast_img read more

Solar and wind dominate bids in Indiana utility’s latest request for power supplies

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Courier & Press:Although still early in the process, Vectren appears tentatively poised to shift power generation away from fossil fuels and toward cleaner energy sources.As the utility develops its latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the company has issued an “all-source” request for proposals (RFP) to supply up to 700 megawatts of power. Indiana law requires utilities to update these plans every three years with input from the public.Vectren has said it intends to close its A.B. Brown plant in Posey County and most of its F.C. Culley plant in Warrick County by 2023.Company spokeswoman Natalie Hedde said the utility received approximately 100 unique proposals for various means of energy generating capacity. “Vectren has been pleased with the number of responses to our all-source RFP,” she said.At the first of four public meetings on the process last week, Vectren gave a glimpse at the responses it received and how it might replace power output currently generated by burning coal.Solar and wind generation dominated the proposals, according to information on Vectren’s website. Other proposals included combining solar power with energy storage technology. Coal-based generation accounted for only a small sliver of the proposals. Combined cycle power generation, a process using both natural gas and steam turbines, also was proposed. However, replacing its coal plants with natural gas has already proved controversial for Vectren.More: Renewable energy proposals dominate Vectren’s search for new power generation Solar and wind dominate bids in Indiana utility’s latest request for power supplieslast_img read more

India’s Tata Power closing uneconomic 500MW coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享ET Power Company has decommissioned ‘Unit 6’ of 500 megawatts at its Trombay thermal power plant in Mumbai, citing the high cost of generation and its inability to get a power purchase agreement after the earlier one expired in March 2018.The Trombay unit has an installed generation capacity of 1,580 MW, which supplies electricity to the majority of consumers – both bulk and retail – in Mumbai.“We have informed the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) regarding retirement & decommissioning of Unit 6. CEA has approved the same and sent us a letter in this regard,” Tata Power said in a response to an email query from ET.The decision to retire Unit-6 (500 MW) of Trombay thermal power station has been taken by Tata Power Company, based on its own techno-economic reasons, and based on its decision, the capacity of this unit is being deleted from the database of All India Installed Capacity, CEA said in a letter which ET has access to.“It is seen that the decision to decommission Unit-6 of Trombay TPS has been taken by Tata Power Company due to the high cost of generation and capacity tie-up could not be achieved after expiry of PPA on March 31. The approval for decommissioning of Unit-6 (500 MW) at Trombay TPS has been accorded by the competent authority on 30.07.2019,” CEA said.Tata Power has an installed capacity of 10,957 MW, with renewable energy assets in solar and wind accounting for 30 per cent of the company’s portfolio.More: Tata Power decommissions 500-MW unit at Trombay in Mumbai citing high cost India’s Tata Power closing uneconomic 500MW coal plantlast_img read more

A More Agile You

first_imgWatch basic agility drills demonstrated by two of Norm’s professional runners.last_img

Are Races Too Expensive?

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Man with a Pan

first_imgFlecktones friend: Scales’ work on the steel pan has been compared to Bela Fleck’s unique approach to the banjoJonathan Scales takes steel drum to the outer limitsThe sound of a steel drum usually transports listeners to the lazy confines of a thatched hut bar on a Caribbean oceanfront. But Jonathan Scales hears it differently. Rooted in classically trained composition, the Asheville-based Scales has used the steel drum—also known as the steel pan—to concoct his own brand of dynamic jazz fusion. With the driving rhythm section of his Fourchestra, Scales delivers fluid solos that often toe the line between melodic dexterity and old-school be-bop, free-form fury. Through eclectic instrumental arrangements, Scales’ refreshing innovation takes his instrument out of expected context and into a variety of sonic realms—from improvisational jazz to hip-hop-flavored funk. It’s enabled Scales to mesh in a range of music scenes, collaborating on his most recent album with saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band) and fiddler Casey Driesen and even landing an unexpected spot at Americana-bash Merlefest.BRO: How did you find the steel pan and realize its potential as a jazz instrument?JS: I played saxophone through college, but in high school I also started playing percussion. I went to Appalachian State University to be a composer, and when I got there, they had a steel band. My friends coerced me into being a part of it, and I fell in love from there.How do you describe the sound you are trying to create?I never set out to do something progressive on the steel drum. As a composer, the music that I hear in my head and want to write just happens to make the instrument sound progressive. As far as the complex side of things, I’m very influenced by modern 20th century composers like Igor Stravinsky and John Cage—guys who were pushing the envelope of orchestral music. Along with that, I’m also a young American who’s being influenced by popular music, everything from rap and hip-hop to rock. All of it kind of wraps together, and although it comes out complex, it’s also very familiar.Your latest album is called Character Farm & Other Short Stories. Do you view your instrumental compositions as stories?I give credit to Futureman of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, who’s always talked to me about writing in collective long form—the opposite of a pop artist who writes three-minute songs that don’t relate to each other. There is thought behind each of my pieces, so I wanted to put them together as a collective work. By calling it a set of short stories, it makes people approach it with that kind of focus. It’s not as cohesive as big Mozart work, but in my mind each of those pieces has a life of its own and they’re glued together with their own stories.What’s the process for composing on the steel pan? Before I wrote any notes for a tune like “Pan Grass” [from the 2007 album One-Track Mind], I just thought how it would be cool to create a bluegrass tune on the steel pan and mix it with a Caribbean jazz rhythm. Ideas like that often make up the foundation of my compositions. I don’t always write on the steel pan. Sometimes I’ll use a guitar or piano, or sometimes I’ll just sing a melody.Speaking of bluegrass, you played Merlefest earlier this year, known more for picking and singing than your style of eclectic jazz. How’d that go? It was overwhelming—in a good way. I had mixed feelings going into it, because I wasn’t sure how the crowd was going to react to our sound. But after our sets, people kept coming up to us and saying how much they liked what we were doing. Plus, during our set on the Hillside Stage, the Flecktones played with us, which was a dream come true.People in this region—especially in Boone and Asheville—have been really receptive to what I do, so this has been a really good area to foster a fan base.Mumford and Sons invade state streetBritish folk-rock heroes Mumford and Sons are turning the border town of Bristol into their own festival. On August 11, the band will bring their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover to State Street, located downtown on the Virginia/Tennessee line. The tour only has four stops in the U.S. (and just the one in the South), and will also feature sets by Dawes, Justin Townes Earle, Jeff the Brotherhood, the Apache Relay, and Simone Felice. Music will take place on an outdoor stage, as well as inside local clubs and theaters. gentlemenoftheroad.comlast_img read more

Cycle for the Smokies

first_imgTake on a summer challenge and cycle through scenic countryside and vibrant cityscapes at the fourth annual Gran Fondo Asheville hosted by New Belgium Brewing on Sunday, July 23, 2017.Friends of the Smokies welcomes cyclist of varying levels to experience the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina by riding the 30-, 60- or 100-mile scenic courses. There are timed sections along the routes for folks who would like to compete, but our motto is ‘pedal hard and party harder’ and that is exactly what we want the cyclist to do—enjoy themselves while celebrating America’s most-visited national park.The ride begins at New Belgium Brewery on the French Broad River and quickly transitions to winding roads in pastoral countryside near Marshall, North Carolina and then along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beginners and avid cyclists alike will find a course to meet their individual goals, whether that’s competing to win or taking it easy and soaking in the views.After riders will cruise into the River Arts District and greeted by Friends of the Smokies volunteers, family, and friends at New Belgium’s Liquid Center. Riders will be provided with complimentary beer from New Belgium, lunch from Ingles and a great place to hang out as they wait for their comrades to cross the finish line. At the finish area, massage therapists, yoga instructors, and National Park Service rangers will be onsite.This event features stocked aid stations along the routes where volunteer’s handout food and water, bike mechanic stations for riders who might be in need, and a raffle and fun prizes for overall and age group winners.Register today to guarantee a spot at Fondo Asheville benefits Friends of the Smokies to raise money for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since its founding in 1993, Friends of the Smokies has raised more than $55 million to fund critical projects and programs for the Smokies.This event is made possible by Friends of the Smokies host sponsor New Belgium and presenting sponsor Ingles as well as The Glass Foundation, Asheville Radio Group, Best Buy, Webb Investment Services, Beverly-Hanks, Fletcher Warehousing, Ken Wilson Ford, Navitat Canopy Adventures, Roberts and Stevens Attorneys at Law, Equilibar, Saunders D.D.S., Blue Ridge Outdoors, Capital at Play, Smoky Mountain Living and ImageSmith.last_img read more

Arrests and Indictments Made in Pisgah National Forest Break-Ins

first_imgThe U.S. Forest Service announced today that nine individuals from Gastonia, NC, and Greenville, SC, have been arrested and indicted  for breaking and entering vehicles parked on the Pisgah National Forest throughout the spring and summer of 2017 and 2016.According to the USFS, most of the break-ins occurred at popular trailheads and developed recreation areas. Some vehicles were accessed via broken windows and locks while others were simply left unlocked.Stolen items included cameras, backpacks, camping equipment, cash, debit/credit cards, purses, firearms, and personal identification. All told, the items were valued at approximately 10,000 dollars. Those charged with the Pisgah break-ins could face up to 10 years in jail and $250,000 in fines.“Historically, the Pisgah has been a problem area for these types of crime,” said U.S. Forest Service Special Agent Brian Southard. “Forest visitors should leave valuables at home or if you have to bring them, take them with you when you leave the vehicle. At a minimum, valuables should be hidden in the trunk, under the seat, or elsewhere, and you should hide them before you approach your parking spot.”The USFS is asking visitors to report suspicious activity to the local U.S. Forest Service ranger district office or County Sheriff’s office.last_img read more

Argentine-Uruguayan Joint Air Force Exercise Begins

first_imgBy Dialogo June 04, 2010 The Argentine-Uruguayan joint exercise “Río III” began, with the participation of air and ground components from both countries’ air forces in order to increase cooperation in the area of airspace defense, the Defense Ministry announced. The Argentine Air Force (FAA) and the Uruguayan Air Force (FAU) will establish during the exercise a coordinated system that will enable the timely transfer of information for monitoring irregular traffic entering both countries’ airspace, according to a statement. Three Cessna 206 planes, one Baron, three Cessna A-37s, three Pucarás, and three Pilatus PC-7s, as well as one search-and-rescue helicopter, are expected to participate in the exercise on the Uruguayan side, the press release indicates. On the Argentine side, a Twin Otter, a Seneca, a Dakota, and a Bell-212 search-and-rescue helicopter will participate, the statement adds.last_img read more