In Coal Phase-Outs, Canada and U.K. Part With U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Globe and Mail:Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and her British counterpart, Claire Perry, will launch an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity at the Bonn climate summit this week, signalling a sharp contrast to U.S. President Donald Trump’s promotion of coal as an important global energy source.Ms. McKenna will take the stage at the annual United Nations climate summit to showcase Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including a national carbon pricing plan and federal-provincial moves to shut down traditional coal-fired power by 2030.The United States, meanwhile, will use its platform at Bonn to highlight the Trump administration’s support for coal and other fossil fuels. At a Monday event, U.S. officials will join industry representatives at a panel discussion on “the role of cleaner and more efficient fossil fuels and nuclear power in climate mitigation.”U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is proposing an American-led alliance that would encourage developing countries to invest in more efficient coal plants. In contrast, Ms. McKenna and Ms. Perry will tout their countries’ plans to phase out coal-fired power as a model for the world and will aim to rally international investors to finance lower-carbon options rather than coal.Since concluding a federal-provincial climate deal last December, Ottawa has announced a ream of planned policies to reduce GHG emissions, but it has yet to introduce the legislation or regulations to implement them, while the bulk of planned spending won’t come for another year or two.In a fall report, federal Environmental Commissioner Julie Gelfand said the government must speed up the implementation of its plan.The Liberals face criticism from two sides. New Democratic Party MP Linda Duncan says the Liberals are not moving fast enough, noting the 2017 budget indicated major spending on critical emission-reduction programs won’t begin until 2018-19.Conservative Party MP Ed Fast argues the Liberals are piling on climate-related costs, including carbon taxes, at the risk of the country’s industrial competitiveness. He said Canada cannot get too far out of line with its major trading partners such as the United States, particularly at a time when Mr. Trump is pursuing a pro-business agenda.The Trudeau government achieved a major victory just a year into its mandate by securing provincial and territorial agreement on the Pan-Canadian Framework on climate change, which commits all governments to undertake a broad range of policies – including carbon pricing – to bring down emissions.Ms. McKenna insisted her government is not slackening the pace but taking a reasonable time to consult with industry and environmental experts on legislation and regulations, while working with provinces and territories on priorities for spending that will have the greatest impact on emissions.“We are absolutely on track to meet our 2030 commitments,” she said. “We have a plan … and there’s a whole variety of measures we need to be taking. We also aren’t doing this alone; we’re working with provinces and territories.”She pointed to federal investment in transit, including up to $1-billion over several years for Ottawa’s light rail transit system, a project which she said would result in the largest GHG reduction in the city’s history.Carbon pricing legislation will be introduced early in the new year and will require all provinces to meet a minimum federal standard or see Ottawa implement its own carbon tax in their jurisdiction. The federal plan to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas industry is due to be released soon, even as Alberta is expected to release its own draft regulations in the coming days.More: Canada, Britain to tout coal phase-out as U.S. champions fossil fuels In Coal Phase-Outs, Canada and U.K. Part With U.S.last_img read more

Corporate sector demand for renewable energy remains strong

first_imgCorporate sector demand for renewable energy remains strong FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享GreenBiz:While the pace of announced corporate renewable energy contracts slowed slightly in the second quarter compared with the first three months of 2018, large companies disclosed deals representing almost 1,500 megawatts of capacity.So far, big businesses have been involved in 31 transactions for clean power this year (not including onsite generation), the same as for all of 2017, according to data gathered by GreenBiz and the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center (BRC). Indeed, the aggregate amount of electricity represented by those purchase agreements was only slightly less than last year’s total.The biggest single U.S. deal of the quarter was announced by AT&T — its 300 MW virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) covering two wind farms in Texas brings the total capacity of contracts announced this year by the telecommunications giant to a whopping 820 MW.The second largest contract of the second quarter came outside the United States. Facebook’s 294 MW transaction for three contiguous Norwegian wind farms with asset manager Luxcara represents its biggest European deal to date. The project, when it becomes operational in the fourth quarter of 2019, will add more than 1 million megawatt-hours of renewable electricity to Norway’s grid on an annual basis.The second quarter also brought a milestone for utility renewable energy programs, with Georgia Power’s deal to bring online 177 MW of solar electricity in order to satisfy the clean power procurement requirements of four large companies: Google; Walmart; Target; and Johnson & Johnson. The arrangement was made possible through the approval of the utility’s 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which committed the utility to adding 1.6 GW of new solar, wind and other renewable resources by 2021. The commitments by the group of four were necessary to help keep prices stable for other Georgia Power customers.The second quarter also demonstrated that creative arrangements for smaller chunks of capacity are becoming more common, said Kevin Haley, program manager for BRC. “More developers are willing to work with the corporate buyer to make things happen,” he said. “We see the market evolving to accommodate.”More: Clean energy deal tracker: AT&T, Facebook and Walmart stand out in another strong quarterlast_img read more

Spain to close most remaining coal mines by year’s end

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Spain is to shut down most of its coalmines by the end of the year after government and unions struck a deal that will mean €250m (£221m) will be invested in mining regions over the next decade.Unions hailed the mining deal – which covers Spain’s privately owned pits – as a model agreement. It mixes early retirement schemes for miners over 48, with environmental restoration work in pit communities and re-skilling schemes for cutting-edge green industries.Teresa Ribera, the minister for ecological transition, said: “With this agreement, we have solved the first urgent task we had on the table when we came to government. Our aim has been to leave no one behind. We also want to go further, we want to innovate. That is why we offer the drawing up of ‘Just Transition’ contracts, with the aim of helping the regions to consolidate the employment of the future.”More than a thousand miners and subcontractors will lose their jobs when 10 pits close by the end of the year. Almost all of the sites were uneconomic concerns that the European commission had allowed Spain to temporarily keep open with a €2.1bn state aid plan.Montserrat Mir, the Spanish confederal secretary for the European Trades Union Congress, said the “just transition” model could be applied elsewhere. “Spain can export this deal as an example of good practice,” she said. “We have shown that it’s possible to follow the Paris agreement without damage [to people’s livelihoods]. We don’t need to choose between a job and protecting the environment. It is possible to have both.”Spain’s coal industry employed more than 100,000 miners in the 1960s, but its energy dominance was eroded by cheap imports and increasing awareness of the industry’s environmental, health and climate costs. National coal provides just 2.3% of Spain’s electricity.More: Spain to close most coal mines in €250m transition deal Spain to close most remaining coal mines by year’s endlast_img read more

Bankruptcy judge okays Westmoreland plan to sell Kemmerer mine to lenders

first_imgBankruptcy judge okays Westmoreland plan to sell Kemmerer mine to lenders FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Wall Street Journal ($):Westmoreland Coal Co. is set to unload its Wyoming mine to lenders after an earlier deal to sell the mine fell through.Judge David R. Jones of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston on Wednesday granted Westmoreland’s request to sell its Kemmerer mine complex to its lenders. The sale still needs to close. It also depends on the buyers striking a new collective bargaining agreement with a mine workers union.Lenders are using debt they are owed by Westmoreland to acquire the mine. Kemmerer was acquired via the lenders’ credit bid, which was worth at least $300 million, court papers show. A credit bid allows lenders to use debt they are owed as payment for an asset. The lender group is also assuming certain liabilities tied to the mine, according to court documents.The Wyoming mine wasn’t among the collection of mines lenders acquired earlier during Westmoreland’s chapter 11 bankruptcy. Westmoreland’s mines are now owned by a new lender-controlled company, Westmoreland Mining LLC, which left chapter 11 earlier this year.Kemmerer, meanwhile, was expected to be sold earlier this year to a company owned by businessman Thomas Clarke. That deal fell through, so Westmoreland struck an alternative transaction with its creditors. On Wednesday, Judge Jones also approved related settlements and a liquidation plan related to the Kemmerer sale.Westmoreland acquired the Kemmerer mine from Chevron Mining Inc. for approximately $179 million in 2011, court papers say. The company filed for chapter 11 protection in October 2018, citing high debt and the decline of its thermal coal mining business.More ($): Westmoreland Coal cleared to sell Wyoming mine to lenderslast_img read more

Rhodium Group says U.S. coal-fired generation fell 18% in 2019, now at 1975 levels

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Examiner:U.S. coal-fired power fell by record levels in 2019, a drop that was almost entirely responsible for the country’s 2.1% decline in greenhouse gases last year, according to preliminary data from the Rhodium Group, an independent research firm.2019 was a “really brutal year for coal, and that is driving the emissions reductions that we see,” said Hannah Pitt, a senior analyst with Rhodium who manages the group’s U.S. Climate Service.Coal-fired power declined 18% in 2019, according to the new research released Tuesday, in which Rhodium outlined preliminary emissions estimates for 2019. That puts U.S. coal generation at its lowest level since 1975.Those coal retirements had a “pretty sizable” impact on emissions levels, Pitt said. Rhodium’s preliminary estimates find U.S. power sector emissions down nearly 10%, a significant reversal from the sector’s 1.2% emissions bump in 2018.Rhodium estimates U.S. economy-wide emissions are 12.3% lower than in 2005. To reach the Obama-era Paris target, the United States would have to cut emissions between 2.8% and 3.2% each year for the next six years, a pace Pitt says is speedy but doable, though only with significantly more robust federal policy.“There are drivers in the power sector that are pushing lower-carbon options,” Pitt said, citing market trends such as cheap natural gas and falling renewable energy costs, as well as policies such as clean energy tax credits and state-level clean energy standards.[Abby Smith]More: ‘Brutal year for coal’ drives decline in US greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 Rhodium Group says U.S. coal-fired generation fell 18% in 2019, now at 1975 levelslast_img read more

Coal shipments at two Wisconsin, Minnesota ports dropped sharply in 2019, wind cargoes set record

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wisconsin Public Radio:A record amount of cargo containing components used for generating wind power moved through the Twin Ports during the 2019 shipping season. The surge in wind traffic comes as Duluth-Superior handled the lowest amount of coal in more than three decades.Around 8 million tons of coal moved through the Twin Ports last year, marking the lowest volume Duluth-Superior has seen since 1985. Jayson Hron, spokesperson for the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said the decline comes as demand for renewable energy sent a record 306,000 freight tons of wind turbines and other components through the port.“It’s becoming more competitive in the power generation price spectrum, and so it’s just making it a more viable, higher demand way of producing energy and power for our country,” said Hron.The cost of renewables like wind and solar have declined in recent years. In addition, natural gas prices are lower than coal as production has reached near record levels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency found utility providers have announced retirement of more than 546 coal-fired plants in the last decade that produce around 102,000 megawatts of power.The transition is something people would not have thought possible until recently, said Greg Nemet, a public affairs professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who researches energy and policy. “We’re seeing plants that were built in the ’80s — some even in later — that are being prematurely shut down just because it’s much cheaper to make electricity with natural gas and with solar, even when you have to build new plants,” said Nemet.“It’s really a competition between coal, natural gas, and renewables. Over the last 10 years, natural gas especially has been the winner. In the last five years, renewables have really been the winner,” said Nemet. “Coal really can’t compete with either of those.”[Danielle Kaeding]More: Coal shipping in Twin Ports drops to lowest level in decades while wind cargo surges Coal shipments at two Wisconsin, Minnesota ports dropped sharply in 2019, wind cargoes set recordlast_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors August Issue on Newsstands Now!

first_imgWe WENT BIG for the August issue and we hope you do too!We are proud to present another fun-filled, action-packed issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. This month we are focused on Epic Appalachian Adventures, and we have a bunch for you to choose from. Everything from cascading in the Dolly Sods, to mountain biking through Pisgah National Forest is on the table, so strap on a helmet and get outside. We even give you a chance to get in on the action for free with our great adventure giveaways to West Virginia’s Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center, the Roanoke Valley, and even a bluegrass vacation to Strings & Sol in Mexico. Graham lists the six best guided trips on the South including climbing in Linville Gorge, riding Douthat State Park, and canyoneering in the Green River Gamelands with the best in the business. Plus Chris Gragtmans sets the record straight with the ultimate southern paddlers bucket list.In addition, we welcome the first feature from the latest addition to our edit team, Travel Editor Jess Daddio, and the results of our Best Outdoor Schools Reader Poll. It was a hotly contested bracket that saw Brevard College and Appalachian State University meet in the finals, with ASU taking the 2013 title. Jess traveled the Southeast to examine all the outdoor clubs and organizations prevalent at colleges and universities in the region and gives you the best they have to offer. Going along with our “Go Big” theme, Jess also went skydiving for the first time, which turned out to be a thrilling and hilarious endeavor, and also profiles three of the top athletes who reside in the Blue Ridge: mountain biker Chris Scott, kayaker Emily Jackson, and long-distance hiker Bill “Skywalker” Walker.We hope you like this month’s issue that also features a rundown of the inaugural Green River Games, the East’s answer the GoPro Mountain Games, the best Girl Gear for 2013, Trail Mix, and more!FeaturesThe Best Athletes in the Blue RidgeTop Adventure SchoolsBest Guided Trips in the SouthEssaysJumping From AirplanesPaddler’s Bucket ListDepartmentsGreen Mountain GamesDebate: Man vs. Mussel and the Southeastern Water SupplyThe Goods: What Women WantTrail Mix: James Justin and CompanyRick Gaskins is Saving the Catawba Riverlast_img read more

Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Eden, North Carolina

first_imgThe town of Eden, North Carolina is home to 14,500 residents, two gently flowing waterways, and three distinct downtown areas. The rivers are the Dan and the Smith and they flow directly through the center of town, giving Eden its nickname — ‘The Land of Two Rivers.’In addition to paddling the Dan or floating the Smith, outdoor enthusiasts in Eden can be found camping or angling at Belews Lake, boating at Lake Reidsville, or road biking along the scenic Rockingham County bike route.Cudas_IB_0814_2Did you know? This September will mark Eden’s 11th annual RiverFest, a two-day celebration of the town’s art, history, and river heritage. This years RiverFest will boast numerous attractions including two live music venues, a BMX stunt show, and a5k run/walk.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

BRO’s Weekend Picks South–Hike to the Summit of John Rock

first_imgAlas! The new Hub and Pisgah Tavern is ready to be broken in. We will be moving / CLOSED on Monday-Thursday (Feb…Posted by The Hub and Pisgah Tavern on Thursday, February 4, 2016 For more detailed weekend trip adventure plans like this one subscribe to our Weekend Picks Enews letter![divider]more from blueridgeoutdoors.com[/divider] This weekend is going to be cold but clear in the mountains of Western North Carolina, so bundle up and head for the John Rock trail head in the Pisgah National Forest just outside Brevard, NC. This moderately strenuous 5-mile hike will reward you with an unparalleled view of the nearby Looking Glass Rock. It’s a unique perspective and well worth the climb as most people bypass this hike in favor of the more popular Looking Glass Rock trail.To access the trailhead take Highway 276 through the entrance of Pisgah National Forest in Brevard. Continue approximately 5 miles before turning left on  Fish Hatchery Rd. (FR 475C). Travel another 1.4 miles until you see signs for the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education and Fish Hatchery. Park at the hatchery and continue around the gate onto FR 475C on foot.  Cross the small bridge and immediately turn right onto the Cat Gap Loop Trail. Take Cat Gap Loop trail to Cat Gap Bypass trail to John Rock trail to achieve the rocky summit. Be sure to bring and consult a map.The views from the granite dome are stupendous and take in much of Pisgah National Forest including a dominating view of Looking Glass Rock. Continue along John Rock trail back down to hang a left onto Cat Gap Trail to reach your car. The hike finishes along a scenic stretch of the Davidson River before ending at the opposite end of the  hatchery parking lot. The total loop is approximately 5 miles.If you work up a thirst while taking in this classic WNC hike or just want to browse through some of the newest mountain biking gear and outdoor apparel, head to the HUB and Pisgah Tavern afterwards just past the gates of Pisgah back down 276 toward Brevard. The weekend the Hub is undergoing a soft opening of its highly anticipated new facility.last_img read more

Recover Brands, Sustainable Apparel – Local Line

first_imgRooted in the textile rich heritage of North Carolina, Recover aims to be a driver in supporting local jobs, education, and communities. Greatly reducing carbon emissions, our Recover Made-in-the-Carolinas line sources everything from within a 150 mile radius of our headquarters in Charlotte. From recycled plastic bottles, to upcycled cotton, to cut and sew, to distribution, Recover values growing and investing in Local.Our Made in the Carolinas, USA beanies and socks are comfortable, cozy, and sustainable. The socks are made from our 50/50 blend of recycled PET and upcycled cotton. The 9” medium weight crew is a multi-functional, 4-season sock that is perfect on the trails and around town.  The flat knit top allows breathing on those long hikes and the weight gives cushion for protection.Our beanies are also made from our 50/50 blend of recycled PET and upcycled cotton. These items make great gifts and have a great story.Socks and beanies are retail and wholesale items, fully customizable with your logo. Inquire to [email protected] for a quote. Spring 18 will have Unisex and Women’s shirts added to the local line, be on the lookout!  To shop our full product offering visit [email protected]#RecoverNinjalast_img read more