Council on Economic Advisors Combine Taxpayer Losses With Climate Risk in Making Case for U.S. Coal-Lease Reform

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Zahra Hirji for InsideClimate News:The White House Council on Economic Advisers presented a report this week that its chairman, Jason Furman, called “a real strong case for reform” to the federal coal leasing program.The review, the first time that President Obama’s top economic advisers have weighed in on one of the most hotly contested issues on the climate policy agenda, found that reforms would both reward taxpayers and protect the climate.Furman called the coal leasing system “antiquated” and said it falls far short of offering a fair return to taxpayers. Furman unveiled the report and a panel of four outside experts then discussed CEA’s findings at a seminar hosted by the research nonprofit Resources for the Future on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.The report contains a sophisticated economic analysis that showed how increasing what the government charges companies in royalties for the coal they take from federal land not only raises revenue but reduces carbon emissions.To maximize taxpayer returns from coal leasing, CEA estimates that future royalty rates for new coal leases would have to go up to about 300 percent, compared to the rate often used today (less than 12.5 percent). This move would rake in billions of dollars for state and federal governments and reduce coal production on federal land by about 50 percent. The resulting climate impact would be big: a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal combustion of 319 million metric tons annually.CEA’s report comes six months after the U.S. Department of the Interior launched its first review of the coal leasing program in about 30 years. The review follows several lawsuits by environmental groups such as WildEarth Guardians. They have challenged the Interior Department for not adequately accounting for coal’s climate impacts as it reviews applications for new leases and expansions to existing ones, among other issues. Additionally, several studies have come out including a 2013 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office raising questions about how federal officials estimate the fair market value of coal in the leasing operations.The CEA analysis took a sensible approach to handling climate change, offering an example for how to evaluate “good financing strategy of the coal industry” and simultaneously use “sound emissions policy,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.White House: Raising Coal Royalties a Boon for Taxpayers, and for the Climate Council on Economic Advisors Combine Taxpayer Losses With Climate Risk in Making Case for U.S. Coal-Lease Reformlast_img read more

Read more →

Adani Insists, Against Mounting Odds, That It Will Proceed Soon on Australian Coal-Train Project

first_imgAdani Insists, Against Mounting Odds, That It Will Proceed Soon on Australian Coal-Train Project FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The Adani Group has said it will “break ground within days” on the rail link for its Carmichael coalmine and has claimed daily progress on a project for which it still needs to secure about $5bn in finance.The Adani Mining chief executive, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said in a statement on Friday the company remained “confident and committed” to delivering its first coal shipment in March 2020.Janakaraj said pre-construction works on the Galilee basin mine site and the 388km rail corridor to its Abbot Point port were “well advanced”.“Every day we are moving forward. Milestones are being achieved every day,” he said.“We will break ground within days to mark the official start of work on the rail link.”Adani’s announcement on Friday coincided with the release of another poll showing a significant majority of Australians were opposed to the mine.Roy Morgan’s survey of 1,547 people last weekend found 77% of those who had heard of the mine thought it should not go ahead.This included a majority of voters of all political stripes who were against the mine, including 55.5% of National party supporters. Almost a quarter of people surveyed hadn’t heard of Adani.Adani is yet to secure a federal government concessional loan of up to $900m for the rail line through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.Its most recent deadline for financial closure on the mine and rail project is still months away, and the Indian energy group is looking overseas to secure finance by March.1Adani also has to refinance $1.48bn of borrowings on the Abbot Point port by November 2018 and a cumulative debt of $2.11bn – more than the port is worth – by 2020.A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said a looming shortfall in coal throughput at Abbot Point meant the prospect of the Carmichael mine filling that gap was critical to Adani’s refinancing bid on the port.This week, Westpac joined another of the port’s original financiers, Deutsche Bank, in appearing to rule out refinancing because of a new climate policy mandating investments only in existing coal basins.Adani is also yet to register an Indigenous land use agreement with the mine site’s traditional owners amid continuing legal challenges from within the group.An Adani spokesman did not return calls on Friday.More: Adani says it will break ground on Carmichael rail link ‘within days’last_img read more

Read more →

Lansing muni remains committed to coal phase-out

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Lansing City Pulse:A new rule proposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency last week would ease pollution restrictions and squeeze more life out of the nation’s aging fleet of coal-fired power plants, but the rule will have no effect on Lansing, according to [Board of Water & Light] General Manager Dick Peffley.“We don’t plan on making any changes,” Peffley said. “We want to be out of the coal business here in Lansing by 2025. Eckert Station will still close at the end of 2020 and Erickson by 2025. Those plans are set in place.”The new rule would allow utilities to refurbish or upgrade aging coal-fired plants without having to install costly pollution control equipment, but Peffley said the BWL’s two coal plants are past the point of no return.“We’ve already scaled back our maintenance and capital improvements in the plants,” he said. “They don’t have 10 years left in them. You don’t want to fill the gas tank and overhaul the engine for a car that’s going to the junkyard.”Peffley said the BWL is not interested in buying into the regulatory “flavor of the month.” The utility’s portfolio has shifted definitively from coal to gas and renewables, anchored by the REO Town Cogeneration Plant, built in 2013, and a $500 million new gas plant, scheduled to break ground next year. The BWL is committed to 80 percent reduction in its carbon footprint by 2025.“We saw the path the Obama administration was going down, and it aligned with the closing of our plants through age, so we picked this path and stuck with it,” Peffley said. “This new change in rules could benefit some utilities around the country, but it’s definitely not going to help us.”More: BWL sticking with no-coal future Lansing muni remains committed to coal phase-outlast_img read more

Read more →

Analysts see more write-downs coming in U.S. shale sector

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Oil and gas producers could wipe billions of dollars off the value of U.S. natural gas assets in the months ahead, analysts said on Wednesday, after Chevron Corp became the fourth oil major to slash its estimates for sector values.A long, steady increase in U.S. gas production – much of it a byproduct of the shale oil boom – has pushed prices for the fuel toward a 25-year low. Nearly half of U.S. gas production is a by-product of oil drilling, and therefore does not change in response to weak prices, analysts said. In response, BP Plc, Repsol SA and Equinor ASA have written off more than $11 billion in total from the value of North American shale assets just this year.Industry players, consultants and analysts all said that Chevron’s announcement on Tuesday that it expects to write down the value of its assets by $10 billion to $11 billion this quarter was a sign of more write-downs, with one brokerage highlighting exposure for ExxonMobil.“Chevron writing down assets – especially of this magnitude – isn’t just symbolic, it’s indicative of what’s to come with impairment testing across the entire U.S. exploration and production space,” said Dallas Salazar, head of energy consulting firm Atlas Consulting.Mizuho Securities analysts urged Exxon’s chief executive, Darren Woods, to write down the full value of the company’s $30 billion acquisition of XTO Energy. Exxon bought XTO in 2009 and booked a $2 billion charge in 2017 against the value of natural gas reserves from the buyout.The write-downs are broadly the result of oil companies having assumed much higher future prices for natural gas over the past decade. Shell, for example, said as recently as its 2018 annual report that it expected prices would rise to $3.50 per million British thermal units (mmbtu) in 2020 and 2021 from $3.25 per mmbtu in 2019. BP said it had determined the size of its recoverable reserves based on a long-term price of $4 per mmbtu. The main benchmark for natural gas has been below $2.70 for most of this year and currently stands around $2.28. IHS Markit projects U.S. gas prices will average below $2 per mmbtu next year, the lowest prices since 1995. [Shanti S Nair, Ron Bousso, Jennifer Hiller, Aishwarya Venugopal]More: Chevron’s charge points to billions more in U.S. gas writedowns: analysts Analysts see more write-downs coming in U.S. shale sectorlast_img read more

Read more →

Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. exits U.S. shale gas industry

first_imgJapan’s Sumitomo Corp. exits U.S. shale gas industry FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp has sold all its stake in the Marcellus shale gas project in the United States for an undisclosed sum, it said on Monday in a statement.Sumitomo bought a 30% stake in the project in 2010 from Rex Energy Corp, which went bankrupt in 2018. The project is now 70% owned and operated by PennEnergy Resources.“We have sold our stake as it is difficult to predict future prices of natural gas, and as it may take a long time to gain profit contribution from the project and its development may not proceed as planned even after the prices recover,” a Sumitomo spokesman said on Tuesday.He declined to disclose the buyer of the stake.Sumitomo had booked an impairment loss on the stake in around 2015 when slumping oil and gas prices forced international energy companies and Japanese trading houses to write down the value of their assets.[Yuka Obayashi]More: Japan’s Sumitomo sells all of its stake in U.S. Marcellus shale gas projectlast_img read more

Read more →

Must Do: fabulous February adventures

first_imgSki the Parkway: This mountaintop highway is closed most of the winter. February is our snowiest month. Make it happen. Lynn Cove Viaduct, Skyline Drive, Balsam Mountain—pick a high elevation stretch of blacktop, and head there when the snow falls.Climb Ice: This is a life-list adventure most people don’t even realize you can do in the South, but it happens. “Last year, the ice was in,” says Elaina Arenz-Smith, owner of New River Mountain Guides in Fayetteville, W.Va. “It was so cold and wet all winter, the ice was phenomenal. But when it’s in, it’s only good for a couple of days, so you have to pounce.”Women’s Weekend at Wintergreen: Ladies, Wintergreen Resort hosts the impressive Women’s Head Ski/Ride Clinic (Feb. 18-19), a weekend of workshops taught by certified pros and Alison Gannett, a world champion extreme skier and founder of the Save Our Snow Foundation. It costs $299, but you’ll come out of the weekend with mad shredding skills.last_img read more

Read more →

Fridays on the Fly | Find a Free Orvis Fly Fishing Class in Your Area

first_imgIf you’re looking to make the leap into the often complex world of fly fishing this Spring but not quite sure where to start, check out this amazing learning opportunity offered free of charge by the venerable, Vermont-based Orvis fly fishing company.Every spring and summer at Orvis stores across the country people who have never even held a rod become novice fly anglers during a free course known as FF101.Sav Sankaran is the fishing manager at Orvis Asheville, which will be hosting its first FF101 class tomorrow. He says FF101 is a great way fom new and would-be anglers to further familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of fly fishing.“It’s a free, family-friendly introduction to fly fishing,” Sav said. “The class usually runs about two and a half hours and consists of basic fly casting instruction, as well a rigging portion that covers gear, knots, flies, etc.”Participants who complete the FF101 course and want to take their newfound knowledge to the water can go on to participate in FF201, which includes a short outing on local water.“As a company, we have put thousands of people on the water through this program since its inception several years ago, and it is one the best parts of my job,” Sav said. “I love getting people introduced to fly fishing and watching as they get excited about the sport that we all love so much!”FF101 courses will be held throughout the months of April, May, and June. All participants will walk away with some exclusive offers on Orvis gear and a complimentary membership to Trout Unlimited.To find an Orvis FF101 class near you just visit the FF101 website and click on your state.Register for the June 25 Asheville event here! [divider]More Fridays on the Fly[/divider]last_img read more

Read more →

300 Editors Will Attend Panama’s Fifth International Book Fair

first_imgBy Dialogo June 05, 2009 Panama, 03 June (EFE).-Panama’s Fifth International Book Fair 2009, with Peru as a guest country, expects 300 Latin American editors to be in attendance as well as some 80,000 visitors, the organizers said today. From August 19th to 23rd, authors from Peru, Costa Rica, Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, Cuba and Panama will be participating in the Fifth session of the Book Fair, together with the editors and international book companies that will occupy the 219 cubicles of the Atlapa Convention Center in the capital. The president of the Panamanian Book Chamber, Renée Ávila, reported to Efe, after the Fair’s official inauguration, that the main objectives are to “promote reading, to give the Panamanian public the opportunity to be in contact with national and international authors and to attend the commercial book exhibit”. The exhibit covers more than 3,000 square meters of building space and it will also include cultural and academic programs, professional seminars, and sessions with authors and a children’s pavilion in order to offer story time to even the smallest children. The event will also offer an exhibit, which will be shown outside of Peru for the very first time, about the life of Mario Vargas Llosa, entitled “La Libertad y Vida” (Life and Liberty), which will feature photos of the writer, interviews and books with her own notes. Ávila added that “we have enjoyed a political, diplomatic and cultural relationship with Peru for many years now. The Fair will allow us to know their culture and also the Peruvian people, while fostering a love for reading”. Claudia Llosa, the niece of Mario Vargas Llosa and cinema director Luis Llosa, will have an exhibit to show their work, to include the movie “The Milk of Sorrow”, winner of the “Golden Bear” at the 2009 Berlin International Movie Festival. Panama’s Fifth International Book Festival also will include the Peruvian novelist Alonso Cueto, author of the novel “The Whisper of the Whale Woman”, a finalist for First Place Planeta-Casamérica prize for Ibero-American Narrative XXXXX (Bogota, 2007). Another Peruvian writer who will be in attendance at the Fair is the poet Antonio Cisneros, author of a score of books which includes “Ceremonial song against an anteater”, which won him the Casa de las Américas Prize in 1968; “Monologue of the Outcast Susan and other poems” (1986) and “A trip to the Galapagos Islands” (2005). In this edition, the organizers have tried to promote the different literary genre and to promote the Peruvian culture through dance, music, movies and gastronomy.last_img read more

Read more →

Jailer of Betancourt and Three Americans Extradited to U.S.

first_imgBy Dialogo July 16, 2009 Bogotá, 16 July (EFE).- Former FARC chief Gerardo Antonio Aguilar, alias “Caesar,” one of the jailers of former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans, was extradited to the U.S. today with rigorous security measures in place. About fifty policemen escorted “Caesar” to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) airplane that was to take him to Washington to be tried by a District of Colombia court on drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges. “He has been turned over to the American authorities,” said the director of the Colombian Judicial Police (Dijin), Gen. Luis Ramírez, in reference to the former FARC guerrilla, who was protected the entire time by about fifty police personnel and a bullet-proof helmet and vest. “Caesar” was one of the jailers holding Betancourt and three Americans until they were rescued by the Colombian army on 2 July 2008 during Operation Jaque, in which a total of fifteen hostages held by the FARC were freed and “Caesar” was captured, along with another guerrilla chief. The Dijin turned the former rebel over to the DEA at the Catam military airport, in western Bogotá, after a rigorous medical examination in which it was determined that he has psoriasis, an illness of the skin. The extradition operation began at 4:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. GMT) from La Picota jail, in southern Bogotá, from which the prisoner took with him a sweater, underwear, and a dermatological cream. “He is a quite nervous person and is worried about his future in the United States, and in fact, this should serve as a warning to the other terrorists in the FARC that their future is either in jail or put out of business by the forces of the state,” General Ramírez said. “Caesar’s” extradition on drug-trafficking charges was authorized by the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) on 19 February, but the court indicated that he could not be tried for the crime of hostage-taking, as the U.S. Justice Department argued in its extradition request. “Caesar” was captured on 2 July 2008 when an undercover operation by the Colombian army rescued fifteen hostages held by the FARC, among whom were Americans Thomas Howes, Keith Stansell, and Marc Gonsalves, kidnapped on 13 February 2003 in the jungles of southern Colombia. Stansell, Gonsalves, and Howes, the pilot, were working for a firm contracted by the U.S. Defense Department to collect information on drug plantations in Colombia, but the FARC accused them of spying for the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).last_img read more

Read more →

Haiti’s seaport capacity increases, General Fraser says

first_imgBy Dialogo January 29, 2010 haity is in your two hands now usa you know we love you do your best for us ,so we count on you we all love you usa WASHINGTON – Conditions in earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, Haiti, continue to improve day by day, but a tremendous need still exists, the commander of U.S. Southern Command said today. Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser also said U.S. military personnel have opened a seaport that is bringing in about 200 containers a day, and that he expects that capacity to more than double in the weeks ahead. Southcom is in charge of the U.S. military’s humanitarian response effort in Haiti. The United States now has more than 20,000 servicemembers in and around Haiti; 6,000 on the ground and the rest on vessels offshore, Fraser said. “But those numbers only reflect those men and women who are actually in the theater,” Fraser added during a video teleconference from his headquarters in Miami. “There’s a lot of effort that’s happening within Transportation Command and across the Department of Defense to support these efforts that are external to the theater.” Twenty-three ships, more than 60 helicopters and more than 30 fixed-wing aircraft are in the area, the general said. Meanwhile, he said, demand for ramp space at Toussaint L’Overture International Airport at Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, has started to recede. “The demand is now down about 20 percent from what it was,” Fraser said. “So we’re supporting roughly a hundred flights a day into the airport and another 80 to 100 helicopter flights operating in and out of there as we go along.” The seaport in Port-au-Prince sustained tremendous damage in the original Jan. 12 earthquake, and more in the aftershocks that still continue. “The port is operating and has a roughly 200-container-a-day capacity going through it,” Fraser said. One pier that the command was going to use sustained more damage and is now unusable, Fraser reported. “So we’re expanding into some of the other ports right there in the Port-au-Prince area to see what we can do there,” he said. Medical treatment continues to be a U.S. priority. Medical personnel aboard the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship based in Baltimore, have seen more than 3,000 patients since it has arrived. Crews on other ships – the aircraft carrier USS Vinson, and amphibious ships USS Bataan and USS Nassau — also treat a significant number of patients. Yet, more hospital space is needed, the general said. “One of the things we’re working to improve is the capacity for patients to recover,” Fraser said. “We don’t have enough capacity, with the hospitals being full, and so the joint task force is actively working to establish that facility.” That hospital facility will house between 3,000 and 5,000 patients and will be built on 40 acres of land in Port-au-Prince.last_img read more

Read more →