Poland, in Hopes of Propping Up Coal Industry, Moves to Curb Booming Wind Industry

first_imgPoland, in Hopes of Propping Up Coal Industry, Moves to Curb Booming Wind Industry FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Maciej Martewicz, Marek Strzelecki and Konrad Krasuski for Bloomberg News:Poland’s parliament approved a bill that introduces extra requirements for building wind parks as the country aims to curb the booming industry in a bid to help prop up its loss-making coal industry.The governing Law & Justice party bill forces new turbines to be located further away from homes, a rule that developers have said would halt some new projects after a record expansion of wind energy last year. Lawmakers removed regulations for detailed audits and more technical supervision over the turbines, which would have increased costs for wind-park owners.Poland, Europe’s top coal producer and a staunch defender of the fossil fuel in the European Union, notched up the continent’s second-highest number of wind-power installations last year. Developers installed 1.26 gigawatt of new capacity before an expected change to subsidies and planned auctions for renewable support. The country now has 5.6 gigawatts of installed wind capacity.“We want to eliminate the import of used, outdated turbines from western countries,” Deputy Energy Minister Andrzej Piotrowski said in parliament on May 18. Unlike coal-fired power plants, wind generation is not a reliably stable source of electricity, he said.Full article: Poland Toughens Wind-Farm Rules in Push to Save Coal Industrylast_img read more

After slight dip, more growth seen in 242,000 U.S. solar jobs, up from 93,000 nine years ago

first_imgAfter slight dip, more growth seen in 242,000 U.S. solar jobs, up from 93,000 nine years ago FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:The solar energy sector lost 8,000 jobs in the US last year, the second consecutive year of declines, hit by uncertainty over the Trump administration’s energy and trade policies and a 30% tariff on imported solar panels, according to a report released on Tuesday.But according to the Solar Foundation the future is still bright for solar. Despite the two-year dip, solar employment has grown 159%, from just over 93,000 to more than 242,000 jobs in all 50 states over the past nine years and the report concludes the long-term outlook for solar energy production is positive.Solar, which currently represents about 2.4% of overall US electricity generation, already employs twice as many workers as the coal industry and almost five times as many workers as the nuclear industry.29 states – many with less established solar penetration, including Florida, Texas and Illinois – continued to see job growth. “It’s an optimistic report despite the fact we’re seeing job declines over the past two years,” said Andrea Luecke, CEO of The Solar Foundation. “That’s because the macro-picture since we first started tracking solar jobs in 2010 has exploded.”More:  Solar energy sector lost 8,000 jobs in US last year, but future looks bright – reportlast_img read more

Montenegro scraps plans to build new coal plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Montenegro has scrapped plans to add a 254 megawatt (MW) unit at the Pljevlja coal-fired power plant, becoming the first Western Balkan nation to take a tougher stance on air pollution from coal, a government official said on Thursday.Montenegro, like other Balkan countries, faces an acute need for new power sources after decades of under-investment. The new unit was a huge project for the small Adriatic nation and would have accounted for about 8% of its national output.Ljubo Knezevic, energy advisor to Montenegro’s prime minister, said the move came after a number of changes in European regulations on industrial emissions, as well as the formal attitude of international financial institutions towards projects of this type. “It was concluded that it is no longer possible to realize the project on commercially justifiable principles, respecting the desired environmental standards,” Knezevic told Reuters.The government would instead overhaul the existing 210 MW ageing unit at Pljevlja to avoid its closure, boost output and trim greenhouse gas emissions in line with the EU standards, he added. The EU candidate country also aims to add new wind and solar capacity to help meet the bloc’s renewable energy targets and cut greenhouse gas emissions.Lignite, the most polluting coal, is widely available in the Western Balkans, providing a cheap energy resource and the major source of energy for Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro. In 2016, the region’s 16 Communist-era plants with 8 (GW) capacity emitted the same amount of sulphur dioxide as 250 coal-fired plants with 30 times more capacity in the rest of the EU, environmentalist groups said in a recent report.More: Montenegro scraps plan for new coal power plant on environment worries Montenegro scraps plans to build new coal plantlast_img read more

France’s EDF to close 580MW Havre coal plant in early 2021

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:France’s 580 megawatt (MW) Havre coal power plant will close on April 1, 2021, the energy ministry said on Friday.The closure is part of the government’s plan to phase out its remaining 3,000 MW of coal generation capacity by the end of 2022 to meet its target of curbing carbon emissions from the energy sector, while boosting renewable sources of energy.The Havre generator operated by state-controlled utility EDF, is one of the five remaining coal-fired generators in France.EDF also operates the two 580 MW coal generators at the Cordemais coal power plant. It is working to convert those to burn biomass instead of coal, which could enable it to continue operations beyond 2022 with government approval.France’s two other coal-fired plants, the Emile Huchet 6 and Provence 5, with combined installed capacity of 1,200 MW, are owned by Central European energy group EPH, which bought them from German utility Uniper.[Bate Felix]More: France to close Havre coal power plant in April 2021 France’s EDF to close 580MW Havre coal plant in early 2021last_img read more

Tattoos and Heavy Metal: A Dangerous Combo

first_imgDear EarthTalk: I’m interested in getting a new tattoo, but recently found out that red tattoo ink contains mercury. Is this true of other tattoo inks as well? Are there any eco-friendly alternatives? — John P., Racine, WAIt is true that some red inks used for permanent tattoos contain mercury, while other reds may contain different heavy metals like cadmium or iron oxide. These metals—which give the tattoo its “permanence” in skin—have been known to cause allergic reactions, eczema and scarring and can also cause sensitivity to mercury from other sources like dental fillings or consuming some fish. While red causes the most problems, most other colors of standard tattoo ink are also derived from heavy metals (including lead, antimony, beryllium, chromium, cobalt nickel and arsenic) and can cause skin reactions in some people.Helen Suh MacIntosh, a professor in environmental health at Harvard University and a columnist for the website, Treehugger, reports that as a result of a 2007 lawsuit brought by the American Environmental Safety Institute (AESI), two of the leading tattoo ink manufacturers must now place warning labels on their product containers, catalogs and websites explaining that “inks contain many heavy metals, including lead, arsenic and others” and that the ingredients have been linked to cancer and birth defects.Of course, exposure to mercury and other heavy metals is hardly the only risk involved with getting a tattoo. The term tattoo itself means to puncture the skin. Tattoo ink is placed via needles into the dermis layer of the skin, where it remains permanently (although some colors will fade over time). Some people have reported sensitivity springing up even years after they first got their tattoo; also, medical MRIs can cause tattoos to burn or sting as the heavy metals in the ink are affected by the test’s magnetism.Beyond the long term risks of walking around with heavy metals injected into your body’s largest organ (the skin), getting a tattoo in and of itself can be risky business. If the tattoo parlor’s needles and equipment aren’t properly sterilized in an autoclave between customers, you could be exposing yourself to hepatitis B or C, tuberculosis, mycobacterium, syphilis, malaria, HIV or even leprosy.“The potential risk of infectious spread from tattooing (particularly due to Hepatitis B) is high enough that it is a practice that should be avoided by pregnant women to safeguard the health of the baby [and that of the pregnant woman herself] whose immune system is down regulated and is much more vulnerable to these types of infection,” reports dermatologist Audrey Kunin, who runs the popular Dermadoctor website. Dr. Kunin advises to be careful about choosing a tattoo parlor: “Make sure the place is reputable, perhaps check with the health department to see if there have been past claims against the parlor in question if you still have doubts.” She adds that since tattoos are essentially open wounds, they must be cared for properly, especially in the first few weeks, to stave off infection. 1 2last_img read more

Weekend Pick: Crazy 8s 8k Road Race

first_imgThere is something a little crazy about runners (let me be clear that I am not talking about joggers, but runners – there is a huge difference, mostly in the calfs, quads, abs, and competitiveness). Runners are not crazy in the classic Jim Carrey-as-The-Riddler-in-Batman-Forever mold, nor are they crazy in the crazy-like-a-fox mold, but they are just a little off in general. You can see it in their pre-race routines, relentless pursuit of a PR, the constant churning of the legs deep into a race and on the brink of exhaustion, the hair-of-the-dog recovery runs – a sport where you do the same thing, only worse, in order to feel better is odd, to say the least. This is probably why they spend their time running great distances, only to usually end up right where they started in the first place – only sweatier, and probably hungrier. It is no wonder that the bravest have taken running to its logical extreme with ultra-marathons becoming ultra cool, and ultra standard on the weekend running event docket. Well, crazies, this weekend is the running event you have been waiting for. An event with such high stakes, high energy, and low times, it has crazy right there in the name: The Crazy 8s 8k in Kingsport, Tennessee.Over the years, the Crazy 8s 8k has become famous for being one of the most exciting races in the country and attracting the top runners in the world to humble Kingsport. BRO picked the race as the region’s Best Road Race in 2008, and one of the top road running events in this past February’s Race Ahead Guide. What makes the Cray 8s most compelling is the fact that it is run at night along candle lit streets, culminating in a festive stadium finish complete with music and fanfare. Also, if you beat the course record, you get a check for $10,008 – what they don’t tell you is the course record is also the 8k world record set at the Crazy 8s in 1996 (22:02 if you’re game to try).Head to Kingsport on Saturday, July 13, and watch some of the world’s fastest runners compete for a big purse under the cool, starry skies of Tennessee. Sounds good to us.View Larger Maplast_img read more

Trump and the Outdoors

first_imgMany conservationists are fearing the worst. Trump could be the most anti-environmental president ever to take office, and he will have the support of a Republican Congress. The 2016 Republican platform, after all, called for the rollback of environmental regulations; expansion of fossil fuels; a prohibition against regulating carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas; transfer of federal lands to the states; limitations on the president’s ability to create national monuments; removal of species from the endangered species list; and withdrawal from multinational climate change agreements.Trump is an avowed skeptic of climate change, famously tweeting in 2012 that climate change was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Most of his cabinet nominees are climate deniers. They include Rex Tillerson, the Exxon CEO nominated for Secretary of State, and Wilbur Ross, who owned the coal company that operated the Sago Mine in 2006 when 12 miners were killed as the result of an explosion and collapse, and who now has been nominated as Secretary of Commerce. Only one nominee acknowledges climate change: Secretary of Defense nominee Gen. James Mattis, who has long been a vocal advocate for the armed forces to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy.An Enemy of the EPA to Head ItTrump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who sued the EPA over the Clean Power Plan and who wrote about climate change in a National Review op-ed, “That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.”In a statement released after the nomination, League of Conservation Voters’ President Gene Karpinski compared Pruitt running the EPA to “the fox guarding the hen house.” The conservative Heartland Institute cheered Pruitt’s nomination, however, as a sign that Trump’s administration “will finally rein in the runaway EPA—by withdrawing or rewriting those and other rules in a way that respects freedom and economic progress, or by deciding not to defend the rules in court.”Clean Air RollbacksMany of the climate-related rules put forward under the Obama administration, such as the Clean Power Plan, will likely be reversed under Trump. His election therefore sparked an upswing in the coal industry, as production roared back up after historic lows the last five years. It remains unclear whether the surge will result in many coal miners going back to work as Trump promised during the campaign. Natural gas remains a powerful competitor to coal, leading to the recent closure of many older coal-burning power plants that are unlikely to reopen even under optimal regulatory conditions. Large-scale mechanization of the coal industry has also meant that companies can mine more coal with fewer workers.The prospects of widespread rollback of environmental regulations carry implications far beyond the coalfields. Alan Rowsome, senior director of government relations for The Wilderness Society, foresees a pitched battle over regulations such as the Stream Buffer Zone Rule and Coal Ash Disposal Rule.“If both the Republican Congress and the administration are committed to rolling them back, it will take all the work the conservation community and environmental community can do to keep them on the books.”Public Lands Transfers?Another potential flashpoint is developing over the management of public land. On this front, at least, there seems to be potential for a broader coalition of outdoor interests—and perhaps some room for optimism.Some of that comes from Trump’s statements during the campaign, especially during an interview with Field & Stream in which he disagreed with calls from Ted Cruz and Cliven and Ammon Bundy for the federal government to sell off its land holdings. Trump said he didn’t like that idea, then added, “We have to be great stewards of this land. This is magnificent land. And we have to be great stewards of this land.”For Secretary of the Interior, which oversees the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management, Trump has nominated U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke of Montana, who has a reputation as a defender of public lands. Zinke doesn’t exactly represent a home run—he’s got a lifetime score of only 3 percent from the League of Conservation Voters—but he is a sportsman with a reputation as a defender of public lands. Still, many groups remain concerned about the potential for sale of public lands.“Though Trump has spoken out against federal land transfers, he’s also made moves to walk back that commitment, and there are now very few checks and balances on proposals to transfer or sell off national lands,” says Tania Lown-Hecht, communications director for The Outdoor Alliance.The Outdoor BudgetAnother concern involves the nomination of U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina as director of the Office of Management and Budget. The office’s link to the outdoors isn’t as direct as that of the EPA or Department of the Interior, but just as consequential, since it’s responsible for the flow of dollars to the agencies that manage federal lands and enforce environmental rules.Mulvaney is a fiscal hawk, Rowsome says, and he could cut agency budgets to the point where they can’t staff visitors centers or patrol the land.“It’s the quiet slow way to effect change if you’re not able to use the blunt instrument of a congressional bill or presidential rollback,” Rowsome says. “If you cut resources to EPA, they’re not out there enforcing regulations.”Two other potential battles looming include a potential repeal of the Antiquities Act—a law dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt that allows presidents to create national monuments from public lands by proclamation—and the long-running debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.      What Can You Do? In the face of these likely assaults, how are groups planning to counteract Trump’s anti-environmental moves?The Sierra Club fired back in December by projecting a huge image of rising seas and the words “Don’t Trump the planet” onto the side of the Trump Building on Wall Street in New York City. The group has attracted more donors in the months since Trump’s election than in the previous four years.The Sierra Club has also kicked its Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign into high gear. Sierra Club activists have helped organize and staff protest camps along the proposed route of the Sabal Trail Transmission, an oil and gas pipeline slated to cross through sensitive natural habitats in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.350.org hopes to turn out 500,000 or more supporters at the People’s Climate Mobilization, a march on D.C. scheduled for April 29. Climate activists are also ramping up efforts to get universities across the country to divest from fossil fuel investments. They organized student walkouts at college campuses across the country on January 23 “to resist and reject the climate denial” of the incoming Trump administration.The Outdoors Industry Association plans to bring executives from member businesses such as North Face and REI to Capitol Hill.“These businesses are in every state,” Wahl says. “They’re in red districts, blue districts, rural, urban. They’re the ones employing people and making communities better. They are the best advocates: a CEO meeting with their member of Congress is a powerful conversation.”Trump ultimately might be exactly what the environmental movement needs. Memberships, funding, and influence swelled for green groups when another conservative Republican, George W. Bush, moved into the White House in 2000. Environmental groups leveraged this backlash to successfully lead the charge against the development of dozens of new emissions-spewing coal-fired power plants at the time, sparing the nation a huge carbon burden down the line. Activists hope to build on this type of strategy in leveraging the support of the vast majority of Americans for increased environmental protections.“Now more than ever, we need to guard protections put in place for public lands, access to outdoor recreation, and access to beautiful places,” says Anthony Duncan, Mid-Atlantic regional director of IMBA. “We need to make sure they remain available for future generations.”    —Mason Adams and Roddy Scheerlast_img read more

September Pit Stops: Live Outside and Play Road Team

first_imgWe’ve accomplished a lot this summer. Together, we’ve driven thousands of miles, checked off several items from our adventure bucket list, been a part of some amazing events, and met a TON of great people and new friends along the way. It’s September now and the days are getting shorter, the tips of the leaves are slowly turning, and the mornings are crisp and refreshing. Below are the pit stops we will be making in this glorious month.This week we leave the Centennial State for our long drive back east to the welcoming, rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While we’re excited to head back, it’s a little bitter sweet. This marks the last leg of our 8-month tour and we’re determined to make it count. If you are in the area of any of our upcoming events and festivals, it is absolutely mandatory that you stop by and say hello!Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, here is where you can find us doing our thing in September!September 13th: Big Bear Lake Trail Center Group Ride and PotluckBig Bear Lake Trail Center – West VirginiaWhat could be better after an awesome group mountain bike ride followed by a big ol’ potluck style meal? For those unfamiliar, Big Bear Lake has become a hot spot for classic east coast style single track. Here’s where things get spicy – Big Bear Lake Trail Center is offering a FREE day pass to those participating in the group ride. We’ll be organizing ride by skill level so come on come all!September 14th-17th: Gauley FestSummersville, West VirginiaJoin American Whitewater and the worlds leading paddling and outdoor adventure brands for one of the biggest and baddest Whitewater festivals – Gauley Fest 2017! Gauley Fest is an early fall classic that we are stoked to be a part of. All proceeds from the festival support American Whitewater’s river conservation and access works throughout the nation. “Started in 1983 to celebrate the derailment of a hydroelectric project that would have disrupted the flows on the Gauley River, Gauley Fest has grown to become the largest paddling festival in the world.” September 22nd: Crag Stewardship and Conservation DayFayetteville, West VirginiaIt’s always a good idea to give back to the crag gods. Come join the New River Alliance of Climbers, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, and of course yours truly, for a local crag stewardship and conservation project. Roll up your sleeves, take ownership of this amazing climbing landscape and help keep it clean and maintained.September 22nd – 24th: Craggin’ Classic (The NEW)New River Gorge – Fayetteville, West VirginiaWe’ve been looking forward to this one since the spring! Join the American Alpine Club and CAMP USA for the 6th annual Craggin’ Classic in the New River Gorge. “This 3-day grassroots climbing festival celebrates the climbers and climbing of the Southeast.” The weekend features climbing clinics taught by professional athletes and guides, stewardship and conservation efforts, glow-stick dance parties, gear demos, food, films, music, free beer and whiskey (21+), games, free swag, bonfires, raffles, silent auctions and good times with great people!”September 28th: 3rd Annual Asheville Van Life RallyAshville, North CarolinaIt’s a rally for the vans! Whether you live in your vehicle, pull your home behind you, or are just interested in the lifestyle, stop by Wedge at Foundation and explore all things #vanlife. There will be beer, music, good people, and good stories. What better way to spend a Thursday evening in Ashville?See ya out there, folks!As with every event we attend, we will be repping our sponsors and their awesome gear! You can check out first hand what we use on the road to live outside and play, including gear from La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.last_img read more

Brazilian Army Will Act as Peace-Keeping Force in Rio, Commander Says

first_img The Brazilian Army will act as a peace-keeping force in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, as it has done in Haiti but never before in its own country, Gen. Enzo Peri, the commander of the force, announced on 2 December. “We’ve done police actions before, but of this kind and on this scale, it’s the first time” in Brazil, the commander said during a visit to the Alemão Complex, the group of slums in Rio de Janeiro taken over last weekend by the army and the police in a war against drug trafficking. “We’re prepared. The personnel are well trained and equipped,” Peri affirmed, according to the official news agency Agencia Brasil. The commander confirmed that the army will occupy the slums of the Alemão and Penha complexes and will patrol inside them in order to guarantee peace in the area. Eight thousand military personnel are prepared to take part in urban security efforts and can help to reinforce operations in other Rio de Janeiro slums, the commander of the Eastern Military Command, Gen. Adriano Pereira Junior, said for his part. Brazil has been in command of the UN military peace-keeping force in Haiti since 2004, acquiring extensive experience in urban patrols in the neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, also often seized by violence. The Rio de Janeiro authorities have requested that the army remain in the Alemão Complex, together with the police, until a Pacification Unit can be installed in the area. This complex of slums was completely dominated by gangs of heavily armed drug traffickers, and in an unprecedented action, the police and the army occupied it last weekend. By Dialogo December 06, 2010last_img read more

Drug Traffickers Murder Over Internet Use

first_img Social networks have begun to be dangerous, to the point that making a comment on Facebook or Twitter in Mexico involving denunciations of the activities of drug traffickers has now put internet users at risk of their lives. Journalist María Elizabeth Macías, chief editor of the daily Primera Hora, in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, was beheaded after having denounced crimes committed by drug traffickers using social networks. “The grim landmark of 80 journalists killed in the past decade has just been reached, with the murders getting steadily more horrific as the years pass. There seems to be no way out of this horror. The country is immersed in an all-out war and just writing the word ‘narcos’ or ‘trafficking’ can cost you your life. What will be left of freedom of information while the barbarity continues?,” Reporters Without Borders (RWB) declared in a statement. Macías, the fourth journalist murdered in 2011, used social networks to denounce drug traffickers’ actions in the region. “It has become virtually impossible to work as a journalist, but the federal authorities continue to delay implementation of an agreement for protecting journalists that was signed a year ago,” RWB added. By Dialogo September 29, 2011last_img read more