‘Mass Layoffs’ Today at Two Biggest Coal Mines in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Benjamin Storrow for the (Casper) Star Tribune:The two largest coal mines in America announced massive layoffs Thursday morning.Peabody Energy cut 235 people at North Antelope Rochelle, or 15 percent of the workforce at America’s largest mine south of Gillette. Arch Coal said it was cutting 15 percent of its workforce at its Black Thunder Mine near Wright.The news comes in the face of an extended downturn in the coal markets and rising environmental regulations. It also marks a new chapter for Wyoming’s coal industry, which has largely avoided the massive cutbacks seen in Appalachia and elsewhere.The layoffs are also notable as they come at what are generally reckoned to be the largest and most cost effective mines in the country. North Antelope Rochelle and Black Thunder generally mine around 100 million tons of coal annually.Full article: Mass layoffs announced at Black Thunder and North Antelope Rochelle ‘Mass Layoffs’ Today at Two Biggest Coal Mines in U.S.last_img read more

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More Delays on Marquee Nuclear Project in Finland

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Olkiluoto-3, able to power about 3 million homes, will be delayed until May 2019 from its previously expected to start at the end of next year, according to Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, the Helsinki-based utility that will operate the unit. Areva SA, the supplier, said it needed more time to adjust the production schedule.Plagued by cost overruns and legal tangles, the delay is the latest setback for the 1,600-megawatt reactor meant to provide cheap power to companies from Finnish papermakers UPM-Kymmene Oyj and Stora Enso Oyj to a Google Inc. server farm. The nation last year had to import a quarter of its electricity in the wholesale market, where prices for delivery to Finland are about 21 percent higher than the Nordic-region average.Olkiluoto-3 was billed by Areva and Siemens AG as a showcase for next-generation EPR-reactor technology when construction started in 2005. The project’s initial 3 billion-euro ($3.5 billion) cost has swelled to more than 8 billion euros.The latest delay is for adjustments based on information from a similar reactor being built in China, as well as a more cautious assessment of how quickly the unit will reach full production, an Areva spokesman said by phone. Fuel loading is scheduled for August 2018 and the first connection to the grid is in the following December.The new reactor technology is proving tricky even in state-owned Areva’s home market. The cost of an EPR at Flamanville in France has tripled since construction started in 2007 in a project that’s six years behind schedule. When construction began, Olkiluoto-3 was to be the world’s biggest reactor and the first with EPR technology. That mantle may now go to China, which plans to start two 1,660-megawatt EPR-reactors in Taishan within the next 18 months.The Finnish project’s parties are suing each other over the delays. TVO won part of its case against Areva-Siemens in July at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. A final arbitration decision is expected early next year.Areva has been delisted from the stock exchange by the French state, which injected 2 billion euros in the entity in July to help it complete the Olkiluoto project and pay back some loans. Areva is also due to sell a majority stake in its reactor business to Electricite de France SA by the end of the year to raise further funds.More: Finland’s 10-Year Wait for a Nuclear Reactor Just Got Longer More Delays on Marquee Nuclear Project in Finlandlast_img read more

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Resistance at FERC to White House Plan for Aid to Coal and Nuclear Industries

first_imgResistance at FERC to White House Plan for Aid to Coal and Nuclear Industries FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday that a directive from the U.S. energy secretary to prop up struggling nuclear and coal power plants has initiated an important conversation, but hinted the agency may not pass the plan without changes.Late last month, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed FERC, an independent agency, to pass a rule within 60 days that would allow certain coal and nuclear plants that store 90 days of fuel on site to recover full costs through regulated pricing, saying the plan increases reliability of the nation’s power grid.Last week, FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee told reporters that he did not want to do anything to disrupt the existing power market structure, formed over nearly two decades and large investments.His Republican counterpart on the commission, Robert Powelson, said this month that Perry was being thoughtful, but there were “many different approaches on how we can tackle this issue.” Powelson said he would leave his job if a new rule undoes organized and competitive power markets, according to a report by S&P Global Market Intelligence’s SNL.Cheryl LaFleur, the Democrat on the commission, tweeted that Powelson’s comment was a “Great Message.”Chatterjee stressed at Tuesday’s conference that FERC makes its own decisions. Later on Tuesday Senator Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate energy committee and 10 of her Democratic colleagues, wrote a letter urging FERC to reject Perry’s proposed rule because it would result in higher power bills for consumers.Power markets are changing with swift closures of both coal and nuclear plants but also a rapid rise in solar and wind power, said Chatterjee, a former adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and one of two Republicans on FERC. The grid has maintained its reliability during these changes but only with the vigilance of regulators, he said.More: U.S. regulator hints at changes to plan boosting coal, nuclear plantslast_img read more

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Vestas tops 100GW mark in wind turbine installations

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Danish wind energy business Vestas says it has become the first company to install 100 gigawatts (GW) of wind turbines.In an announcement Wednesday, the firm said it reached the milestone in late 2018, when it installed a V110-2.0 MW turbine at MidAmerican Energy’s Wind XI project in Iowa. The Wind XI facility is set to have a capacity of 2,000 MW and will be made up of “multiple sites in Iowa.”Vestas installed its first turbine, in Denmark, in 1979. It has gone on to install more than 66,000 in roughly 80 countries. The company’s biggest turbine is currently the V150-4.2 MW.The Vestas CEO, Anders Runevad, said in a statement Wednesday that reaching the 100 GW milestone had “required continuous innovation, strong commitment and great execution from all Vestas’ employees.”The wind industry added more than 52 GW of new wind power in 2017, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.More: Vestas reaches 100-gigawatt wind turbine installation landmark Vestas tops 100GW mark in wind turbine installationslast_img read more

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Spain’s Repsol says it is spending more on green energy than oil and gas exploration

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Repsol SA has invested more in recent months in developing renewable power projects than searching for oil and gas, offering the latest example of how Europe’s energy giants are accelerating their shift away from fossil fuels.The Spanish firm has spent 199 million euros ($232 million) this year on oil exploration, in countries ranging from the U.S. and Russia to Indonesia, compared with about 300 million euros developing new clean energy projects. The growth of the renewables division may also make it feasible to bring in an external partner or hold an initial public offering of the unit in the future, Chief Executive Officer Josu Jon Imaz told analysts on Thursday.Repsol surprised the industry in December when it wrote down the value of its assets by 4.8 billion euros to adjust for lower crude prices in the future and said it would target net-zero emissions of greenhouses gases by 2050, the first major oil company to do so. Since then, larger rivals including Total SE, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc, have unveiled their own plans to focus on clean energy.About 30% of Repsol’s capital expenditure in 2020 will be on low-emissions projects, and about 25% in the next few years, Imaz told Spain’s parliament in September. The company is set to present a new strategic plan in late November.This is the second major corporate shift by Repsol in just over 20 years. The Spanish refiner and gas station operator only became an oil producer after acquiring YPF SA in 1998. Its upstream division was for years populated by Argentine executives who worked for YPF, and even its power division is run by a former YPF employee.[Rodrigo Orihuela]More: Spanish oil giant now spends more on renewable energy than oil drilling Spain’s Repsol says it is spending more on green energy than oil and gas explorationlast_img read more

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How to Survive Bonnaroo

first_imgBonnaroo FestivalSee a full listing of festivals in our 2012 Festival Guide here.Every June, close to 100,000 music fans congregate on a 700-acre farm outside of Manchester, Tennessee for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. The musician line up is always eclectic and impressive, and Bonnaroo has grown to be one of the premier live music festivals in the world. 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the iconic gathering. Don’t you think it’s time you made the trip? Consider this your Guide to Bonnaroo. SEVEN THINGS EVERY BONNAROO VIRGIN SHOULD KNOW Frequent BRO contributor Tara Lynne Groth recently published the first and only guidebook to Bonnaroo, How Do You Roo? We asked Groth to give us five tips that will help make a first timer’s Bonnaroo as comfortable as possible. She came up with seven. Find more of Tara Lynne’s wisdom at howdoyouroo.com1) Avoid rush hour Even after unveiling new traffic management plans last year, it still took me seven hours to go 10 miles. Unless there’s someone you’re dying to see Thursday night, consider showing up early Friday morning and you’ll miss most of the traffic. You’ll have to set up your tent farther away, but there are shuttles, and the walk isn’t that bad.2) The sun hates you I put on sun block every hour and I still got burned. Forget the tank tops and bikinis—wear t-shirts that have sunblock in them. And you can tell the veterans by their campsites. They have really sturdy awnings and gazebos for sun protection. The sun rises at 6am and it’s hot, so unless you have an additional cover outside of your tent, you’ll be waking up at 6am too. Here’s a trick: run a tarp from the top of your car to the far end of your tent, giving your site shade from the sun.3) Find peace when you can There’s not a lot of down time at Bonnaroo, but Centeroo is peaceful between 6am and 11am. It’s also a treasure field of cash, phones, watches, etc. that people lost the night before. The Cinema Tent offers a respite from the hectic Bonnaroo scene. Last year, Cartoon Network was testing out webisodes of shows they were considering putting on air. It was neat to watch the network people watching the test audience for reactions. The comedians were also a great break. The music is always there. It’s nice to sit down and take a break.4) Wear galoshes Big, plastic boots are the best footwear for Bonnaroo. You’ll see all other kinds of shoes stuck in the mud, orphaned from the night before.5) Skip the showers The public showers are $7.  There’s a big mushroom fountain in Centeroo where you can “rinse off” and the Garnier Fructis Salon Tent will wash and style your hair for free. Bring some wet wipes to scrub yourself between rinses, and you’ll be fine without a shower.6) Don’t forget the car charger People have complained about cell service at Bonnaroo for years, but last year, the service was great. The lines for the charging stations were very long, though. Bring a car charger or solar-powered charger if you want to stay connected.7) Look beyond the Roo People don’t realize the Jack Daniels Distillery is just a half-hour from Bonnaroo. They offer free tours with free tastings. And that’s just one quick road trip you can hit from Bonnaroo. 1 2last_img read more

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To Build a Fire

first_imgMy kids’ first camping trip. In my mind, it’s the first in a series of monumental events for my children, ranking right up there with their first communion and high school graduation. Maybe I’m building the experience up too much, but I have certain expectations from their first night beneath the stars. Cue the montage of tranquil fishing scenes, flashlight enhanced ghost stories, and impromptu lessons on the various tree species of the Southern Appalachians. A lesser father might look at this as just a night in the woods, but to me, this camping trip is to be the turning point, where my two toddlers become outdoorsy, adventurous, curious human beings. With any luck, it will serve as the sort of iconic childhood memory that my kids will feel compelled to repeat when they become parents themselves.We’ll hit all the first time camper highlights: tent, creek, hike, spooky stories…but I’m going to seal the deal with a roaring campfire where I’ll introduce my kids to the art of the s’more. Little known fact: s’mores were invented by a father trying to win over the affection of his adolescent children. I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems like the kind of snack a dad would come up with while trying to impress his offspring.Two graham crackers, a hunk of Hershey’s milk chocolate, and a roasted marshmallow. Squeeze it together, and what do you get? Love. Cry hyperbole if you like, but the s’more is so powerful, so iconic, it has its own national holiday. National S’mores day lands in the middle of August, somewhere between Independence Day and Labor Day. That’s no coincidence.Of course, before my kids can taste a s’more, I have to get a fire started, which, historically, has been a bit of an issue for me. My lack of pyro skills is legendary among certain circles. Typically, it’s just a comical interlude in a camping trip. I try, I fail, we laugh and someone with better skills makes the sticks go boom. No harm, no foul. But with my kids standing behind me, their sticks in hand topped with fluffy marshmallows, literally dancing with anticipation, there’s a bit more pressure than usual to get the fire going.I do everything I’m supposed to do. I’ve always been a fan of the teepee method, so I’ve got a solid foundation of newspaper tinder, surrounded by a ring of small sticks leaning against each other. The wood is dry, the matches are long…my wife nixed the gasoline helper but I have a quick start log nearby for good measure. It’s textbook really, which is why it’s so frustrating when the fire doesn’t get past the blue smoke phase. Meanwhile, my kids stand behind me, sticks at the ready, chanting “Fire! Fire! Fire!” waiting to roast some damn marshmallows. Enter the string of profanities from their father.I reload the paper, strike the match, and wait as the fire starts to smoke, then flame bright before burning out like an ‘80s hair band. I reload and go again, but it’s no better. I go for the easy-start log, which burns dull before crapping out.Seeing the direction I’m heading with my obscenities and rage-like desire to burn everything in sight, my wife tries to drag the kids off to collect more firewood, but the little tikes are steadfast, holding their marshmallowed sticks, ready for their dad to make good on his promise of a “campfire so big, you’ll be able to see it from the moon.”It’s even more frustrating knowing that the cave man, without the benefit of any state-funded education, basically did what I’m trying to do 790,000 years ago with two rocks. Hell, idiots start accidental fires all the time. I’ve personally started two “spontaneous brush fires” in my day, thanks to some illegally purchased alcohol and fireworks. If only I could be so lucky today. Now, I couldn’t start a fire with a blowtorch in a sea of Georgia pine straw. Maybe I need some bottle rockets and a sixer of Zima, like back in the day.For a minute, I think there’s some sort of atmospheric disturbance that’s squelching any attempt to build a fire. A lack of oxygen perhaps? Some weird side affect of global warming? But a quick survey of the other campsites in the campground shows one family after the other enjoying roaring campfires, compliments of fathers far more capable than I.All I want is for my kids to see their dad harness the power of fire like some sort of mythological god–is that too much to ask? If I can ever get this fire roaring, I picture myself taking them under my arm and saying, “When you’re older, I’ll teach you how to build a fire.” Then they’d hug me, and they’d never do drugs or go through an awkward goth phase.What actually happens is I keep stuffing the fire with more paper and hurrying my kids to roast their marshmallows while the pitiful flame lasts. It’s more blue smoke than actual flame, but it’s hot enough to roast the marshmallows. S’mores are made. The kids stuff their faces, then run off into the woods, my wife chasing after them with a wet wipe, worried about bears and the melted chocolate on their faces.A few weeks later, I’ll get a roaring fire started in our front yard with some dry leaves and sticks. I’ll beckon my wife and kids to the front yard to gaze upon my creation, but they’ll just stare at me oddly as I dance around the steady flame, saying, “Look! Look at what Daddy did!”It’ll be an impressive fire—even my neighbors will say so in their own way, but its significance won’t register with my kids at the time. They’re too young to truly comprehend the weight of the lessons I’m trying to teach them. But I’m certain the camping trip and the yard fire will leave a mark. Perhaps they’ll remember the events fondly when they’re older, and doing everything in their power not to look like jackasses in front of their own children.last_img read more

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Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Checklist

first_imgSo you have been whitewater rafting with your friends, and want more of a challenge… you want to jump in one of those crazy little plastic kayak things!I can’t blame you at all.  Kayaks represent an autonomy that few sports can match.  It’s just you, your boat, and the water.  Rivers represent a simple and beautiful mode of transportation that allows you to see places on our planet that are not accessible through any other means.There are a couple of things that are important to think about as you get into the sport.  Here are my words of advice:1)   Learn from someone who knows what they are talking about.There are a variety of excellent kayak instruction outfits across the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Check out the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the US National Whitewater Center in North Carolina, ACE Adventures in West Virginia, and Liquid Adventures near Washington D.C.  Good instruction is irreplaceable for your paddling progression and your safety on the river.  That initial foundation of skills cannot be stressed enough.2)   Buy used initially to see what you like, and then spend the big bucks for the right gear once you’re educated on the sport.While it’s nice to jump in and have superfly gear, it may be helpful to get a “starter” boat and gear, and dial in exactly what it is that interests you in the sport.  Kayaking has a myriad genres – slalom, extreme, playboating, squirt boating, river running… and each one is appealing to different folks.  Once you figure out exactly what you want, spend the extra money and get the gear that specializes in that.  Expect to pay around $600 for the initial used gear, and maybe close to $2000 for the nicest new setup.  I’m a bit biased, but definitely take a good look at the Dagger line of boats 😉Once you’ve bought that equipment, you’re set!  No lift tickets in this sport; just drive to the river and put on.3)   Practice your rolls and handrolls!The eskimo roll is the single most important skill for the beginning kayaker.  Until you have that dialed, you will be swimming out of your boat every time you flip, and your gear will go everywhere in what we refer to as the “yardsale.”  Learn the correct technique for rolling your boat upright with or without your paddle, and then practice, practice, practice.  You want this to become second nature.  Once you have it, the sky is the limit!4)   Join a local paddling community.There are many excellent clubs throughout the Southeast to network and meet other paddlers.  These clubs host presentation nights, video premieres, and group trips.  This is the next step after the initial instruction phase.  Once you are paddling confidently in these clubs, you may also split off and paddle with a couple of individuals who are at the same skill level and have the same goals as you.  Don’t forget to pay it forward once you are at that level.  The experts giving up their knowledge to beginners is what makes clubs such a valuable thing.  If you are a college student, you have a leg up on this – many Southeastern schools have excellent paddling programs.5)   Run a slow progression of difficulty in rivers as you improve.Check out the current Blue Ridge Outdoors issue for a list of the best rivers of the Southeast.  There is something for everyone’s taste in there, and you will surely develop your own favorites based on where you live and your appetite for adventure.  The most important thing is to take it slow, and not rush your progression.  Whitewater is a very unforgiving medium, and if you try to push it too far too fast, bad things can happen.  Focus on making difficult moves in easy whitewater, and then moving up slowly.  American Whitewater and the excellent guidebooks by Brushy Mountain Publishing can be great resources for dialing in which rivers you will want to run.I hope that is helpful to you beginner and intermediate paddlers!  It truly is an incredible sport, and please don’t blame me if it becomes a crippling addiction that supercedes other priorities in your life!  Kayaking tends to do that.Good lines, and see you on the river.Chris Gragtmanslast_img read more

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Change It Up

first_imgHealthy Tip#: 32546: Makes Like the LeavesThis week’s healthy tip involves taking a tip from Mother Nature, to let that chlorophyll kick in, and do more than put on a colorful sweater; this week’s healthy tip is to change it up a bit.Make like the leaves and change it up a bit, put a little variation to the usual, add a little color to your life. It is easy to make the daily routine a weekly thing, but just like the changing landscape outside, it is important to stay on your toes and mix it up a bit. Walk to work, catch a sunrise, eat at a new restaurant; do whatever it takes to get your routine-ridden bones stretched out a bit.red leavesOld dogs can learn new tricks. It takes a little time and patience, but most of all, learning new things involves taking that first step in a fresh direction. Try something new, try something that you have always been interested in, and just get out and try something, anything at all. The weather will never be better, the time more available, and better excuses will always come up. Consider it adjusting to the cold weather, but adding a different shade to your life will allow your true colors to show.Catch the summer saga and original blog @ www.adventurethirsty.blogspot.com-Bradlast_img read more

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Clips of the Week: West Virginia Wilderness, River Running, and Skiing

first_imgOur favorite outdoor web videos from around the internet from the week that was:1. Wild, Wonderful West Virginia WildernessBRO contributor John Bryant Baker sent us this little ode the the Wilderness of West Virginia including gorgeous shots of the Gauley and New river gorges. Great video with an equally great message: get out and experience all this great country has to offer.There Are Places: Discovering Wilderness in West Virginia from john bryant baker on Vimeo.2. Getting the Goods on the ChattoogaThis is a great little POV of running the Chattooga River from Colin Hunt. Colin apparently loves the kayaking equivalent of the wheelie, and for good reason: it looks like fun. The water also looks choice and the weather perfect. Makes for a great video experience.Chattooga Goods 2.0 from Colin Hunt on Vimeo.3. Everyone’s HometownBack to West Virginia as a videographer from Santa Barbara, California travels to Thomas for their annual Mountaineer Days, and likes what he finds in this little mountain town. You can vote for Thomas’s sister city Davis, WV in our Best Mountain Towns Reader Poll, so go ahead and do that. Who’s ready for winter?4. ValhallaWe’ll end with the latest trailer for the upcoming Sweetgrass Productions ski movie titled Valhalla. This movie is getting major attention because it’s trippy as hell and is the latest entry in what appears to be a trend in the ski film industry of moving away from straight skiing shots towards….well, something else. Sweetgrass leads the way in this department along with Sherpa Cinemas.Sweetgrass Productions’ VALHALLA – Trailer 2 from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.last_img read more

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