Mine reclamation needs in Western U.S. of major concern as coal industry weakens ‒ report FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):More than one-third of all land mined for coal in the western U.S. remains unreclaimed after nearly 50 years of mining, according to a new report from a regional network of western conservation organizations.There are about 150,000 unreclaimed acres, or 234 square miles, in the West, according to a report from the Western Organization of Resource Councils, or WORC. That land is either still being mined or is classified as long-term reclamation and mining facilities, such as haul roads and other areas that coal producers deem necessary until the end of the mine life.The report noted the coal industry’s decline and projections of its continuing demise as demand for the fuel wanes. Federal and state governments need to be more active to ensure producers clean up their mines rather than sticking taxpayers with the bill, which may involve policy changes, according to the report.Among its recommendations, the report said policymakers should require companies to provide detailed mine closure plans that include the expected timing and resources the producer has available to put toward the costs of shutting down the operation. The council also suggested that policymakers require companies to create sinking funds to help pay for reclamation obligations and eliminate self-bonding at state and federal levels.Part of the problem is that much of the coal mine is left unreclaimed up until the operation shuts down, requiring the producers to spend a significant amount of money restoring the land just as its revenue stream dries up, according to WORC.“At some point, reclamation costs will overwhelm cash generated from dwindling coal sales. With rising costs and declining revenues, coal companies will likely again file for bankruptcy sometime during this process,” the report said.[Ellie Potter]More ($): More than a third of western US coal mine land left unreclaimed, report says
Family and friends gathered in Bovard Auditorium Saturday to honor the inaugural graduating class of USC Hybrid High School.The commencement ceremony began with an introduction by Hybrid High Principal Mide Macaulay. Vanessa Ruiz, the class president, then repeated the introduction in Spanish, demonstrating the diversity of the school, which is 59 percent Hispanic.Hybrid High School, which is operated by the Rossier School of Education’s charter management organization Ednovate, was founded with the goal of providing individual attention to students and lowering drop-out rates. This year, the school achieved a 100 percent graduation rate.Karen Gallagher, dean of Rossier School of Education, praised the graduating class for collectively earning over 400 college acceptances to 98 different schools. Each of the 85 graduates has been admitted to at least one four-year college, and six have been admitted to USC.“I want to welcome all the Hybrid High graduates — the college-goers and agents of positive multi-generational change,” Gallagher said. “You are fully committed to being change agents, who strive to improve your own lives, as well as the lives of your families and communities, now and in the future. Your success is a tribute to your hard work and dedication.”The ceremony’s keynote address was delivered by USC President C.L. Max Nikias, who shared with students what he termed the “three keys of success”: knowledge, character and good judgment.Nikias stressed that students must constantly listen and read to keep up with the rapid growth of knowledge in the information age.“Your learning experience does not end the moment you receive your diploma. For all of us, learning is a lifelong journey,” Nikias said. “You should find ways to keep yourself informed, and allow others to inform you with new points of view. You should challenge the ideas of others and encourage them to challenge you.”Nikias went on to highlight the importance of good character in guiding the students through life.“Your character is going to be your destiny, and the quality of your character inevitably shapes the course of your life. Character is not about being nice — it’s about earning the trust and respect of your family and friends, and, more importantly, earning the respect of your community,” Nikias said. “You build your character with small acts of honesty, humility, integrity and generosity. The road to true character is a path you must travel alone.”Nikias closed his speech by advising students to exercise good judgment and to commit to their decisions.“Every day, all of us are faced with hundreds of decisions. The difference between success and failure is the ability to consistently make good choices,” Nikias said. “Fortune favors the bold. If you have good judgment, you will make bold decisions that will lead you down an exciting path of adventure, discovery and success.”The valedictorian of the class of 2016, Juan Castro, reflected on the struggles and triumphs that had brought the graduates to this point. He emphasized that, no matter where they would go in the future, they would always be linked by their place in the Trojan Family.“Soon, we will be constellations — stars connected through space. We will be distant stars, illuminating the name of our Trojan Family, but this is the end and a new start. We will be apart, but together,” Castro said. “Our Trojan Family fire is all we need, and everything we have.”
An early goal from freshman Tom Barlow gave the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team the spark it needed to win against Green Bay Tuesday night.Barlow’s goal in the 22nd minute from teammate Mark Segbers was the first early goal for the Badgers in well over two weeks.With Barlow scoring an early goal in the match, Wisconsin was able to control many aspects of the game and keep attacking the Phoenix.“We are in control of the game, so we can do what we want and play how we want,” Barlow said. “It’s a big advantage, we just have to make sure we keep the lead.”Even after scoring the goal, Wisconsin head coach John Trask said he still wanted to see more out of his team.“It’s nice to see that they respond to some motivation,” Trask said. “On game day, I’ve been pretty understanding of what we’ve been going through. Today, I let them have it a little bit at halftime, and compliments to them, I thought they all picked it up.”With the entire team excited about the early goal, the Badgers played an overall better game, especially in the second half.“We kept our discipline. We didn’t just start fouling them and giving them more chances, but usually that’s what you see in a college soccer game,” Trask said. “When one team has the 1-0 lead, the other team all of the sudden gets real aggressive, and sometimes the momentum can switch.”Keeping the lead has been a big challenge for the Badgers this season, as they have conceded goals quickly after scoring goals of their own against Michigan and Rutgers. Allowing a quick response to a goal can greatly shift the momentum of the match, as seen against Michigan and Rutgers — games that UW ended up losing.Because of games like that, the Badgers have been working on drills where they have to keep the lead without fouling the opposing players.“One of the things that was one of our weaknesses early in the year was giving up the late goal,” Segbers said. “Finally, everyone was tuned in and we kept each other accountable, and we kept the 1-0 lead.”They avoided that weakness by consistently attacking throughout the second half, and the pressure in Green Bay’s half of the field allowed them to dominate time of possession in the second half.Trask was also able to seamlessly get a few new players into the mix at halftime, which kept other players fresh while still playing a strong game.“I always felt that as the game wore on, especially in the second half, we looked like the more likely team to get the second [goal],” Trask said.Freshman goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk also kept a clean sheet on the night, keeping the Badgers in the game from the beginning, when Green Bay was at their strongest attacking.The Badger defense played another clean game as well, allowing only three shots on goal throughout the entire match.Offensively, Wisconsin had eight shots on target, with one of those being the goal from Barlow.The team’s aggressive nature was possible in part because of the formation Green Bay played. They were in a 3-5-2, which left fewer defenders in the back, and made it easier for the connection between Segbers, Barlow, and the rest of the Badgers. Wisconsin had not played a team with that formation yet this year, which may have been the reason they felt they could consistently attack.After a rough stretch for the Badgers in which they had lost their last seven games, an early goal was exactly what they needed to get their confidence back up, especially for a young team who was looking for an early morale booster.“I think it gave us so much more confidence. We’ve been coming off some tough losses, so to jump out early and start early boosts team morale,” Segbers said.Trask said he’s happy to get out of the slump, but said he wants to see more urgency to put the opponent away by scoring that second goal. Getting another goal would put the game away and show that the Badgers played an overall solid game.“We weren’t [able to get the second goal] tonight, but that’s the continued journey these guys are on. They can be a bit more ruthless because there were some opportunities presented,” Trask said.This in-state rivalry energized the team and should propel the Badgers as they continue with Big Ten play at Michigan State on Saturday.