FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:State-controlled French utility EDF will shut down its 580 megawatt (MW) Le Havre 4 coal-fired power plant in the spring of 2021, grid operator RTE said on Friday.The move is in line with a government decision to phase out France’s remaining coal-fired power plants to curb carbon emissions while boosting generation from renewables.“In line with the orientation of the French Multiannual Energy Plan, EDF is getting prepared to decommission Le Havre coal power plant in spring 2021,” RTE said on its website.Late on Thursday the moderate CFDT trade union said that EDF had informed workers of the shutdown and that it is against the proposal, adding that the closure will come a year ahead of the government’s plan to close all coal-fired power plants by 2022.CFDT said management had told the union that EDF’s other coal power plant, the 580 MW Cordemais 5, will continue operating and would be converted to burn biomass under the Ecocombust project from 2022 until 2026.France’s two other coal-fired plants are the Emile Huchet 6 and Provence 5, with combined installed capacity of 1,200 MW, operated by German utility Uniper.More: France’s EDF to close Le Havre coal-fired power plant in spring 2021 French utility EDF to close Le Havre coal plant in 2021
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
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Cheaper natural gas prices this year are likely to cement Europe’s shift away from coal as a fuel for producing power.Abnormally mild winter weather has cut demand for the fuel as a flood of new supplies entered the world’s biggest gas market. That along with higher costs for carbon-emissions allowances has tilted the economics of generating electricity away from coal and toward using more gas.“Policy makers in Europe are now happy with such low natural gas prices,” said Ewout Eijkelenboom, senior consultant at the Netherlands-based industry adviser Kyos Energy Consulting. “It makes the coal phase-out easier than expected — it is almost a natural way of exiting coal.”Falling gas prices are a global phenomenon. Liquefied natural gas projects are pumping out record numbers of cargoes, cutting wholesale gas costs from the U.S. to Asia. That in turn has helped push down the cost of electricity across Europe, taking some of the heat out of the political debate about energy.Benchmark gas in Amsterdam plunged to a five-month low last week because of the global glut. Market rates for the coming summer are at the lowest since at least 2007. It’s especially notable that the weakness has arrived during the winter, which is peak-demand season.“We’ll need to do something with all that surplus gas,” said Elchin Mammadov, a European utilities analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “I’m expecting a further drop in prices and more coal-to-gas switching.”[Vanessa Dezem and Mathew Carr]More: Cheap natural gas is about to kick more coal out of Europe Low gas prices, warm weather pushing coal out of European generation market
Inter Pipeline boosts expected cost of new petrochemical project in Alberta FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Canadian Press:Inter Pipeline Ltd. is warning that the cost of building its Heartland Petrochemical Complex has risen by about $500 million and its in-service date may be delayed due to factors including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.When announced in December 2017, the cost of the plant northeast of Edmonton designed to convert plentiful Alberta propane into polypropylene plastic pellets for export to manufacturers was estimated at $3.5 billion.The Calgary-based company says the project now is expected to cost about $4 billion following a detailed analysis of work that remains after $2.5 billion spent to date. Inter adds measures at the construction site to deal with the pandemic could push startup to early 2022 from the initial schedule to open in late 2021.In March, Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corp. reported it would defer construction of its proposed nearby similar petrochemical project because of market conditions. It had increased the estimated cost by $400 million to $4.9 billion in January.Inter says it is continuing its quest announced late last year to enlist a partner to share costs of the project. Pembina’s project is a 50-50 joint venture with Petrochemical Industries Company of Kuwait.Pembina was awarded $300 million and Inter Pipeline Ltd. got $200 million in royalty credits in 2016 as an Alberta government incentive for the projects.More: Inter Pipeline warns of higher costs, delays for petrochemical project northeast of Edmonton
EarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What are “agrofuels” and why are organizations like Friends of the Earth campaigning against them? — Bill Wilson, Boise, IDAgrofuels, also known as biofuels (e.g., ethanol, biodiesel), are fuels derived from plants instead of from oil or other fossil fuels. What makes them appealing to environmentalists and others, at least in theory, is the fact that they can be a carbon-neutral energy source.Plants take in and store carbon dioxide (CO2) during the process of photosynthesis. When plants die, whether through natural causes or when humans harvest them, this stored CO2 is released back into the atmosphere in an age-old cycle that doesn’t contribute any additional greenhouse gas into the system. But when we extract and burn oil and other fossil fuels, we are taking CO2 that would have otherwise remained locked up deep below the Earth’s surface and releasing it into the atmosphere, essentially overloading the planet’s carbon balance and leading to more global warming.But as things stand today, the overall process of producing agrofuels is far from carbon neutral, given the fossil fuels expended in growing, harvesting and processing the crops (petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, diesel fuel to run tractors, etc…) and then distributing them (via carbon-spewing trucks, trains, ships and airplanes). Of course, growing such crops organically and processing and distributing them without fossil fuels would help close the gap between today’s reality and the dream of carbon-neutrality.Another major hurdle for agrofuels is the fact that harvesting crops across millions of acres for fuel instead of for food would leave many hungry mouths to feed in the U.S. and elsewhere. Researchers are hoping to overcome this conundrum by generating agrofuels from less land- and input-intensive “crops” such as switchgrass, sugarcane, wood waste or even algae. The latter “feedstock” is especially promising because it can be grown in non-traditional agricultural settings including indoor labs and even on off-shore ocean platforms. But regardless of the wow factor, producing small quantities of fuel from such experimental crops costs hundreds times more than getting oil to gas pumps, so researchers have a long way to go before agrofuels made from these nouveau source crops can make inroads into the mainstream.Given the issues with producing agrofuels domestically, suppliers are increasingly looking to source them abroad, essentially trading one set of foreign fuel producers for another. But according to Friends of the Earth International (FOEI), “Land grabbing by large companies and agro-businesses to the detriment of local livelihoods, forests and other ecosystems, with gross violations of human rights, have been witnessed in many countries where agrofuels are produced.” FOEI adds: “The production of agrofuels…is generating serious environmental damage and eroding the people’s ability to control the production, trade and consumption of food, given that more and more agricultural land is being devoted for energy crops.”As recently as five years ago environmentalists were hailing agrofuels as a viable alternative to fossil fuels in the face of increased global warming and skyrocketing oil prices. But as the agrofuels industry starts to grow up, many are wondering whether or not pursuing such a baggage-laden alternative is really worth the trouble, especially in light of more promising developments in other sectors of the renewable fuels sector.CONTACT: Friends of the Earth International, www.foei.org.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
Best Mountain Towns of the Blue Ridge – Part II from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.The city of Roanoke, Va., killed it this year in our 2013 Best Mountain Town poll. Also among the top three for Best Beer Town, our readers voted Roanoke Best Trail Town. Some local riders met me just outside the city at Carvins Cove to show me what the trails around town have to offer.To read more about the other mountain towns check out our November issue in print or online here. Soundtrack: Garden Gate, by Jared Bartman.
Most anglers can trace the earliest days of their fly fishing journey back to one single outing, and often times that outing was made possible by none other than dear old Dad. Dads tend to be the primary reason why most fishermen and women take a liking to and ultimately develop a passion for the sport of fishing. But that’s not always the case.This time last year, the outdoor brand YETI, turned this assumption on its head with a moving video series titled “My Old Man”. The series follows several prominent outdoorsmen and women, and highlights the role—or lack thereof— that their respective fathers played in bringing the joy of the outdoors into their lives, as well the way in which they choose to share the power of the outdoors with their own children.One of the videos profiles Hilary Hutcheson, who I interviewed for an article on women in fly fishing just last year. Hutcheson, who grew up in Glacier, Montana where her father worked as a ranger for the National Park Service, had a unique story to tell.Though her father’s family lineage was heavily steeped in fly fishing culture and tradition, he himself had never taken it up as a passion, instead opting for the thrills of mountain climbing and other pursuits more closely associated with his high stakes job as a search and rescue ranger for NPS. The video below, titled “The Last Best Man”, follows Hilary and her father Dave as they embark on his very first fly fishing adventure on home waters in stunning Northwest Montana.It’s a touching short video that shows a rare role reversal where a fishing obsessed daughter gets to teach the art of fly fishing to her novice father, instead of the other way around. It gets particularly exciting when Dave hooks his first trout the fly somewhere around the five minute mark.To check out the rest of the videos in the YETI “My Old Man” series, including a great short film on the fishing guide son of legendary songwriter Townes Van Zandt, J.T. Van Zandt and a video profiling big wave surfer and avid hunter Shane Dorian, click here.
Embed Audio PlayerSammy BrueDown With DesperationUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 2:29 3:34 Shy Of Shameless Chad Elliott And The Redemptions My Blue Ridge Mountain Home Tyler Grant & Robin Kessinger 4:46 3:01 Cold Night The Last Bison 5:09 3:27 2:24 3:02 4:18 Drink From The Bottle The Lark And The Loon Nerva And Dumbo Robert Walter’s 20th Congress Liza Courtney Hartman & Taylor Ashton 3:04 More Lovin’ Mandy Barnett 3:25 Salim Nourallah, a Dallas based singer/songwriter, has taken a bit of an unconventional approach as he prepares to share his latest release, Somewhere South of Sane, with the world.Nourallah has been introducing fans, new and old alike, to a song per day via various social platforms during the lead up to the September 28th release of the new double album. Trail Mix is excited to be involved, as the launch of our September mix marks the debut of Nourallah’s “Whiteheart.”Regarding the song, Nourallah offers that it embodies his approach to his new record.“It hangs in the air, as if it’s been suspended in outer space. I challenge you, sweet listener, to find the beat. Listen as closely as you wish. There isn’t one. This is the song in which I fully embrace and accept that Somewhere South of Sane has nothing at all to do with dropping or relying on beats. In fact, you can even call it my anti-beat record, if you’d like. I didn’t deliberately set out to make a drum-free record, though. It just turns out that the kind of songs I’d been writing over the past three years didn’t strike me as calling out for them.”Trail Mix is happy to be a part of this ambitious plan to bring listeners each and every song on Somewhere South of Sane. To keep up with the release of the rest of the album’s tracks, be sure to follow Salim Nourallah on Twitter.Lots of other good stuff awaits on this month’s Trail Mix. Check out brand new tunes from Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Sammy Brue, Mandy Barnett, Malcolm Holcombe, The Cody Sisters Band, Nobody’s Girl, Brother Reverend, decker., Nate Smith, Chad Elliot & The Redemptions, Benjamin Jason Douglas, Thomas Cassell, Wes Charlton, Tyler Grant & Robin Kessinger, Courtney Hartman & Taylor Ashton, The Lark & The Loon, Eddie Heinzelman, and Bob Bradshaw.Stay tuned to the Trail Mix blog this month,too. Chats with The Last Bison, Tyler Grant, and Wes Charlton are on deck.And did you like what you hear? If you did – even if it was just one track – get out there and buy some of this music. Grab a concert ticket or a tee shirt. Show these tremendous artists who make Trail Mix what it is each and every month a little love and support. They will certainly appreciate it. 5:12 4:30 Another Hand Brother Reverend 3:50 5:23 Track 5 Comeback Kid Wes Charlton 4:21 Riding Out The Storm Nobody’s Girl 4:54 Gloria Benjamin Jason Douglas 3:58 Fireside Thomas Cassell 2:59 2:29 Medicine Eddie Heinzelman Burnin Grass decker. Umbrella The Cody Sisters Band 3:43 Whiteheart Salim Nourallah Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. Albuquerque Bob Bradshaw Down With Desperation Sammy Brue A Girl Named America Nate Smith
Utah is home to some of the best free camping in the country. Along Goblin Valley Road (headed towards the above destination) there are many incredibly scenic and free campsites. This is where we set up basecamp for a couple of days, while we explored the area. Most areas don’t have shade although there are a few campsites near the creek that had some trees. You’ll need at least an SUV to access them. We settled by making our own shade with the van and letting the strong desert breeze cool us down. This is also a certified dark sky area and we haven’t seen the Milky Way that vibrant in a long time. After hiking on hot sandstone all day we wanted to give Henry’s paws a break. Goblin Valley State Park is a few minutes down the road from the Little Wildhorse trailhead and is the perfect stop on a rest day. The easily accessible valley is home to some of the most unique sandstone structures in the San Rafael Swell. There are yurts and a campground within the state park that can be booked through their website. By the time we reached the Moab area to explore Dead Horse Point State Park (a dog-friendly state park with views of Canyonlands National Park), the mid-day temperatures had reached 105 degrees. We got a tip from a local to head into the La Sal Mountains (about 30 minutes out of town) for a break from the heat. We look the La Sal Loop Road out of town and as we gained elevation we also gained some incredible views. We found an excellent campsite under some trees where we stayed for the final two nights on our trip. There is ample camping in the area and it just takes a little exploring to find it. From here we dropped back down to the desert to hike the Fischer Towers. Explore the La Sal Mountains Hike Little Wildhorse Canyon to Bell Canyon Loop As with all of the hikes mentioned in this article, make sure to hike early in the morning or late in the day. This time is the best lighting for photographs and makes sure you avoid the hottest part of the day. We hiked this loop counter-clockwise by hiking Little Wildhorse Canyon first. If we had to do this hike again we would probably hike Bell canyon first. Little Wild Horse is by far a more scenic canyon. In fact, this is one of the most scenic canyon hikes that we have ever done. The canyon provides shade in the morning and evening so you can stay cool and enjoy the view. Your dog will need to be a fairly confident rock-hopper to complete the loop without assistance. We hiked early during the week and had the hike to ourselves. No need for ropes or canyoneering experience. Be cognizant of rains in the area, the canyons can flood. After a brief stop in Denver to see some friends and get some work done, we re-filled our water tanks and continued our drive West. It was cool in Denver when we arrived. Summer hadn’t yet hit its stride. We don’t usually consider late June as being “desert season” but as while looked at the forecast for central Utah it was sixty degrees and raining in Denver. While we sat outside in the cool evening air, temperatures in the high 90’s didn’t seem so bad. We love the desert but the desert doesn’t love our dog. Henry is a bit of a drama king when it comes to heat and he’s not allowed in any of the national parks. With a little research, we were able to find some epic dog-friendly hikes and we were able to beat the heat to boot. Camp in the San Rafael Swell Visit Goblin Valley State Park If you need something to do mid-day or on your way out of town, make sure to take a dip in the Colorado River. It might be triple digits outside but the cold snow-melt water of the mighty Colorado will be sure to keep you cool. There are several beaches and put-in just a few minutes from town that make a perfect beach for a hot summer day. As we barreled west across Kansas back to Colorado, we couldn’t help but think of the Utah desert. So much so, that Roxy began to have dreams about it. We gazed across the rolling prairies and industrial poultry farms, but our minds were fixed on sandstone arches and a night sky illuminated by the Milky Way. Maybe it was the onslaught of rain we dealt with this spring, but we were craving the arid, high-desert in central Utah. Go for a swim in the Colorado River There is one way for this tour to be a reality– our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to all of our awesome sponsors that make this tour happen: Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Leki, Big Agnes, Stio, Roofnest, and Franklin County, VA. For more info on our sponsors, check out the post, “Live Outside and Play is Back!”
Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on November 15, 2019 – date subject to change. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mis-transcribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and their promotional partners reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before November 15, 2019 – date and time subject to change. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received. One entry per person or two entries per person if partnership opt-in box above is checked. 2 NIGHT STAY – Roanoke Boutique HotelDowntown Roanoke’s only bed & breakfast designed for outdoor enthusiasts. Equipped for adventures and fueled for sunrise seekers, RBH is your home base for days of trails and nights of downtown action.Jan. 1– Sept. 1, 2020 | Best Available, Black-out Dates Apply.$100 DINING GIFT CERTIFICATE – Blue 5An award-winning, casually elegant, Blues & Jazz themed restaurant and nightclub offering incredible Southern-inspired cuisine, great live entertainment, and an amazing beer selection in a fun and comfortable atmosphere.2 VIP PASSES – TO LOCAL ATTRACTIONSFREE admission to local attractions, including Caverns of Natural Bridge, Kids Square Children’s Museum, River Rock Climbing Gym, Roanoke Mountain Adventures, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Twin River Outfitters, and many more!YETI ROADIE 20 COOLERFrom Dick’s Sporting Goods. This contest is over. Explore the outdoors with awesome opportunities for hiking, biking & paddling, check out the arts & culture at local museums and attractions, and sample the flavors of the region with delicious food & craft beverages. There’s a trail for everyone.Are you ready to create yours?