WSJ: Energy Transition Stalls Fossil-Fuel Projects in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Amy Harder and Erin Ailworth for the Wall Street Journal:Many major fossil-fuel projects across the U.S., from pipelines to export terminals, have been shelved or significantly delayed because of a confluence of new regulations, grass-roots opposition and a drop in energy prices.Overall, more than a dozen projects, worth about $33 billion, have been either rejected by regulators or withdrawn by developers since 2012, with billions more tied up in projects still in regulatory limbo.The trend leaves some communities without access to lower-cost fuel and higher-paying jobs while also reflecting a growing wariness in the public’s eye of fossil fuels.Cancellations are affecting the coal industry’s bid to ship its product through the Pacific Northwest, where local communities are increasingly opposed to fossil fuels due to climate-change concerns.In May, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected a proposed $850 million coal-export terminal proposed for Cherry Point, Wash., a forested, coastal area two hours north of Seattle where two oil refineries and an aluminum facility operate. The agency concluded the proposed terminal would violate tribal fishing rights of the Lummi Nation.The Lummi Nation, which says it has called the Cherry Point region its home for thousands of years, asked the federal government to reject the project in early 2015, supported by a broad array of environmental groups.As with other fossil-fuel projects—including the Keystone XL oil pipeline that President Barack Obama rejected last year—an alliance between Native American tribes and environmental groups proved formidable.Overall, five of the six export projects proposed in the Pacific Northwest in recent years have been shelved by developers or rejected by government regulators. The other project, near Longview, Wash., is awaiting approval.Coal projects face the biggest challenges, but oil and natural-gas companies are also facing headwinds. One natural-gas pipeline proposed for the Northeast was scrapped and another rejected in recent months.Full article ($): Fossil Fuels’ Unpopularity Leaves a Mark WSJ: Energy Transition Stalls Fossil-Fuel Projects in U.S.last_img read more

On the Blogs: Coal Plant Closures to Continue, Analysts Predict

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Forbes:More coal plants are now projected to retire more quickly than experts thought a year ago, according to energy-industry analystswho gathered in Chicago on Tuesday.Three alternative energy sources—wind, solar and natural gas—are expected to divide up the spoils, they said at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower 2018 conference.“The real story I believe is in coal retirements,” said Bruce Hamilton, a director in the energy practice at Navigant, which has modeled every coal plant in the U.S. and projected 73 gigawatts will retire in the next 10 years. “That’s more than twice what we projected last year at this time. It’s more than we had two years ago when the Clean Power Plan was in the assumptions.” The projection changed in part because of more announced retirements, Hamilton said, “but more importantly, the fundamentals of the economics of coal have gotten worse, with costs going up, while the competition for coal—that is, gas, wind and solar—has all gotten cheaper.”Navigant’s projection is more conservative than some:“Our outlook includes about 100 gigawatts of coal retirements,” said Max Cohen, an IHS Markit analyst. “That’s about a third of the fleet.”Dan Shreve of MAKE Consulting expects natural gas to grab much of the 80-90 GW of coal he sees retiring in the next 10 years. But, he added, more gas makes more wind possible:More: Coal Collapsing Faster Under Trump; Wind, Solar, Gas All Benefit On the Blogs: Coal Plant Closures to Continue, Analysts Predictlast_img read more

Australian grid moving steadily toward renewables, decentralization

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:The politics may not change much, but Australia’s electricity grid is changing before our very eyes—slowly and inevitably becoming more renewable, more decentralised, and challenging the pre-conceptions of many in the industry.The latest National Emissions Audit from The Australia Institute, which includes an update on key electricity trends in the National Electricity Market, notes some interesting developments over the last three months.The most surprising of those developments may be the South Australia achievement, which shows that since the closure of the Hazelwood brown coal generator in March 2017, South Australia has become a net exporter of electricity, in net annualised terms.Lead author Hugh Saddler notes that this is a big change for South Australia, which in 1999 and 2000, when it had only gas and local coal, used to import 30 percent of its electricity demand.“The difference today is that the state is now taking advantage of its abundant resources of wind and solar radiation, and the new technologies which have made them the lowest cost sources of new generation, to supply much of its electricity requirements,” Saddler writes.As for rooftop solar, Saddler notes that the share of residential solar in the grid is still relatively small but it is the most steadily growing generation source in the NEM. By 2040, or perhaps 2050, the share of distributed generation, which includes rooftop solar, battery storage and demand management, is expected to reach nearly half of all Australia’s grid demand.More: The Rapidly Changing Dynamics of Australia’s Grid Australian grid moving steadily toward renewables, decentralizationlast_img read more

Trump steel tariffs pose a problem for planned U.S. pipeline projects

first_imgTrump steel tariffs pose a problem for planned U.S. pipeline projects FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):President Donald Trump’s plan to double tariffs on steel imported from Turkey to 50% could place additional financial pressure on Kinder Morgan Inc.’s proposed 1.98-Bcf/d Gulf Coast Express Pipeline LLC and dampen prospects for future U.S. natural gas projects.The escalating trade headwinds for domestic pipeline operators come at a time when transportation constraints in the prolific Permian Basin shale play have increased demand for new takeaway capacity to deliver supplies to market for use in exports and to serve power-hungry Mexico.The Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which moves more than a third of the gas consumed in the U.S., is sourcing 144,000 tonnes of steel pipe from Turkish producer Borusan Mannesmann to be used for Gulf Coast Express. Welspun Tubular is set to produce about 175,000 tonnes for the pipeline at its Little Rock, Ark., mill.“We continue to be concerned that these sorts of trade actions threaten important energy infrastructure projects, and ultimately hurt American consumers and businesses,” the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America said in a statement. The trade group said “companies that made purchasing agreements months or years ago, before the announcement of Section 232 tariffs, are now being unfairly punished for participating in international trade.”Elsewhere, Trump’s trade war with allies and adversaries alike is affecting U.S. pipeline projects.Cheniere Energy Inc. has requested a tariff exclusion for its Midship pipeline project. The pipeline is set to stretch from the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma to pipelines that will allow up to 1.44 Bcf/d to be sent to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It is sourcing pipe for that project from a Canadian supplier. The U.S. Department of Commerce rejected a similar exclusion request by Plains All American Pipeline LP for more than 155,000 tonnes of steel for its Cactus II crude pipeline. The operator is sourcing steel for its pipeline from a Greek manufacturer.More ($): Trump’s Turkey tariff hike expected to hit Kinder Morgan gas pipeline projectlast_img read more

Video of the Week: Isaac Hull

first_imgTurn around, athletes: the next generation is nipping at your heels.You may have spent decades training, but the youngins are taking the outdoor adventure world by storm with just a few years of experience both in life and in sports. Ouch. But as easy as it would be to get discouraged, let’s see if we can’t glean a little inspiration instead.One perfect example is Isaac Hull, a twelve-year-old whitewater kayaker from Richmond, Va., who’s already surpassing the area’s most renowned boaters. This kid is a champ, from the shore to the rapids, and he’s only just getting started. Read more about Isaac here in our own article on “The Future of Adventure.” The video, “ThirtyNineDegrees” was shot on Isaac’s local training grounds, the James River, in the dead of winter – as if we needed another reason to admire him. Check out Isaac not only showing off his incredible skills, but having the time of his life on the water.last_img read more

Experience Transylvania County

first_imgThere’s no better base camp for your outdoor adventure than the “Land of Waterfalls.” Almost fifty percent of the land in Transylvania County is publicly owned and protected, ensuring that you’ll have the chance to enjoy some of the Southeast’s most extraordinary landscapes in places like Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park.Transylvania County: the original “Splashville.”The county’s unique geography allows for 250 magnificent cascades within a few miles of each other. In fact, few things in the natural world are as awe-inspiring as the sight of water pouring off the side of a high stone ledge and clamoring into a rocky pool beneath. Though your first inclination may be stand and marvel, you might not want to spend too much time at any one waterfall. Not when are 249 others you’ll want to visit.Choose a higher path.Whether ascending the side of a mountain, winding through forest glades, or stepping down over mossy stones beside majestic falls, most of our grandest byways are engineered perfectly for two (or four) legged traffic. Transylvania County’s 1000+ miles of trails give hikers of all ages and skill levels the chance to take a turn on the road less traveled.0166Shifting gears: a deeply ingrained biking culturePick up a cycling magazine or eavesdrop on any conversation between serious bikers and you’ll hear Transylvania mentioned in the same breath as Whistler and Moab for its diversity of cycling opportunities. Pisgah and DuPont boast over 300 miles of epic singletrack, and hundreds more miles of fire roads while Transylvania County offers an endless variety of road cycling options. Getting Hooked: fly fishing in Transylvania CountyOur peaceful waterways, bubbling under the leafy canopies in Transylvania County’s forests, make for an excellent location to practice the art of fly fishing. Several local outfitters offer private streams and solitude for those seeking a trophy fish, while multiple locations provide beginners and experts alike the raw materials for their next whopper of a fish tale.fly3268We’re all wet.Transylvania County’s rivers, streams, lakes and waterways can cast you off onto a whole other avenue of paddling adventure. The swift waters of the French Broad allow you to follow the river as far as the current will take you. For those looking for a rockier ride, Transylvania’s tributary rivers offer exciting whitewater during high water.0333Looking Glass Rock: Are you up for it?Simply put, Transylvania County offers some of the best climbing in the Southeast. Looking Glass Rock, one of the largest monoliths in North America, is famous among climbing enthusiasts and receives regular coverage in national magazines. It’s massive granite face offers two- to eight-stage climbs of up to 600 feet. Another great spot that’s less heavily trafficked is Cedar Rock, which offers one- to three-pitch climbs of up to 400 feet. Difficulty ratings on both faces range from 5.4 to 5.13.Get to the heart of it.As if all of this outdoor adventure weren’t enough, an additional reward awaits your discovery at the end of the day. Downtown Brevard offers a fine, relaxed accompaniment to wilderness exploration and a whole new sort of adventure for any and all inclined to follow their senses through one of “America’s Coolest Small Towns.”Discover an exciting new artist in one of Brevard’s cutting edge galleries. Sample a new IPA, pilsner or stout at one of our three celebrated local breweries: Oskar Blues, Brevard Brewing and Ecusta Brewing. And when the day is done, relax under the stars at Brevard Music Center or while dining al fresco at one of our celebrated farm-to-table restaurants.whitesquirrel2502A standing invitation.The treasures of Transylvania County are enough to inspire a lifetime of discovery. All you need is a sense of adventure – and our free Travel Planner and Waterfall map available here. [divider]More for BlueRidgeOutdoors.com[/divider]last_img read more

Bear Encounter in Shenandoah National Park Results in Dog Death

first_imgAccording to a press release put out by the National Park Service, a dog that was accompanying  its owner on hike in Shenandoah National Park was killed yesterday after encountering a black bear sow with cubs.The release states that the hiker happened upon the sow black bear and its two cubs when hiking the Snead Farm Fire Road near the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center.Read the press release below for more details.Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 3.14.18 PMHere’s a Press Release from the NPS: Luray, Virginia: On August 3, 2016 a hiker reported an encounter with a mother bear and two cubs on the Snead Farm Fire Road near Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6 Skyline Drive).The hiker was accompanied by two dogs on retractable leashes. Confronted by the bear, the hiker fled the area, at which point the bear attacked the trailing dog who later died of its injuries.The Snead Farm Fire Road and Loop Trail will remain closed while park staff monitor the area. Hikers with dogs are asked to avoid the Dickey Ridge Area.Park Superintendent Jim Northup said  “We are very sad to learn about this dog that died as a result of injuries from an encounter with a bear in the park. This is a very rare event, and we offer our condolences to the dog’s family”.Park regulations require that dogs be leashed at all times on a leash that is 6′ or less. When confronted by a bear, walkers and hikers should stand their ground, wave their arms and make a lot of noise. Running from a bear can trigger their prey response.last_img read more

Simulation: What Exactly Happens During a Total Solar Eclipse?

first_imgThis short video featuring Weather Channel meteorologist Mark Elliot simulates the exact events of a total solar eclipse, which will be visible on Monday in portions of the Southeast, including North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Kentucky.last_img

Trail Mix – Ruby Boots

first_imgWhen I was fourteen years old, I was a naive freshman in high school. My biggest fear? Not getting worked over by upperclassmen much larger and meaner than I.Bex Chilcott, who records and tours under the name Ruby Boots, had much more significant teenage concerns. On her own by her mid-teens, she was laboring on pearling boats off the coast of her native Australia by fourteen, the same age I was navigating the halls of my high school, living a safe and, in comparison, sheltered existence.That her mettle was tested at such a young age is apparent in Chilcott’s music and is much evidenced on her new release, Don’t Talk About It. Out now on Bloodshot Records, this new collection of songs speaks to Chilcott’s wandering spirit, which eventually landed her in Nashville, and is ripe with hints of punk and garage rock inspiration.It’s a kick ass recording.Chilcott, or Ruby Boots, was kind enough to tackle some questions from me about the pearling, her new record, and taking her music back home.BRO – Hardest day on tour versus hardest day on the pearling boats. Which is worse?RB – This is so tricky, as they are very different environments. When you are out at sea, chipping pearl shell, the work is very, very repetitive and grueling on the body, as it’s very physical, whereas touring can be mentally draining  and everything is constantly changing. I don’t know. I guess I really enjoyed, and enjoy, both things and take each day as it comes, so it’s hard to compare. But I do remember when I started pearling that I had really bad carpal tunnel – so bad that I couldn’t use a knife to butter my toast in the morning. It lasted for three months and was pretty brutal. Oh, and there was this weed that used to grow on the ropes that was called fire weed and when it touched your skin it felt like you had your flesh to a flame. So, yeah, maybe the pearling industry was worse when it came to hard days. But you also don’t get to see whales and sharks on the road!BRO – Nikki Lane is a longtime Trail Mix favorite. Can you talk about those songwriting sessions with her?RB – They are fast and fun. It’s almost like firing back and forth in a rap. It helps that we are close friends, so we relate to each other lyrically because we are very like-minded. Nikki has a love for a good chorus and melodies much the same as I do, so we are very quick to be on the same page.BRO – I’m curious if you are a gear nut. Got a favorite pedal or piece of gear that you can’t play without?RB – I’ve just started to go down the pedal rabbit hole now that I’m playing electric guitar live, so my pedal board is still very PG. I’m keeping it simple but classy. I’m loving my Xotic BB Overdrive with my EP booster. It’s big and ballsy. And my MXR Carbon Copy Delay is just what I need for my clean sound.BRO – We are featuring “It’s So Cruel” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?RB – I love the theme of this song. It is so real. The song is based on that predicament that you can easily find yourself in without even knowing, where one person fails to tell the other person they have a significant other yet acts as though they are single and ready to mingle. It’s a classic dog move, and that’s being polite about it!BRO – You’ve got some shows lined up in Australia. Excited to take these tunes home?RB – I am extremely pumped to be taking the songs to stage in Australia and the US. It’s more of a rock show now, which I have been chomping at the bit to unleash. I just launched the album at The Hideout Inn in Chicago and the place was pumping. Everyone was dancing and sweating in a snow storm and singing along. It was the most perfect start to this album release.Ruby Boots is on the road with her fuzzed out roots rock to celebrate the release of the new record. This week, you can find Ruby and the band at Folk Alliance in Kansas City before she heads back to Nashville. SXSW is also on her calendar in March.For more information on Ruby Boots, the new record, or when you can see her live, please visit her website.And be sure to take a listen to “It’s So Cruel,” along with new tracks from Rainbrother, Janiva Magness, and Django Django on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

Locally Made: Sewn on Solar

first_imgEmployees at Organic Climbing’s facility in Philipsburg, Pa., sew bouldering pads, backpacks, bike bags, and chalk bags. Photo by Jarrod Bunk Helke started sewing crashpads in Wyoming in 2004 after working in the climbing industry as a designer and growing increasingly disappointed with the quality of finished products. He has built his business on producing gear that lasts, softgoods constructed of dense Cordura and ballistic nylons, 95 percent of which he attests are sourced within the U.S. Organic designs their bouldering pads, backpacks, bike bags, and chalk bags not only to be tough, streamlined, and repairable, but also in meticulously unique patterns, so that nearly zero of the diverse palette of fabric cut in their factory goes to waste. Looking for a sustainable path has always been in Helke’s business plan. So when Organic Climbing was awarded a two-percent loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Association in 2017 to build a new home for the company, he knew the next move was running Organic on renewable energy. “It feels good to show people it can be done,” says Helke. “You put in the labor for a solar panel once and it goes for 30 years. We’d like to keep adding solar as we can. We should be able to get another 2,000 square feet over the production area.” Organic Climbing makes sustainable gear in Pennsylvania Rural Pennsylvania may not be the first place that comes to mind when conjuring the headquarters of an internationally distributed gear maker pursuing cleaner solutions to the manufacturing process. The state is steeped in a heritage of extraction, and nowhere is this heritage more relevant than Organic Climbing’s facility, which sits atop reclaimed mining land, overlooking the Moshannon Creek Valley. Nevertheless, Helke and his company have been up to just that in their 15-year history, and since bringing the business to Philipsburg in 2009. Photo by Jarrod Bunkcenter_img “This whole roof is 5,000 square feet of them,” says Josh Helke, owner of Organic Climbing, as he looks up at the ceiling of the showroom, toward the solar panels basking in the sun above. “We average around 350-405 kilowatt hours a day. 8,000 a month.” The panels are responsible for one hundred percent of the power at the newly constructed, 17,000-square-foot workshop in Philipsburg, Pa. In November of 2018, Helke and the 22 employees of Organic Climbing and their second brand, Nittany Mountain Works, moved into the shop, and under the array adopted a new slogan, “Solar Sewn.” Organic’s existing panels already exceed the 3,700-5,000 kilowatt hours needed to operate every month. The goal is to contribute more power to the state grid, for others to use in place of burning fuels that release additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere already containing an average of more than 410 parts per million. Helke believes owning his company independently has allowed him to steer it in the direction of his ethics, rather than focusing heavily on profit margin. He acknowledges, though, there are still difficult issues to contest with, the toughest being the footprint of distribution. But Helke also believes transparency regarding the complete production process is important for consumers to see.  “The full picture is it takes a lot of work, and a lot of money to do the right thing,” says Helke. “We’d probably make more if we weren’t devoted to that. But we are gluttons for punishment, and have our morals, and we will do what it takes to get there.”last_img read more