Texas Coal Plant at Risk of Shutdown Has Lost Half Its Appraised Value FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Goliad (Texas) Advance Guard:The merger announcement Oct. 30 between Coleto Creek Power Plant owner Dynegy and the Vistra company has raised questions about the future of the plant.Fears that it might be sold, closed – or both – stem from Vistra’s history of closing its coal-powered power plants.Seventeen days before the two companies announced their intention to merge, Vistra announced it was closing three of its coal-powered plants – in Austin, Houston and East Texas.Vistra CEO Curt Morgan reportedly blamed the decision on wholesale power prices, an oversupply of renewable generation and low natural gas prices.Analysts note the difficulty in today’s wind-farm and solar-panel environment for any coal-powered plant to see a profit.Earlier this year, in a research analysis entitled “The Beginning of the End,” The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) noted that “Fundamental changes in the Texas electricity market are putting coal-fired power plants under increasing economic and financial stress, including:Natural gas becoming competitive because of its price collapse.Increased competition from wind- and solar-generating facilities.New public and environmental regulations.“These circumstances,” the report says, “have combined to undermine the profitability of the companies and public power utilities and power agencies which own coal-fired power plants.”The Coleto Creek plant is among seven coal-fired plants in Texas the IEEFA lists as “at risk.”Miller notes that since 2007, “we have seen a general decline in the value of the power plant.”In 2006, the appraised value was $290,468,000. In 2018, the value is $155,000,000 – a drop of 47 percent.Should the plant close, Miller says, the immediate effect would be a loss of $3.4 million to that tax base.Broken down, the loss to the county would be $1.2 million, and to Goliad Independent School District, $1.9 million.“The loss of the plant would have serious repercussions for the community as a whole,” Miller says. “Some serious choices would have to be made. Many don’t realize that Coleto Creek is an integral part of the community.”Nothing immediate is expected because the planned merger is not expected to be finalized until spring, if then.More: No change to power plant status until spring
Bar expands honors for 50-year members Bar expands honors for 50-year members February 15, 2006 Regular News The Florida Bar is expanding its program to honor veteran lawyers by creating a new honor for Bar members who spent part of their careers in other states.At the urging of the Out-of-State Practitioners Division, the Bar Board of Governors recently approved the new effort.The Bar currently recognizes lawyers who have been a member of the Bar for 50 years at its Annual Meeting. The new program, according to Program Evaluation Committee Chair Frank Walker, will recognize current Bar members who have practiced for 50 years when part of that service has been in another state.The idea, Walker said, is to honor those experienced lawyers for their service to the profession, regardless of whether it was all in Florida.“We felt it was a great idea and a good program and approved it unanimously,” he told the board.The OOSPD said it had received comments from members that they felt left out by the 50-year Bar member award.“Creating an award to recognize their accomplishments to The Florida Bar and the legal profession for 50 years will help them to feel more appreciated by The Florida Bar for their contributions to the legal profession,” the division said in a memo to the PEC.The division said it would also encourage out-of-state Bar members to join the division, and encourage them to attend the Annual Meeting.The division also said it was unclear how many qualified for the new award, but it appeared that it would be relatively few people for the next few years.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) expects a significant level of non-compliance with the 2020 sulphur cap, especially in the early implementation years.In its recently released Reference Case, the organization assumed that about 70 percent of shipowners will comply with the new rules, i.e. have scrubbers or switch to low sulphur bunkers or other compliant fuels.However, despite the IMO’s efforts to enforce the regulation, OPEC expects that there will be up to 30% of noncompliance.The key reasons fur such a stance are a relatively low level of scrubber penetration as well as the potential lack of compliant fuel.“Overall, OPEC is bullish about scrubbers. They expect that scrubber penetration will accelerate after a slow start. The year 2018 started with less than 500 vessels that had installed or ordered scrubbers. By 2020, OPEC expects this number to reach 2,000 vessels, growing to 4,500 – 5,000 vessels in the medium term,” Poten and Partners said in a weekly market report.“This scenario implies that, while the use of Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (LSFO) and gasoil will initially jump in 2020, the increased penetration of onboard scrubbers will support continued use of High Sulphur Fuel Oil (HSFO) over time.”Due to a lot of uncertainty surrounding the bunker fuel mix, OPEC believes that the global refining industry will be reluctant to make significant investments to make more compliant fuel available, taking the “wait and see approach.”As explained by Poten, sophisticated refiners do have some flexibility to change their yields to maximize the output of middle distillates and LSFO.However, they will likely do this based on economic incentives and de-facto demand, rather than by anticipating uncertain future demand, Poten said.“The potential implications of these developments leading up to 2020 could be positive for the tanker market. Prices of medium and heavy sour crudes will come under pressure, while light sweet crudes will attract premiums,” the report reads.According to OPEC, this may lead to more imports of medium and heavy sour crudes from Latin America and the Middle East into North America, where highly complex refiners can take advantage of this cheaper feedstock.At the same time, the light sweet crudes that are produced in the U.S. will attract a premium in the export market.A combination of more crude oil imports and exports involving North America will be good for the tanker market, Poten explained. And the shift from high sulphur crudes to low sulphur crudes and vice versa will not be limited to North America.In addition to increasing tradeflows due to the differences in crude oil qualities, OPEC also expects a (temporary) boost in crude oil demand of 0.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2020 as a direct result of the IMO sulphur regulations.“Additional refinery runs will be needed to meet the demand for additional compliant fuels. If OPEC’s scenario plays out, this is good news for tanker owners.“However, it is important to caution against too much optimism. This 400,000 b/d increase is based on a lot of assumptions and, even if they all fall into place, it can be neutralized if owners order just ten additional VLCCs,” Poten warned.
(Washington, DC) — While our nation is focused on the coronavirus, Florida’s senators are also looking ahead to another threat, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season which is supposed to be especially active. If you’ve ever spent time in a crowded hurricane shelter, you know how difficult it could be to stay six feet away from others. Republicans Rick Scott and Marco Rubio sent a letter yesterday to FEMA about the upcoming hurricane season asking some key questions. Scott and Rubio asked FEMA for guidance on how communities should handle operating shelters while social distancing guidelines are in place.Letter excert: “To ensure our communities are properly prepared, we urge FEMA to issue guidance to state and local governments, tribes and territories regarding hurricane preparedness and response that addresses Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and procedures in the wake of the Coronavirus. In addition, we ask that you take into account how to properly evacuate and shelter those who either have, or are suspected to have, the Coronavirus in the event of a storm. Consistent and sound guidance will be crucial to saving lives during a natural disaster.”Read full letter here. Hurricane season starts June 1st, and Scott and Rubio say hurricane plans need to be in place as soon as possible.
Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton T.D. has today announced the expansion of the number of places on post primary teacher education courses to tackle the current shortage of qualified teachers. More than 380 extra places will be added to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching courses in 2018, with a particular focus on priority areas of STEM, Irish and Foreign Languages.School managers have been under pressure to fill posts in Irish, maths and languages in recent years, which the department puts down to an increase in the number of students entering post primary education. A statement from the Department of Education said: “We are now recruiting more new teachers than at any other point in the history of the state. Over 5,000 additional teachers have been successfully recruited in the last two years.“However, while the numbers graduating from post primary teacher education courses – both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, have remained broadly constant over the past number of years, the number of students entering post primary is increasing and will continue to do so until 2025. The Government is responding to this growth by increasing the number of places on post primary teacher education programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.”The new measures are:The Universities will increase the capacity on undergraduate initial teacher education programmes by an estimated 280 places in 2018.This includes an increase in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and foreign languages of more than 100 places, an increase of over 40% on 2017 in these areas.At postgraduate level, the Universities will increase the capacity on PME programmes by more than 100 places in the priority areas of STEM, Irish and foreign languages.The universities and Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC) have extended the closing date to Friday 13 April for applications for entry to PME programmes for Irish and the targeted STEM and foreign language subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, French, German, Spanish and Italian).Announcing these new measures, Minister Bruton said. “The quality of our teachers and school leaders is the number one factor which will influence the outcome for the child and we are very lucky in Ireland to have high quality teachers. “Some concerns have been raised recently around teacher supply issues. I have previously announced some measures to support schools in managing these issues, including expanding the number of days a teacher can work while on a career break. Today, I am taking further action by expanding the number of places on teacher education programmes with a heavy emphasis on certain subject areas at post primary level, to ensure that schools can get the right mix of subject teachers.“We have set out very ambitious strategies in STEM, foreign languages and digital, as part of our overall goal to have the best education and training service in Europe by 2026. We are now providing additional places to ensure the system can respond more readily to our national priorities and the needs of schools. ” Extra teaching course places introduced to tackle shortage was last modified: March 14th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:educationschoolsteaching