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
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Casper Star-Tribune:The CEO that obtained Wyoming’s Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines last year is being sued for alleged unpaid royalties in Appalachia, the second lawsuit that Jeff Hoops’ West Virginia-based company, Revelation Energy, is facing in under a year.Hoops formed Blackjewel LLC, a sister company to Revelation, to take over the Wyoming mines in 2017. The latest lawsuit is one of a number of troubles the Eastern businessman has encountered since becoming one of Wyoming’s coal producers.According to court documents filed in the Western District of Virginia, Pocahontas Resources LLC is seeking nearly a half million dollars in royalties and interest from Revelation based on allegations Hoops’ firm committed fraud.Pocahontas asserts Revelation is being underhanded in its reporting of coal sales. It has asked for a slew of documents from Hoops’ company to prove its claim, much of which the company has refused to provide. Pocahontas filed a request to compel Revelation to release that information earlier this month. The judge had not responded as of Tuesday.Hoops has hit a few snags since arriving in the Powder River Basin.Blackjewel was delayed in obtaining leases for Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr until Hoops addressed outstanding environmental offenses at his Eastern coal mines. Blackjewel has yet to obtain permits to mine in Wyoming, though Hoops said Blackjewel has the required reclamation bonds in-hand and would seek permits this week, a claim he also made in an email to the Star-Tribune in February.The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has not yet received those applications, a spokesman for the department said Monday.More: Second lawsuit entangles Wyoming’s newest coal producer New legal problems for owner of Powder River Basin mines
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Grupo Bimbo, the world’s biggest baking company, has committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity by the year 2025.Headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico, Grupo Bimbo has also joined the RE100, a global initiative made up of some of the world’s biggest companies, all committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity.The RE100 is led by international non-profit The Climate Group in partnership with the CDP, previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. Other members of the RE100 include Facebook, Goldman Sachs, the Carlsberg Group and eBay.In a statement Tuesday, the Climate Group said that because of its renewable electricity use, Grupo Bimbo would save 440,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2019. In Mexico, 70 percent of electricity used by the firm comes from wind energy, while it also uses rooftop solar power to provide it with clean energy.Daniel Servitje, the president and CEO of Grupo Bimbo, said that his company’s commitment represented “a major step towards our purpose of building a sustainable, highly productive, and deeply humane company.”Other new members of the RE100 announced Tuesday include Decathlon, Lyft and Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India.More: World’s biggest baking company goes green World’s largest baker commits to 100% renewables
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Japan’s biggest power generator JERA said on Tuesday it will shut down all inefficient coal-fired power plants in Japan by 2030 and it aims to achieve net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050 to tackle climate change.Closing inefficient coal power stations is in line with government policy but this was the first time a power company declared an intention to match that policy. A government panel is deliberating on how to define an inefficient coal-fired plant but JERA said, provisionally, it saw inefficient plants as ones that use “supercritical or less” technology.JERA, a thermal power and fuel joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings and Chubu Electric Power, set the ambitious 2050 target as companies worldwide are accelerating action to help create a decarbonised society.“As a company operating globally and as a utility generating about one-third of domestic electricity, setting these goals is an essential qualification for remaining to be an energy company and an entry ticket for doing business in the global market,” Hisahide Okuda, managing executive officer at JERA, told a news conference.The company declined to say how many coal power plants will be closed by 2030, citing competitive reasons.To achieve the 2050 target, JERA aims to boost renewable energy centered on offshore wind-power farms while using greener fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen at its thermal plants.[Yuka Obayashi]More: Japan’s JERA to shut inefficient coal-fired power plants by 2030 Japan’s largest power generator to close all ‘inefficient’ coal plants by 2030
Ski film legend Warren Miller’s latest flick, Children of Winter, features much of the expected big air action. But this one jumps around the world with a diverse cast of characters to not only show off chops but also expose the fun side of playing on the mountain in winter. Former World Cup speedster Daron Rahlves hits the Alps in Austria but is also filmed at Sun Valley, Idaho, with Colby West and Seth Wescott, who play in the half-pipe, while Michael Franti provides the après-ski soundtrack. He’s not the only musician featured. At Okemo in Vermont, Dave Matthews Band’s Stefan Lessard rides with friends Eric Fawcett of N.E.R.D, Adam Gardner of Guster, and Ed Robertson of The Barenaked Ladies, before the boys jam in an impromptu classic rock cover band. Other cool footage includes Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley meeting up with former opponent Takehiro Sakamoto in the Japanese Alps.
Every summer when I was a kid between the ages of 8 and 12, my mother would buy my siblings and me a pair of water sandals for the summer. Since she had to buy five pairs, we usually got knock-off Tevas. You could tell they were not the real McCoy because they didn’t have the strap down the outside of the foot. Also, they didn’t say Teva on them. I always hated those knock-off sandals because I would constantly get stuff between my foot and the shoe, and because back in the day I didn’t really like to get dirty. Suffice it to say, I have not owned a pair of water sandals since those traumatizing years spent running around the farm in kid-friendly, adjustable, non-name-brand sandals. Whether these two things are directly related is a question for my therapist, but I think the correlation is fairly clear. Will I ever get over my fear and disgust with this type of footwear? No.These days, it seems Chacos are the preferred footwear of river rats, festival hippies, nature camp employees, and anyone else who may step in water at any given time. People love these things; they are everywhere. But what does Chaco have to offer the sandal-averse? Well, actually, Chaco makes a lot of boots and shoes in addition to their line of sandals.Ok, but what does Chaco have to offer the sandal-averse who likes to be casual, but also stylish, while keeping cool and collected during the summer?Slip into the Chaco Helm my friends. This slip on style of footwear is rapidly becoming my favorite from spring through fall. Obviously, socks are not an option when talking about casual footwear during the heat of the summer, but flip flops can be just as cumbersome – they’re noisy (the flop more so than the flip), unreliable (Jimmy Buffet wrote a song touching on this, although if the result is a margarita, I guess it’s not all bad), and lack performance (you can read more about my dislike of flip flops here). Even though I wear them all the time, flops are not my first choice. What is my first choice is a slip on that incorporates the ease of a sandal and the stability of a shoe: the slip-on.What I like specifically about the Helm is the versatility. The upper is made from suede and leather, which gives the shoes enough class to rock under a pair of slacks. This makes the break-in period is a little longer due to stiffness, and they can run a little hot in bare feet, but that is a small price to pay for a year-round, go-to piece of gear. Here’s the thing though: wear them enough – where any shoe with no socks enough – and they are going to stink. Those are just the breaks. Luckily, Fabreeze was created for just this purpose and works like a charm.My major knock on Chacos over the years – besides my general biases already discussed – was that they were too heavy for a sandal, but the Helms are light and quick when on the foot. The outsole is made from 25% recycled rubber, merging “high-traction with eco-function” (their words), so you can feel 25% percent better about wearing them. Plus, they say Chaco right there on the side, so everyone will know you’re legit.
Strong, passionate, and downright humble, Richmond-based Zoë Romano is the first person to ever run the entire Tour de France route. I met up with Zoë after interviewing her for our March issue (read the full story here) and was utterly blown away not only by her positive energy and incredible endurance, but also by her inspirational selflessness. During both of her long-distance runs (the Tour de France route in 2013 and a cross-country run in 2010), Zoë raised thousands of dollars for non-profits such as the Boys and Girls Club and the World Pediatric Project.To keep up to date with Zoë’s adventures, check out her website.
I grew up on the back of a horse.At the age of two, I had my own pony. By age 10 I was riding with the other northern Virginia gals in the local Pony Club chapter. By age 14, though, I had abandoned my non-existent competitive spirit. Instead, I took to riding solo through the 400 acres of forested fields that bordered my family’s one-level ranch house. I had no neighbors to speak of, an older brother who was less-than-enthused about digging up old medicine bottles and building forts (unless they were snow forts, that is), and a dangerous, sometimes stubbornly persistent, sense of curiosity.There’s no question in my mind that those early memories have only fueled my present desire to explore, my thirst for adventure, and my passion for the great outdoors. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounded by ancient landscapes and people who say “folks” and “y’all,” the kind that drink gallons of sweet tea and sit on front porches listening to the wind. Sure, the mountains of the West are undoubtedly epic, foreign even to a small town girl like me. But there is something about this area, these hills, these people, that will remain forever ingrained in my being.When I think of finishing the sentence, “My Blue Ridge is…” I think of those long summer afternoons spent riding bareback through empty hayfields. I think of dirt on my face, poison ivy in places it shouldn’t be, scraped knees, and bee stings. I think of the bamboo forest in our backyard, the tops of which would bow over after a heavy snow, creating a hiding place, a secret labyrinth for my adolescent wanderings. I think of the family of foxes that denned every year behind our barn, of standing on the banks of the Shenandoah River, of the dusty film that coated the inside of my air condition-less car after a Sunday drive down backroads. I think of bonfires with friends, fireflies in the night, and the distant cooing of Mourning Doves outside my bedroom window.This is what my Blue Ridge is. Despite the fact that I have seen and explored much more of this world in my adult life, when I think of the Blue Ridge, when I think of home, this is what I see.In celebration of the magazine’s 20th anniversary, we have launched a site dedicated to what you, our readers, see when you think of the words “my Blue Ridge.” To finish the sentence “My Blue Ridge is…” with one word, one phrase even, would simply not do these mountains justice.Help us paint a portrait of this region by contributing your voice, your images, and your tales of adventures in these hills. You can do this by sending in your story through our contact form, in a comment below, or by using the hashtag #myblueridge on Instagram and Twitter. If you submit a story, you’ll be entered to win the ultimate B.R.O. swag bag at the end of the year!
Because comfort always starts with your feet, it’s important to have the right sock for every adventure occasion. Dexshell is here to help with their extensive range of technically advanced, trustworthy element-repellent outdoor socks. Next time you head out into the field use this handy guide to select the right socks for your journey.The right sock for every activity: When choosing a sock that’s right for you always consider: DexShell has a sock for every occasion:Ultra Thin Socks – This is the world’s thinnest waterproof sock! It is a super light over-the-ankle sock great for warmer conditions or aerobic activity in cold conditions. It comes equipped with a bamboo liner.Hytherm Pro – This is one of DexShell’s warmest socks with a full Merino wool terry looped liner. A long sock, it offers full over-the-calf clearance. This is an ideal hunting piece and is perfect for someone who spends a lots of time outdoors during periods of prolonged cold.Trekking Sock – This calf-height sock comes equipped with an under-the-foot merino wool cushion pad. It is DexShell’s best all-around sock. The Coolvent Sock is the Coolmax version of DexShell’s Trekking sock and also comes in a synthetic version.Wading Socks – This knee-high sock features an in-cuff seal at the top to prevent water from coming into contact with your skin. It’s full acrylic terry looped lining provides warmth and great cushioning. Running – Ultra Thin SocksBackpacking – Trekking SocksHunting – Hytherm ProFishing – Wading Socks Your HeightYour preference of cushion vs no cushionThe materials you will choose – Merino vs Coolmax vs Bamboo etc..The activity and season
Features New 2020 tunes on the horizon; Sturgill Simpson plays Southern arenas Readers pick their favorite race, faces, and places in the region. A major climate report offers a bleak forecast for the ski industry. Local Favorites: Gear made in the Blue Ridge The Slopes on a Budget TRAIL MIX Boat Rock bouldering competition – R.I.P. Jake Burton Carpenter – Scenes from North Carolina’s Shut-In Ridge Trail Race – Gear made in the Blue Ridge – Frigid running in Pennsylvania – Brewery makes edible packaging THE GOODS On the Cover Thirty-three years after publishing Southern Snow: The Winter Guide to Dixie, author Randy Johnson reflects on the cult classic, which has just been reissued with a second edition. Quick Hits LWCF: Four letters that every outdoor adventurer should know 2020 RACE AND EVENT GUIDE Best of the Blue Ridge Photo by Justin Potter, WINNER of the BLUE RIDGE OUTDOORS COVER PHOTO CONTEST. Determined to get his kids on the mountain, an avid skier shares tips for making resort runs affordable. “Unviable” Snow in the South Perspective Departments Justin set out to capture the Rhododendrons blooming but was treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises of the year!