Likely Outcome of Global Climate Accord? Carbon Regulation

first_imgLikely Outcome of Global Climate Accord? Carbon Regulation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christopher Coats for SNL:According to a Moody’s report from April 22, the signing of the agreement will lead to “an accelerated adoption of carbon regulation and other greenhouse gas emission measures, with increasing credit implications for many rated sectors.”The rating agency cited coal mining and coal terminals as the sectors with the second and third highest credit exposure to those carbon regulations expected to increase with the signing of the agreement, coming in behind only unregulated utilities and power companies.“We identified three sectors — unregulated power generation, coal mining and coal terminals — with very high credit exposure to carbon regulations, and a further 11 sectors with high credit exposure and or ‘high’ to ‘very high’ exposure to carbon emissions risk,” Moody’s wrote. “Combined, these 14 sectors account for approximately $3.2 trillion of rated debt.”For coal mining and terminals, this increased pressure will only serve to add to the challenges already facing U.S. firms, most notably the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan, “finalized in 2015, which will lock the coal industry into decline over the next decade.”In addition to the policies expected to accelerate under the Paris agreement, Moody’s also cited the “significant uncertainty over the future trajectory of the implementation of policies” as a reason for further concern.Full article ($): Paris climate pact to add to coal’s troubles, increase credit risk, says Moody’slast_img read more

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Renewables, climate concerns put planned LNG investments at risk, report finds

first_imgRenewables, climate concerns put planned LNG investments at risk, report finds FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNN Business:America’s liquefied natural gas boom has a climate change problem, according to a report released on Monday.The US energy industry is scrambling to build dozens of expensive export terminals that can be used to ship cheap natural gas to China and other fast-growing economies that want to move away from coal.While those investments make sense today, they will likely be derailed in the longer run by a combination of plunging renewable energy costs and rising climate change concerns, according to the Global Energy Monitor, a network of researchers tracking fossil fuel projects.Those dual forces will make many LNG projects “unprofitable in the long term,” putting much of the $1.3 trillion of investments in the sector at risk, the report said.The problem is that the LNG boom will create harmful methane emissions — a greenhouse gas that is roughly 30 times more harmful than carbon dioxide emissions. Both coal and natural gas produce CO2 emissions, though natural gas creates far less than coal.If the proposed LNG expansion goes forward, the climate impact would be twice as damaging as the current installed base of coal in the United States, the Global Energy Monitor told CNN Business.More: America’s liquefied natural gas boom may be on a collision course with climate changelast_img read more

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Malaysia sets 20% renewable energy goal by 2025

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Malaymail:The government is seeking to increase the country’s target of renewable energy generation to 20 per cent in the next six years, said Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.She said this will be accomplished via the Malaysia Energy Supply Industry 2.0 (MESI 2.0) plan which will be launched sometime this month. “The idea is for a more competitive and diversified mix of electricity generation, one that is also more transparent for the industry and consumers,” Yeo said during the 5-in-1 Power Energy Series exhibition at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre.She said the plan will enable green energy trading through a grid, and that it is not compulsory for renewable energy companies to sell electricity to the national electric utility company Tenaga Nasional Berhad.The minister explained the bidding is for 500-megawatt generation, where each bidder has a maximum of 100 megawatts. “The first four projects amount to 365 megawatts out of 500 megawatts. The bidding price is lower than the cost of gas generation, standing at 23.22 cents.”Yeo compared the price of solar energy for today to several years back, saying at the time when the second round of LSS was being conducted, the reference price stood at 32 cents. “Today we can reach as low as 17.77 cents, a 45 per cent reduction in just a few years.”In order to meet the target of 20 per cent renewable energy generation, Yeo said approximately RM33 billion of investment is required. “Some of it will come from the government, some from private-public partnership, others will come from private financing.”More: Yeo: Malaysia aiming for 20pc renewable energy use by 2025 Malaysia sets 20% renewable energy goal by 2025last_img read more

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Thai plastics giant Indorama Ventures looks to quadruple renewable energy use in next 10 years

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Indorama Ventures Pcl, the world’s top producer of material used in plastic bottles and polyester, plans to quadruple its use of renewable energy over the next decade as part of efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.The Bangkok-based company will increase solar, wind and other renewable energy sources at its more than 120 manufacturing facilities worldwide to 30% of its power bill in 2030, said Chief Sustainability Office Yash Lohia. That’s an increase from 6%, he said, adding the move will help the company’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.“We are going to install more solar panels at our facilities in Thailand, India and many other countries,” Lohia, the 33-year-old son of Indorama’s billionaire founder Aloke Lohia, said in an interview Tuesday. “We will also buy more clean energy from other developers to demonstrate our effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”Thai power producers including Gulf Energy Development Pcl, and B. Grimm Power Pcl are also accelerating investments in renewable energy as climate-change concerns prompt governments to turn to cleaner sources. Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy plans to add at least 56,000 megawatts of new electricity capacity by 2037, with almost four-fifths of the amount set to come from renewables, according to the energy ministry’s website.Indorama is also actively seeking recycling business acquisitions as part of a $1.5 billion spending plan to increase its reuse of plastic bottles in the production of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, said Lohia.[Anuchit Nguyen]More: Thai petrochemicals giant to add green power to cut carbon print Thai plastics giant Indorama Ventures looks to quadruple renewable energy use in next 10 yearslast_img read more

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The Old Ceremony – Walk on Thin Air

first_imgThe Old Ceremony is the rare band that can write contemplative, artsy rock ‘n’ roll while not coming across as holier than thou. Walk on Thin Air, the Chapel Hill quintet’s third album, is sometimes bold and brash, often sparse and ethereal, but at all times introspective. Django Haskins, principal poet and songwriter for The Old Ceremony, sings of, among other things, inevitability, finding anonymity in the bottle, and the simple matter of perspective. From the shake-your-first-at-the-world opener “‘Til My Voice is Gone” to the intense self-reflection in “Stubborn Man” and the brotherly advice of “Don’t Parade Your Scars,” Walk on Thin Air, without being preachy, consistently encourages listeners to look within. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.last_img read more

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Finding My Way (without GPS)

first_imgThe sun was setting over the Gulf Coast. I sat with Cliff, a tanned Hawaiian turned Floridian, before a licking fire at a beach campsite in Everglades National Park. The Everglades offers hundreds of miles of canoe and kayak routes, and is a favorite winter destination for backcountry paddlers. Also known as the Mangrove Maze, the Everglades presents paddlers with navigational challenges with names like Ten Thousand Islands, The Labyrinth, and The Nightmare. Paddling here can be tough, GPS or not, due to winds, tides and a more-alike-than-not paddlescape.I should know. I wrote A Paddler’s Guide to Everglades National Park, penning the first edition in pre-GPS days, and the second edition after navigating the Glades by map and compass had become archaic.I could’ve used a GPS a time or two in those early days. It was midnight on the Joe River. I arose at midnight in order to catch a favorable tide that would take me back to the put-in. The moonlit night was dead calm. I traced the Joe River south with the tide, my stroking blade making the only sounds as it cut through the water.Then I took a wrong turn.I canoed into a vein-like network of creeks, eventually realizing this wasn’t the Joe River anymore. I stopped, and sat still in the canoe. The mosquitoes took the opportunity, draining me into paddling like mad into the aquatic jumble. Despite my bug-inspired haste I found the Joe River and was on my way.That wouldn’t have happened with a GPS.The GPS has brought paddlers like Cliff to the Everglades. He couldn’t comprehend navigating the Glades without a GPS. Navigation existed before GPS and Google Earth. Mariners once used the sun, stars and sextants to find their way. Later came map and compass navigation, where you orient the appropriate map north with the compass, match the horizon with the map and away you went.What if Cliff’s GPS had fallen off his sea kayak? What if his GPS batteries died? What then, Cliff?No doubt, GPS make navigation of the Everglades much easier. You can simply download nautical charts onto your device, then satellites circling planet Earth show your exact position in the park. Same goes for our Southern Appalachian Mountains. Or anywhere for that matter. A GPS gives novices an edge and a comforting reassurance of a known and exact position. 1 2last_img read more

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The Votes Are In

first_imgOver 85,000 votes poured in for our Best Mountain Towns Contest, which wrapped up last weekend. Readers across the Blue Ridge region rallied for their favorite towns and generated a deluge of responses.Readers celebrated the trails, rivers, restaurants, pubs, outfitters, and especially the people of their favorite towns. We will be highlighting all 38 of our nominated towns in the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and including specific comments from voters who chimed in.In our small towns category, the results came down to the final week—and even the final hour—of voting. One town led the polls for most of the six weeks of voting, but a late run by another town made for an exciting finish. Both towns represent what’s best about the Blue Ridge: small outdoor hamlets nestled in the heart of mountain adventure.Which towns won? Pick up the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine to find out.Congratulations to all 38 towns for mustering so much support from residents and visitors. As the overwhelming participation in our poll indicates, people feel passionately about their home towns and favorite adventure hotspots.View Best Mountain Towns in a larger maplast_img read more

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Daily Dirt: BRP Pinched, Pocahontas Ride Center Boosted

first_imgBlue Ridge Parkway Feeling the PinchThe Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the iconic mountain roads in the U.S., attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year to it’s scenic vistas. But the ribbon of National Park Service land that snakes along the southern Appalachians is not just for Harleys, RVs, and station wagons; cyclists love the steeps, hikers and mountain bikers love the access to trails, and nature enthusiasts love the wildlife and natural beauty. It is becoming harder and harder, however, to enjoy all the BRP has to offer as sequestration budget cuts have slashed amenities along the route, closing campgrounds and allowing other infrastructure to crumble or become over grown. Karen Chavez of the Citizen-Times takes a comprehensive look at the actual, physical damage budget cuts have brought to the park, from a reduction in seasonal staff – mostly educational – to mowing challenges along the 500 mile length. The numbers are staggering.Richmond Ride Center Gets BoostIn anticipation of the 2015 World Cycling Championships, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will accept a major donation toward the development of an International Mountain Bicycling Association Ride Center at Pocahontas State Park. The ceremony will take place tomorrow, July 9th, at 2 pm, and local riders are encouraged to bring their bikes for a trail ride following the ceremony. The Pocahontas Ride Center will be made up primarily by the James River Park system trails in the city of Richmond and the trails of Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County. There are only 11 other designated IMBA Ride Centers in the world, including one in Harrisonburg, Va., so this will be quite the honor for Virginia and Richmond. McDonnell will accept a check for $50,000 that matches state funding for the project and the ceremony will be a kick-off event for a larger fundraising effort. So get out and ride Richmond!Speaking of Virginia biking, a new cycling event will make its debut this year in the Old Dominion. The first annual Gran Fondo Virginia is slated for September 8, 2013 and will benefit the Better World Betty.Boston, Beyond the Finish LineThe New York Times has the saga of Jeff Bauman, who was waiting to see his girlfriend finish her first marathon when his legs were blown off by the bombs that shook the city and the U.S. You may recognize Bauman as the man from the iconic photo from that day, the one of the young man in the wheelchair holding his legs flanked by the man in the cowboy hat (Carlor Arredondo). The focus of the piece is the aftermath of that day, and the long road to recovery for Bauman. Bring the tissues, but this long read is worth it.last_img read more

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Best Trail Town 2013: Roanoke, Virginia

first_imgWinner: Roanoke, VAWith the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, and over 70 city parks and greenways just minutes from downtown, Roanoke attracts flocks of outdoor enthusiasts. It has always been known for its location in the scenic mountains of Virginia, but it wasn’t until the early ‘90s that the area started gaining attention in the outdoor world through its series of mountain bike races. Thanks to hard-working volunteers who built and maintained trails, Roanoke soon attracted more outdoor adventurers.Joe Hanning is one of them. He moved to Roanoke for its outdoor offerings.Hanning has only lived in the area for three years, but as the marketing and outreach coordinator for Roanoke Parks and Recreation, he’s quite literally made it his job to protect and promote the natural playgrounds that are near town.“Roanoke is the best of both worlds,” Hanning says. “We have all of the amenities of a larger city without the large crowds and stress. On a typical walk through downtown, it’s very common to see several cyclists, Subarus with kayaks atop their racks, and joggers heading toward the greenway.”Roanoke residents Blaine and Robin Lewis are co-founders of Fleet Feet Sports in Roanoke, offering runners everything from tips on injury prevention to training programs. Although Robin is from Roanoke originally, Blaine says the unique trail systems located downtown were what ultimately appealed to the couple the most, particularly in regards to choosing a location for their store.“The city has done a great job to create awareness of the trails, develop new trails, and get people out on the trails,” Blaine says. “Trail running is my passion, so it’s important for me to easily be able get a five to 13-mile trail run in before the store opens.”The ease with which visitors can locate trailheads and navigate in-town trail systems sets Roanoke apart from most other outdoor towns. On any given night, locals and out-of-towners can be found shredding singletrack in Carvins Cove or hiking Mill Mountain.Best Mountain Towns of the Blue Ridge – Part II from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.Runners-upDavis, West VirginiaPresent-day Davis is a far cry from its mid-19th century beginnings. In the 1800s, U.S. Senator Henry Gassaway Davis paid $15 per acre to acquire the land, which, at the time, was a densely forested plateau. An industrialist at heart, Senator Davis heavily logged the area, and by end of the 19th century, Davis was often referred to as “stump town.” Like much of the surrounding area, Davis also became a popular coal-mining region.Although many of these industries have long left the town, remnants of their presence still dot the riverbanks and mountainsides in the form of old coke ovens and abandoned mills. Now, however, the town has become a haven for outdoor lovers. Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks are two of the area’s most popular destinations, offering everything from skiing to mountain biking and hiking. About 45 minutes southeast of the town is Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area, a well-known climbing destination in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.Damascus, VirginiaNamed for its ancient namesake in western Asia, Damascus was also the location of a major lumber boom in the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, the completion of the Appalachian Trail in 1937 gave locals reason to think that there was more to the area than a resource-depleting industry. As support for the A.T. grew and thru-hikers became less of a novelty, Damascus started gaining the reputation of Trail Town, U.S.A. Now, the town hosts an annual celebration, appropriately named Trail Days, which recognizes past, present, and future A.T. thru-hikers.There’s more to Damascus than its proximity to the A.T., although the trail does double as the downtown sidewalk for a stretch. The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile rail-trail that runs from Whitetop, Va., to Abingdon, Va. The most popular section is the 17-mile stretch that takes folks from the Whitetop Station downhill along Whitetop Laurel Creek (a great run for class III creekers if you can catch it while it’s running) and back to Damascus, a trip that can easily be arranged through the town’s multiple bike rental and shuttle services. The Iron Mountain Trail is another popular destination for mountain bikers and trail runners, and each year the town holds several races on the Iron Mountain Trail.The Rest of the PackBlue Ridge, Ga.: Nearby 273-mile Benton MacKaye Trail is not only a great long-distance trail all unto its own, but it is also part of the recently developed Great Eastern Trail.Boone-Blowing Rock, N.C.: Just outside of Boone you’ll find the newly established Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park and a plethora of other trails, including those that wind throughout the popular Grandfather Mountain area.Brevard, N.C.: Mountain biking is BIG here. Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest offer not only great opportunities for hiking, but also some of the best singletrack in the country.Cherokee, N.C.: Nestled beside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this town offers everything from great hiking and paddling near Fontana Lake to epic mountain biking in the Tsali Recreation Area.Ellijay, Ga.: Cohutta Wilderness, Carters Lake, and the Cartecay River are nearby. If you’re an avid mountain biker, test your skills on the 62.5-mile Fort Mountain Challenge.Gatlinburg, Tenn.: Trails abound in Gatlinburg. Check out the short Grotto Falls Trail, a 2.6-mile out-and-back that features some spectacularly scenic waterfalls.Harpers Ferry, W.Va.: Paddle the Potomac, hike the Appalachian Trail, or check out the historical downtown scene.Hot Springs, N.C.: Voted Best Small Mountain Town in 2012 by BRO readers, Hot Springs is a popular stop for A.T. thru-hikers and a great place to unwind after paddling the French Broad.Lewisburg, W.Va.: Greenbrier State Forest and its impressive trail system are a short drive from Lewisburg, voted Coolest Small Town in 2011.London, Ky.: Daniel Boone National Forest hosts the region’s most rugged terrain. Characterized by sandstone cliffs and narrow canyons, this is a great location for hiking and climbing.Luray, Va.: True, you could go underground and visit Luray Caverns, but the breathtaking views from neighboring Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park are equally impressive.Morgantown, W.Va.: This mountain town sees the value in outdoor recreation and has a number of parks, facilities, and a rail-trail system available within a short drive of each other. Pair it with a microbrew for the true Morgantown experience.Robbinsville, N.C.: If you haven’t hiked through the old growth poplars and wildflowers in Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, you have yet to experience the incredible spiritual and humbling capacities of Appalachia’s wilderness.Waynesboro, Va.: “Hospitality in the Valley” is this mountain town’s motto. Road cyclists should be sure to put the Waynesboro Ramble on their list. It’s a 27-mile ride that highlights the greatest of the Shenandoah Valley.Waynesville, N.C.: Blue Ridge beauty inspires not just the town but the beer industry as well. Check out Frog Level and BearWaters Brewing Companies located right downtown.Check out the other winners here!last_img read more

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Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Towns Nominee: Blue Ridge, Georgia

first_imgIf Ellijay is the mountain biking capital of Georgia, then it could be said that Fannin County—home to the town of Blue Ridge—is its fly-fishing counterpart. Because of certain conditions, namely a TVA operated dam that fills nearby rivers and streams with cool, trout-friendly water, Fannin County is home to some of the biggest trout in the southeast. One waterway in Blue Ridge that’s not to be missed is the 16-mile Taccoa River. As a true tailwater fishery, the Toccoa and its tributaries are home wild trout, stockies, and even some lunker-sized holdovers.In addition to prime trout habitat, Blue Ridge provides access to the Benton MacKaye Trail, the AT by way of Springer Mountain, the Cohutta Wilderness area, and the Aska Adventure Trails Area.Cudas_IB_0814_2Did you know? Blue Ridge is home to elite bamboo fly rod maker Bill Oyster, whose world famous, hand crafted rods have been commissioned by the likes of Jimmy Carter and Ted Turner.Vote now at blueridgeoutdoors.com!last_img read more

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