Monthly Archive: December 2020

31
Dec
2020

Ohio Bailout Fall-out: AEP Refuses to Let Dynegy Bid on its Coal-Fired Power Plants

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享By Tom Knox in Columbus Business First: American Electric Power Company Inc. wants to sell the Ohio power plants not included in its recently won income guarantee, but it won’t sell them to the power producers who opposed them, according to the CEO of one of those rival companies.Dynegy Inc. officials have said the company could be interested in AEP’s plants. But AEP is taking its ball and going home, Dynegy CEO Bob Flexon said, because of Dynegy’s heated opposition to AEP’s plans.“The funny thing there is AEP has specifically excluded anybody that dare speak against them in Ohio,” Flexon told me. “My understanding is we’re not invited to the latest bid party for the assets they’re selling” in Ohio and Indiana.Neither, Flexon said, are the other independent power producers who opposed the power purchase agreements sought by the  Columbus utility. Ohio energy regulators approved those plans last week.AEP (NYSE:AEP) spokeswoman Melissa McHenry said a review of the company’s plants continues but declined to provide further details.Full article: AEP won’t let Dynegy bid on its Ohio plants, exec says Ohio Bailout Fall-out: AEP Refuses to Let Dynegy Bid on its Coal-Fired Power Plantslast_img read more

31
Dec
2020

Pleasant Prairie Plant in Wisconsin Will Close in 2018

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Milwaukee Journal:On Tuesday, Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group announced it was closing the plant permanently in the second quarter of 2018 as the company moves to cheaper natural gas and other energy sources.The decision is the latest sign of coal’s diminishing status as a source of electric generation as utilities turn to natural gas, surplus wholesale power and renewable sources such as wind and solar.Pleasant Prairie is a major source of power in the state. The plant uses an average of 13,000 tons of coal a day, shipped in train cars from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. In full operation, it can supply the electric needs of about 1 million homes.The shift to other fuel options should lead to lower prices for consumers in the future, the company said.Pleasant Prairie has been operating at reduced capacity at times in recent years, underscoring its excess plant capacity and the cheaper energy options available to the company. Pleasant Prairie did not operate for three months this spring, the company said. The plant’s closing also means less air pollution and a smaller carbon footprint for state’s largest utility holding company and should help southeastern Wisconsin address longstanding ozone air emission problems.“We are looking for a clean, reliable energy future for our customers,” said Cathy Schulze, a spokeswoman for the company.The power plant employs 158 people and the company said it will try to keep many of the employees by redeploying them to other facilities.More: We Energies’ coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie to be shut down in 2018 Pleasant Prairie Plant in Wisconsin Will Close in 2018last_img read more

31
Dec
2020

Coal plant closures set to continue in Australia

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:“King coal to rule for 20 more years” screamed the front-page lead headline in The Australian, following the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 20-year blueprint for the future of energy, known as its Integrated System Plan.Hate to say this guys, but that’s not what the AEMO report says. Here’s the thing: AEMO’s blueprint makes it absolutely clear that even if current climate and emissions and policies are not changed, then the shift in generation is going to happen anyway, and quickly.So, by 2030, out of the system have gone Liddell (2022) and Vales Point, both in NSW, and Gladstone in Queensland. It does not rule out this happening earlier, either due to the inability of the coal generators to make money, or catastrophic failure of their machinery. In the 2030s, Yallourn, Eraring, Bayswater, Tarong and Callide are gone. By 2040, the “rule” of King Coal is but a memory.But there’s more.Like the National Energy Guarantee and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report, the central scenario of AEMO gives no regard to climate change policies, the need to accelerate targets to ensure that Australia does its bit to meet the Paris climate target. Where it does, the outlook is even bleaker for “king coal”. Renewables have a much greater share of generation – going towards 60 percent.So the end result could be even more bleak for the coal-huggers. A fast-change scenario that dials in appropriate climate change policies, co-ordinates distributed energy, promotes demand management could actually see more coal out of the system earlier.More: Bad news for coal-huggers: Renewables at 50% by 2030 Coal plant closures set to continue in Australialast_img read more

30
Dec
2020

Packing Heat

first_imgGuns will be allowed in our national parks starting Monday, February 22 (George Washington’s birthday). The controversial law, which was first introduced by the Bush administration, was slipped into a massive credit cards bill in 2009 and signed by Obama. The law allows citizens to carry concealed weapons as well as hunting rifles and shotguns in all our national parks. A few states are trying to pass bills that would block the law in their park units, but none of those states sit below the Mason Dixon.Hunting is still illegal in most national parks and the majority of park visitors won’t notice a difference after the law goes into effect on Monday. But I can’t help but think of the hunter that poached an elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a few months ago. He was driving through the park, had a rifle, saw an elk, and obviously was not evolved enough to control himself. So he shot the elk. It was simply a matter of opportunity and means. Beginning February 22, more Elmer Fudds will find themselves in similar situations, faced with the opportunity to kill something, and now, the means to do it.last_img read more

30
Dec
2020

A Hero’s Run

first_imgWith Election Day coming up on November 6th, and with Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc on the East Coast, we should all have our great nation in mind this weekend. In preparation of doing your civic duty and voting for national and local representation, go one step further by supporting those that support us overseas. Races for veterans organizations not only raise funds for those who need it, they raise awareness of the struggles many of our military face, both abroad and at home. By participating, you are helping raise finances, but also morale, which in some cases can have an even bigger impact.This weekend, check your local listings for any race or event for which the proceeds go to support our military veterans. A Hero’s Run in Laird Penn, Virginia just outside of Harrisonburg, is a great place to start. Adventure racing is tailor made for the fall season. Erratic weather and leaf clogged woods make for epic trail conditions and add to a race’s unpredictable factor. This three-mile mud run is a completely non-profit event, with all the proceeds going to Heroes who represent the spirit of service, honor, and inspiration. Supporting our troops by getting dirty and pushing the limits at a fun run? Sounds great to us.View Larger Maplast_img read more

30
Dec
2020

The Need for Speed: Lightweight Running Shoes

first_imgPrintThe spring race season is upon us. You may not be able to get back those winter days on the couch, but cutting gear weight is a cheap way to boost your times. Lace up one of these lightweight shoes for your next P.R.1. Mizuno Wave Rider 16The latest Wave Rider incarnation does not disappoint. Weighing in at a featherlight 9.9 ounces, the Wave Rider 16 still has plenty of support for ultra distance training and road racing. $115. mizunousa.com2. Pearl Izumi Syncro Fuel RD IIAlready known as a light, cushioned road runner, the latest version improves the fit with a seam-free interior and Ortholite sockliner, cutting down on blister potential. The 360-degree lacing system hugs the foot and Energy Foam provides the soft landing on hard surfaces.$125. pearlizumi.com 3. Merrell Mix Master 2The lightweight, cushioned trail shoe fits snugly like a foot glove. It features a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and an air mesh upper that sheds water quickly after creek crossings. For ultra training and racing on tough trails, the Mix Master is a top performer.$110. Merrell.com 4. Patagonia EVERmoreThe EVERmore is the best new trail shoe and the new favorite among our elite trail running wear-testers. Only 7.8 ounces, it’s one of the toughest trail shoes on the market. The shoe features a durable, breathable air mesh upper, drainage ports, an integrated 2mm footbed, and a tough tacky-rubber sole with climbing lugs in forefoot and rear-facing braking lugs in heel.$110. Patagonia.com5. Inov-8 Bare Grip 200Simply put, it’s the lightest, fastest trail shoe for notching a personal-best. The super-grippy lugs provide outstanding traction, while the minimalist lightweight upper is flexible, durable, and drains quickly.$110. inov-8.comlast_img read more

30
Dec
2020

Mountain Mama: Make camping at the beach more enjoyable

first_imgWind. Strong ocean breezes have been known to blow away tents. While it’s entertaining to watch others tear down the beach trying to retrieve a tent that’s halfway to Europe, your girlfriend might not be all that amused if it’s her tent. Bring long stakes that will penetrate deep into the sand and hold your tent in place. The wind can also make it difficult to light a stove. Bring a screen for cooking. Also bring pots with lids that fit well to keep your food from being especially crunchy. Biting Insects. Many beach campsites come with their own army to welcome you – armies of horseflies and mosquitoes. But swarms of biting insects don’t have to ruin your beach camping trip as long as you’re prepared. Many swear by heavy industrial strength DEET. Some super resilient beach bugs bite through clothing and tents. Consider buying repellent for nylon and cotton. Citronella torches work well around the campsite and burning sage in a campfire helps to repel bugs.Enjoy the surf!Mountain Mama Dear Mountain Mama,I love the outdoors; my girlfriend loves the beach. She’s never camped before, but I’ve talked her into going beach camping with me. Any tips to make beach camping more enjoyable?Thanks,Beach BumDear Beach Bum:There’s nothing more romantic than the ocean lulling you to sleep and watching the sunrise over the ocean the next morning. Your girlfriend is sure to fall in love with camping as long as you plan ahead for the elements. Beach camping requires the right gear to protect you from the sun, wind, sand, and biting insects.Sun. It sounds silly to say, but make sure to apply sunscreen fifteen minutes before getting to the campsite, even on cloudy days. Cover your feet, ears, and top of your head. Nothing ends the fun of beach camping faster than sleeping on sunburned skin. Most beach campgrounds have little to no natural shade and many find the sun unrelenting. Plan ahead and bring your own source of shade. A screened tent is a nice option, providing a reprieve from the sun and bugs.center_img Sand. Speaking of sand, it gets everywhere when camping at the beach. I’ve never been accused of being a neat freak, and even I insist on bringing a small broom to sweep out the tent. Bringing a ground cover that’s bigger than the tent also provides a make-shift area for wiping the sand off feet before entering the tent. Keeping the tent sand-free goes a long way toward keeping the peace at the beach.last_img read more

30
Dec
2020

Mount Everest’s Famed Hillary Step Disappears

first_imgAccording to reports from American climbers Garrett Madison and Ben Jones provided to Outside Magazine, a world-famous rock formation known as the Hillary Step is no more.The 39-foot feature—which sits just 200 feet below the summit of the world’s tallest peak and was first used to summit the mountain by its namesake Sir Edmund Hillary and his guide Sir Tenzing Norgay—is believed to have been removed from its post by a violent earthquake that occurred in 2015.“The boulder formally know as the Hillary Step is gone,” Madison told Outside. “It’s pretty obvious that the boulder fell off and has been replaced by snow. You can see some of the rocks below it that were there before, but the gigantic boulder is missing now.”Rumors of wether or not the Hillary Step had been damaged or completely removed during the 2015 earthquake have been swirling since last year when Everest Mountaineer Tim Mosdale posted a photo to Twitter (shown above) with a caption claiming that the step was “no more.” But soon after Mosdale’s tweet, the Nepali government disputed his claim, telling CNN it was nothing more than a “false rumor.”The back and forth left mountaineers and Everest enthusiasts perplexed, but the recent eye witness accounts from Madison and Jones seem to have quelled much of the confusion and speculation within the community.According to Madison, the absence of the Hillary Step will actually grant mountaineers easier access to the 29,029-foot summit of Mount Everest.“Now, instead of the Hillary Step, you have some snow steps on a 45-degree angle,” Madison told Outside. “And it actually makes the climbing much easier because instead of ascending this pure vertical rock face, it’s just walking up some snow steps with a fixed line.”last_img read more

30
Dec
2020

Trail Mix – Toubab Krewe

first_imgMany years ago, I went through a period where I dug into African music. Or, at least, I thought I was digging.I got my hands on a few records from artists like Habib Koite, Hugh Masakela, and Ali Farka Toure, among others, and I listened intently for a few months. But my interest waned and hindsight has proven that my I was just scratching the genre’s surface.Leave it to a quintet based in Asheville, North Carolina, to pique my interest again.Toubab Krewe has been mashing up the sounds of West African with their own American roots to create a groovy world blend for over ten years. And the band is all in, not just paying sonic lip service to some contrived intercontinental inspiration. Toubab Krewe has spent time playing and living in Africa, and the band is an ardent supporter of an initiative to build a music school in Mali.This month, Toubab Krewe released Stylo, their newest record.I recently caught up with Drew Heller of Toubab Krewe to chat about the new record, great music from West Africa, and the band’s efforts to establish the school in Mali.BRO -Where does one go to learn the soku or kamel ngoni? That can’t be as easy as seeking out a guitar teacher.DH – It’s much easier to find a soku or kamel ngoni teacher in Mali, West Africa, than in Western North Carolina.BRO – For those unfamiliar with African music, who would you suggest they check out?DH – Three great albums from West Africa are New Ancient Strings by Toumani Diabate and Ballake Sissoko, Djeneba Traore’s Super Yayaroba, and Bama, from Orchestra Baobab.BRO – You are known for donating ticket proceeds to Instruments 4 Africa, a non-profit dedicated to building a music school in Africa. How is that progressing?DH – The land has been purchased and a three-room building has been constructed. The progress continues and there is still a ways to go for completion. Check out www.i4africa.org for more information and a link to donate to the project.BRO – Is there a particular challenge in expressing a musical idea without words?DH – There is a great freedom of interpretation for both the musician and the listener when there are no words.BRO – We are featuring “That Damn Squash” on this months Trail Mix. What is the gourd getting so much shade?DH – This particular gourd caused a lover’s quarrel. But even that gourd was cooked for dinner and enjoyed later that night, from what I understand.Toubab Krewe will be hitting the road to support the release of Stylo on April 11th. Shows in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisiana are all on the schedule. For more information on the band, tour dates, or how to grab the new record, please check out the band’s website.And to hear “That Damn Squash,” along with new tunes from John Craigie, Haley Heynderickx, and Madam West, be sure to check out this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more

30
Dec
2020

Trail Mix – Chuck Hawthorne

first_imgCH – If you want to hear every word and every note, one of the last listening rooms is the Cactus Cafe on the UT campus. That’s one hell of a storied room. If you want to kick your heels up at a honky tonk, try The Broken Spoke or Giddy Ups. Somewhere in between are The Saxon Pub and Continental Club. The Paramount Theater is the place to catch the big acts. BRO – Best place for hunting vinyl? CH – You’ll have a hell of a good time if you can catch Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros in town. They’re not afraid to have fun, and the songs . . . well, you’ll see. CH – Try this. Check out Mystery Monday, hosted by Christine Albert, with her mystery guest, at El Mercado. Then cruise over to Donn’s Depot for the post-show soiree with Chris Gage behind the keys. It’s tradition. There’s something about songwriters from Texas that sets them apart from their contemporaries from around the country. And be sure to listen to “Such Is Life (C’est La Vie),” alogn with tunes from Steve Goodman, The Steel Wheels, Giri & Uma Peters, and many more on this month’s Trail Mix. BRO – Local music hero? BRO – Local band our readers should know about? CH – Matt’s El Rancho. You can’t beat the Tex-Mex food. A lot of deals have gone down there, music and other wise. I’ve heard LBJ held court there back in the day. “Amarillo Wind” and “I Will Fight No More Forever” are two of the finest songs I have heard all year. BRO – Favorite local distillery? CH – Out of town guests usually want to go to the Texas Chili Parlor for a Mad Dog Margarita, a la “Dublin Blues,” the Guy Clark song. We’re forced to take them there. You know, just being good hosts. It’s a tough duty. CH – Desert Door Distillery. They make a sotol that’ll make alliteration impossible. BRO – Favorite outdoor adventure? CH – I don’t hunt vinyl much, but I’m partial to Waterloo Records. I discovered Waterloo and credit cards around the same time. That was a mighty dangerous combination. Catch an indoor performance if you can. They have some great ones. BRO – Favorite local restaurant? Chuck Hawthorne certainly can keep company with all l of them. His sophomore release, Fire Out Of Stone, dropped last week. This collection of songs is as Texas as they come, rich with dusty boot honesty and echoes of the wide open Texas plains. BRO – Best place to catch a show? BRO – One place an out-of-towner should visit? CH – The patio at The Saxon Pub. Or camping with Libby Koch at Flathead Lake in Montana with a grizzly bear named Pucker. But the Austin thing to do is float the Guadalupe or Cormal Rivers with a cooler full of your favorite beverage. BRO – Favorite place for a post-show libation? CH – Ray Bonneville has a residence in Austin. If you can catch him in town, he’s the maestro that got me started. Folks like Guy Clark. Dale Watson. Ray Wylie Hubbard. Nanci Griffith. Ryan Bingham. And so many more. Their work seems to have an extra dash of kick ass and grit. If you find yourself in the Texas state capital, Chuck Hawthorne has served up a pretty solid hit list of places to visit. You can catch Chuck live at The Grove on August 4th. Later in August he has dates lined up all around Texas. For more info on those dates, as well as how you can grab a copy of Chuck’s new record, check out his website. Austin has long been on my list of places to visit, so I recently caught up with Chuck to let him dish on his hometown, one of the most musical cities in the country.last_img read more