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White House plan to bail out coal and nuclear will cost consumers

first_imgWhite House plan to bail out coal and nuclear will cost consumers FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Wall Street Journal:The Energy Department is proposing a new plan to bail out failing nuclear and coal-fired power plants by forcing grid operators to take the electricity they produce, a move that could upend competitive power markets and raise prices for consumers.The plan—a draft now under White House review—isn’t the first attempt by President Donald Trump’s administration to help coal and nuclear businesses. Its goal is to stop a wave of plant closings for two years while the Energy Department studies which plants nationwide are critical to ensuring reliable power in case of attack or natural disaster. Administration officials say grid reliability is a national security issue.A boom in natural gas production and renewable power have lowered prices and forced coal and nuclear competitors out of business, a trend Mr. Trump has promised to slow. He pledged during his presidential campaign to help coal miners in particular, and he received millions of dollars in campaign donations from coal-company executives. In recent months, he has prodded Energy Secretary Rick Perry on several occasions to craft a solution, and did so again in a statement Friday.“Unfortunately, impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading to a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation’s energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid,” Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said in a statement, adding that the president wants Mr. Perry “to prepare immediate steps” in response.Mr. Trump’s efforts so far have been blocked by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and fought by a broad coalition of opponents.The country’s largest grid operator is also skeptical. “Our analysis…has determined that there is no immediate threat to system reliability,” PJM Interconnection LLC, which runs the power markets in 13 states across the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, said in a statement. “There is no need for any such drastic action.”More ($): Energy Department Prepares New Plan to Prop Up Nuclear, Coal-Fired Power PlantsS&P Global Market Intelligence ($):“There is no national emergency justifying the use of these powers,” said Michael Steel, a spokesperson for the Affordable Energy Coalition, a group of organizations including those supporting wind, industrial energy consumers and others. “Independent experts, regional grid operators, and even the government’s own data show that competitive electricity markets keep the lights on and prices affordable.”The oil industry, through the American Petroleum Institute, joined a broad group of energy industry associations representing energy efficiency and storage, natural gas, solar and wind to condemn efforts to subsidize “failing” coal and nuclear plants.“Unprecedented government intervention in the energy markets to support high-cost generation will put achieving that vision in jeopardy and hurt customers by taking more money out of their pockets rather than letting people keep more of what they earn — a key priority of this administration,” said Todd Snitchler, American Petroleum Institute’s market development group director.Other industry groups opposing the administration’s proposed policy included the American Council on Renewable Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the Natural Gas Supply Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association.PJM, which operates a regional transmission organization near abundant coal resources, said in a statement following the release of the DOE plan that there was “no need for such a drastic action.” “Any federal intervention in the market to order customers to buy electricity from specific power plants would be damaging to the markets and therefore costly to consumers.”The Union of Concerned Scientists called the proposal an attempt to “fleece ratepayers” by doling out billions of dollars in guaranteed profits to coal and nuclear plants. The Sierra Club said coal and nuclear plants will continue to retire even though the administration is pushing “illegal directives [that] will be met with fierce resistance in the courts and in the streets.”More ($): Much of US energy industry recoils at Trump plan to prop up at-risk power plantslast_img read more

Polish star hails Keane record

first_img The 25-year-old Borussia Dortmund hitman is the star of the Polish side and will represent a major threat to Martin O’Neill’s men as the Ulsterman and counterpart Adam Nawalka each take charge of a second game for their respective countries at the INEA Stadium in Poznan on Tuesday evening. Nawalka suffered a 2-0 defeat by Slovakia in Wroclaw on his big night on Friday, while Ireland handed O’Neill a 3-0 victory over Latvia at the Aviva Stadium. He said: “Naturally, we will approach the friendly against Ireland with a lot of faith. We want to regain the trust of our fans. “Our preparations have been tailored to this very game. We wanted the players to recuperate physically after the game against Slovakia, and we have to eliminate the mistakes from the last game. “I would especially like to point out some of the mistakes committed by our defenders. It was those errors which made us lose control of the game because until the 15th minute we were pretty much in control. But later on, things got out of hand. “For the last few days, we have mainly worked on the mental side of our players. Everybody is looking forward to the game and getting a good result, not only for the fans but for the players and the coaches.” Poland’s chances of doing just that could depend largely on how Ireland cope with Lewandowski, who scored in a 3-2 friendly victory over the Irish at Croke Park in November 2008. He will at least be on familiar turf having made his name at Lech Poznan and scored a double for his country at their stadium against the Ivory Coast in November 2010. Lewandowski said: “I spent two wonderful years here with a lot of success and I have always wanted to come back here, so this is especially pleasurable for me. “I hope the stadium will be as lucky for me as it was when I played with Lech Poznan, and also against the Ivory Coast, there was a friendly game some time ago here and I scored a number of goals.” As so often in the last 15 years, it was 33-year-old Keane who opened the scoring on the night to take his tally to 62 senior goals, and the magnitude of that feat is not lost on Lewandowski. He said: “I believe that the statistics are really impressive. Sixty-two goals scored for the Irish squad is really an impressive figure. “I know that Keane has played for the Irish squad for so many years and we know they are very strong. “But we don’t want to concentrate on an individual player. We know they have very good individuals in the team, but we have to focus on how we are going to play. “When we focus on what we need to do, we will know how to implement what the coaches have been telling us to do on the pitch. “If the squad plays well, each individual player has an easier job.” Nawalka, who replaced Waldemar Fornalik following his failure to take the Poles to next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, blamed defensive frailties for his side’s defeat by the Slovakians. However, he remains convinced the players he has selected and the strategy he has employed will ultimately pay dividends. Poland striker Robert Lewandowski has hailed Robbie Keane’s international scoring record as he prepares to face Ireland. Press Associationlast_img read more

Clear Lake council to consider letter of intent for potential hotel development agreement

first_imgCLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council tonight will consider approving a letter of intent with WillowSpring LLC for a potential development agreement to assist with a hotel and conference center project in the new Courtway Park subdivision on the east side of the community.The council last month approved the final plat for the 64-acre tract that previously was Andrews Pre-stressed Concrete, located just north of State Highway 122 between Interstate 35 and North 32nd Street.The proposed $16 million hotel and conference center development would be on a 5.8 acre piece of land on the far southwestern part of the subdivision. The hotel would be not less than a mid-scale brand hotel with not less than 70 rooms. It would have a 180-person capacity restaurant and an approximately 9000 square foot conference center that roughly could hold 600 people. Construction on the hotel is proposed to start in October with a completion date of October 31st 2020.The city would rely on the new anticipated property and sales taxes generated from the development as well as other future developments in the subdivision to help offset a nearly $4 million forgivable economic development loan that would be provided to the developer once the project is completed.The council meets tonight at 6 o’clock at Clear Lake City Hall.last_img read more

More RB Fields Converting to Artificial Turf

first_imgBy Rick MalwitzRED BANK – Red Bank Catholic High School Athletic Director Joe Montano will likely spend less time next spring peering out his windows, wondering whether to postpone a baseball or softball game due to rain.The grass and dirt – and often in the spring, the mud – playing fields at Count Basie Park are being replaced by artificial turf.“It will make my job a lot easier,” said Montano, whose job includes helping judge whether a field is ready for play.RBC head baseball coach Buddy Hausmann is also looking forward to the change. “I’ll be in bed and at midnight I’ll hear rain on the roof, and the rest of my night is shot,” he said. “What’s the field like? Can we play?”Based on the history of the performance of FieldTurf – the maker of the artificial turf to be installed here – such questions should not be a problem, said Borough Administrator Stanley Sickles. “You can have a downpour and 15 minutes later the field is ready to play,” he said.During the Borough Council meeting on Aug. 8, the governing body entered into an agreement with Tarkett Sports, manufacturer of FieldTurf. The council also amended a longstanding agreement with Red Bank Catholic High School, a primary user of the playing fields.The football field at Count Basie Park, also used by RBC, already has a FieldTurf surface. By next spring the artificial turf will be added to fields used for Little League baseball, high school baseball and softball, lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer.Five years ago a FieldTurf surface was installed at the baseball field at Rutgers. “It has performed above our expectations from the very beginning,” said Rutgers coach Fred Hill. “Our players really like it. We get a lot of consistent play from the surface. It is especially beneficial where the weather has many changes,” Hill added.The football field at Rutgers Stadium also has a FieldTurf surface that in 2004 replaced a grass playing field that was often difficult to maintain due to its proximity to the Raritan River.Seton Hall University and Kean University have baseball fields with artificial turf. East Brunswick High School is the lone school in Central New Jersey with an artificial turf field for baseball.Hausmann said some of his players have played on one of five artificial turf fields at Diamond Nation, a private facility in Flemington that hosts scores of games and tournaments.The only downside, said Hausmann, is the heat of the surface. “Last week we had a soccer camp (at the football fields) and kids were complaining their feet were on fire,” he said.Rain is not the only problem with natural grass fields, according to Hausmann. “In the beginning of the season the grass does not grow and the field can be rock hard. By the end of the season it has to be cut maybe twice a week.’’The new artificial turf is part of a plan to renovate Count Basie Park in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Renovations will include new walking paths, a concession stand, and restrooms. The estimated cost is between $1.8 million and $2.0 million.Funding will come from Monmouth County and state grants, a $500,000 contribution from Red Bank Catholic High School, and between $500,000 and $750,000 the borough will raise with a bond, according to Sickles.One grant of $60,000 is from Major League Baseball through its Baseball Tomorrow Fund. That grant will help fund the new playing field at the field currently used by Little League baseball and high school softball.The adjacent field will be a baseball field with Major League dimensions.Red Bank Catholic High School, according to Sickles, has been a “wonderful partner” in the maintenance of Count Basie Park.The school’s $500,000 contribution, which will be spread over 10 years, “was one of the things that made this possible,” Sickles said.The high school paid for the last renovation of the grass baseball field and other improvements, including the football scoreboard.“It is a great partnership,’’ Montano said.last_img read more