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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

Grid operator says Texas electricity now 30% carbon-free

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Texas may be the center of the U.S. oil and gas industry, but the latest data shows that the state’s competitive energy market is increasingly favoring clean energy over fossil fuel alternatives.New information from state grid operator ERCOT shows that carbon-free resources made up more than 30 percent of its 2018 energy consumption, and a slightly larger percentage of its 2019 generation capacity. In both cases, the largest share of credit goes to the state’s massive wind farms, which provided 18.6 percent of 2018 energy and make up 23.4 percent of 2019 capacity, followed by nuclear power, which served 10.9 percent of last year’s needs and will provide 5.4 percent of this year’s capacity.Solar, meanwhile, only made up a sliver of the 1.3 percent of last year’s energy use served by “other” resources such as hydropower, biomass and fuel oil. But solar will make up 2.1 percent of this year’s generation capacity, in a testament to the small but fast-growing utility-scale solar market developing in the state.ERCOT’s achievement is largely a result of the economics of wind and solar power, plus a healthy dollop of state energy policy to integrate its western wind resources to eastern cities, known as competitive renewable energy zones (CREZ). Since 2009, about when CREZ got started, wind generation capacity has grown from 6 percent to nearly 20 percent of ERCOT’s energy mix, while coal has fallen from 37 percent to 25 percent of ERCOT’s energy mix over the same time.Meanwhile, the amount of wind being curtailed due to lack of transmission and demand has shrunk from about 17 percent in 2009 to less than half a percent in recent years, a result of the $7 billion in new transmission enabled by CREZ, as well as ERCOT’s work to build weather forecasting and demand management into how it manages its grid.Solar meets only a fraction of ERCOT’s needs compared to wind, but its growth rate is much faster at present, with utility-scale projects in the state setting new low-price records alongside solar leaders like California, Arizona and Nevada. Much of this solar is in West Texas, where it can benefit from the same transmission investments that have enabled the wind industry, Rhodes noted.More: Texas grid operator reports fuel mix is now 30% carbon-free Grid operator says Texas electricity now 30% carbon-freelast_img read more

Colombian Army Destroys Cocaine Mega Lab in Nariño

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo October 11, 2018 Troops of the Colombian Army’s 23rd Brigade, the Special Counternarcotics Brigade, and the Colombian Police Counternarcotics Directorate located and destroyed a mega lab equipped to process cocaine hydrochloride in a joint operation, August 24, 2018. The drug lab was the largest authorities found so far in Cumbitara municipality, Nariño department, in Colombia’s southwest. “Cumbitara, with the municipalities of Leyva, Rosario, and Policarpa, is the third most productive coca area of Nariño department,” Colombian Army Colonel Oscar Moreno, commander of the 23rd Brigade, told Diálogo. “The area, under the influence of Front 29 and paramilitary and self-defense groups, has been at the center of a turf war as the main narcotrafficking corridor in the region.” The lab belonged to Front 29, a remnant armed group of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish). According to the Army, the complex was divided into 13 rustic and interconnected structures able to produce 5 tons of cocaine hydrochloride a month, valued at $135 million in the illegal international market. Millions seized Authorities found five distillers to refine coca paste, two electric generators, five storage tanks and logos to brand each kilogram of cocaine to identify its owner. Law enforcement also seized vacuum sealers, 34 microwave ovens, two hydraulic presses, four improvised toilets, two industrial heaters, 14 test tubes, 18 acidimeters, two compressors, 10 gas cylinders, 65 plastic tanks, and 3,500 rolls of packing tape, among other equipment and supplies, the Army stated. Authorities conducted the operation as an air assault, with helicopters allowing for quick seizures, yet with the loud sound of spinning blades. Coca paste makers and security personnel ran away as soon as they heard the aircraft, preventing any arrests from taking place. International intervention The increase in interventions to locate and destroy labs is part of the Army’s Diamond Plan. The plan strengthens the course of action set by the Damascus doctrine at the core of the Colombian Military Forces, which leverages interoperability of joint, coordinated, and interagency operations. “We have a well-defined plan that considers every front. We receive a lot of support from the United States to make processes sustainable in the community,” Colombian Army Brigadier General Raúl Hernando Flórez, commander of the Counternarcotics Special Brigade, told Diálogo. “We work on mechanisms to restore capabilities for eradication, intervention, and intelligent spraying, based on the rules established.” The new legal guidelines classify cocaine production facilities and warehouses as high-value targets. “This increases intelligence, research, and judicial efforts,” Brig. Gen. Flórez said. “Strengthening international cooperation is one of the most important tools against this transnational crime. So is promoting coordination centers against its funding, with a coordinated approach of strategic communication and two clear messages: What comes around goes around, and, in particular, narcotrafficking crimes have no political connotations.” “But none of this will be successful if we don’t devise joint, coordinated, interagency, and multinational strategies to ban drug consumption and possession anywhere in our region,” Brig. Gen. Flórez said. “We are studying the case, adjusting the diagnosis of the problem.” Remnant groups devoted to narcotrafficking In 2018, the Army destroyed eight labs in the area. Authorities believe FARC remnants owned the drug labs. “Remnant groups are completely devoted to narcotrafficking; there’s no ideology, no politics, just business, and this is narcotrafficking financed by Colombian and Mexican rings,” Col. Moreno said. “Locating and reaching these labs is the result of a complex operation using intelligence, technical, and technological [resources], flyovers, heat inspections, many days of follow-up, and, obviously, the community’s help.”last_img read more

‘Like his son’ – Cesc Fabregas slams Jorginho’s special treatment by Maurizio Sarri

first_imgCesc Fabregas played a key role in Chelsea’s two most recent Premier League title winning campaigns (Picture: Getty)‘I like to have new objective, said Fabregas. ‘All the time for me it’s important to have a new objective in my head.‘I was at Chelsea and I could have renewed my contract and stayed there but a new coach came with a player that for him was like his son.‘For me it was difficult to play every single game and that’s what I want to do. I love football. I don’t want to just be happy to play for Chelsea.‘For whatever reason it was impossible for me even if I was better, or someone else is better, to play every match and I decided to come to a project that was different for me and I think it will give me so much satisfaction.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Comment Jorginho joined Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea from Napoli last summer (Picture: Reuters)Cesc Fabregas believes Maurizio Sarri treats Jorginho as if he were his son and insists it would have been impossible to win a regular place back in Chelsea’s midfield no matter how well he was playing.The Spaniard won two Premier League titles following his move to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona in the summer of 2014, but bid an emotional farewell to the west London club in January having struggled to win over Antoino Conte’s successor.Upon succeeding his compatriot, Sarri requested the signing of Jorginho from Napoli and the Italy international has been a constant fixture in the Chelsea side, despite a number of indifferent displays.AdvertisementAdvertisementFabregas subsequently felt he had no option but to seek a move, despite having been offered a contract extension. The former Arsenal captain joined Monaco in January and is confident he made the right decision, having played a prominent role in the French side’s improvement since Leonardo Jardim replaced Thierry Henry in the dugout.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Metro Sport ReporterFriday 12 Apr 2019 3:15 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShares Advertisement ‘Like his son’ – Cesc Fabregas slams Jorginho’s special treatment by Maurizio Sarrilast_img read more

Syracuse’s goal to be a ‘power-four team’ falls short in NCAA quarterfinals to Northwestern

first_img Published on May 18, 2019 at 6:44 pm Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelman EVANSTON, IL. —  In the midst of trying to calm down the tears of his players after losing to then-No. 1 Boston College in February, Syracuse head coach Gary Gait paused during his press conference. His team had squandered a five-goal lead. As the No. 11 team in the nation, he wanted to outline his one and only intention for 2019.“We want to be a power-four team that competes for championships,” he declared.There wasn’t much validity to that statement then — only the team’s history as a perennial power. Coming off its worst record in program history, the Orange had to slowly prove themselves. A come-from-behind defeat of then-No. 4 Northwestern, a blow out of then-No. 7 Virginia, taking Maryland, then BC again to the final seconds.After rising to the No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament, Syracuse (16-5, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) was one win away from making Gait’s wish come to fruition. Northwestern (16-4, 5-1 Big Ten) was the only team standing in the way from Syracuse reaching the final four team for the first time since 2016. With one minute left in the first half, the Orange were on the wrong side of a blowout, down 10-3. A two-hour lightning delay couldn’t save them. Their star attacks, Emily Hawryschuk and Megan Carney, and their nine goals couldn’t either, as the Orange lost 18-14. Syracuse’s season ended because it couldn’t recover from the mess it created in the first half, and Gait’s aspiration fell one game short from coming true.“We just spotted them,” Gait said postgame. “A 10-3 lead is tough to come back from and we didn’t stop the run when we needed to.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCorey Henry | Photo EditorSyracuse’s first statement win of the season came in late February against the same team that ended its season. Coming off the Boston College collapse, SU stormed the aspects of lacrosse that limited it today: face-guards, a plethora of scorers and a draw control group that ranks top-10 in the nation. Down two in the final minutes in the Carrier Dome, SU fought back to tie the score in the closing seconds. And in overtime, Hawryschuk brought the Orange the alluded ranked win it needed early in the season. But that was February.On May 18, Syracuse had proven it was a top-five — not top-four — team that could take any powerhouse to the final possession. In the first half, the Orange looked far from it.After Hawryschuk had broken out of a face-guard from Northwestern defender Nell Copeland off a spin dodge, Saturday’s matchup seemed to be another “game of runs,” the term Gait alludes to as the nature of lacrosse. With Wildcat attack Selena Lasota, one of five Tewaaraton Award finalists, being shut out, Syracuse was bound to break through. But the Wildcats’ secondary scorers showed up when SU’s couldn’t. Senior Claire Quinn found space to shoot, catching goalkeeper Asa Goldstock off guard. Later, a rip off a double team from NU freshman Izzy Scane befuddled Goldstock as she sat in front of her net.“We wanted to move the ball and attack them aggressively,” Northwestern head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller said. “We were ready…our offense is effective no matter what it’s in front.”Syracuse’s response was turnovers, not scores. Goldstock had no answer and Hawryschuk wasn’t able to score in bunches early like she’s done throughout the year. The one-goal deficit escalated to seven. The Orange were stifled, their hopes of advancing to the final four darkened like the cloudy skies of Evanston.Lasota and Hawryschuk, the top players on their respective teams, resurrected to start the first three minutes of the second half. But lightning struck above Evanston, and any chance of recovery from Syracuse’s first half strife would have to wait two hours.  Corey Henry | Photo EditorCrammed in a small locker room, Gait tried to rally his team as the rain pelted Martin Stadium. Syracuse had just won in a rainstorm a week prior, and the Orange had 27 minutes to erase the 11-6 deficit.The rain steadied, but by 4:45 p.m. Central Standard Time, Hawryschuk lined up for a draw. An SU goal on the first possession was overshadowed by three straight from Northwestern as fog caused by the adjacent Lake Michigan crept in. But in an instant, down 14-8, all of the “wacky” weather disappeared. And SU’s high-octane attack reappeared.“You start on the wrong foot,” freshman Megan Carney said. “And you want to turn that around.”Junior Ella Simkins and freshman Sarah Cooper collided toward the middle, hindering cutters from getting their stick up. And when someone got through, their swipes — which were mostly called fouls earlier — became forced turnovers. Carney scored off a cut, then Hawryschuk bulldozed in. Freshman Meaghan Tyrrell faked a handoff and sidearmed a shot to the opposite side of the net. The scoring run that never came in the first half finally arrived and Northwestern’s lead was just 15-13. “You can see in the second half, we had that intensity,” Hawryschuk said. “We needed more, and we didn’t have that then.”But all of its momentum was stopped on the draw as Hawryschuk, who had 10 draw controls on the day along with five goals, couldn’t maintain her success. NU junior Megan Kinna popped out of nowhere to score, and on the ensuing draw, attack Lindsey McKone scored eight seconds into the shot clock. “The team who wins deserves a final four,” Lasota said. “Every team here has a similar chance, it’s a matter who shows up.”As the clock ticked with Syracuse down four scores with four minutes left, any hope of a comeback slowly became an afterthought. Off a high shot from Lasota with 1:45 left, the clock didn’t stop. Syracuse players, parents, and even head coach Gary Gait couldn’t maintain their cool. While the referees huddled, complaints from a dwindling group of 20 SU parents and fans continued. One Northwestern fan, decking a purple flag, motioned toward them and turned to his friend.“It doesn’t even matter anymore,” the fan said under his breath.Minutes after the game, SU players approached their families one-by-one. Senior Julie Cross, then Hawryschuk and sophomore Sam Swart, with tears in their eyes, tried to embrace the only people left in orange at Martin Field. Gait watched from a distance as his team looked for the comfort he couldn’t give.When asked about falling one game short from being that “power-four team,” Gait put his hands on his Persian blue pants, then tugged at his collar. His eyes widened, but no words came out at first. Eventually, he had to say something. “We were close.”Corey Henry | Photo Editor Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

VAR will cause ‘controversy’ admits Premier League chief

first_imgHe hopes there will be fewer stoppages for referees to consult monitors than seen during other events such as the Champions League last season or the recent Women’s World Cup.“I think fans want to see those clear and obvious mistakes changed and put right,” Masters said in China, where he has been attending the Premier League’s pre-season Asia Trophy.“But they don’t want to see the Premier League or English football interrupted, or the pace of the game changed.“I think the only difference you might see is the referees using the referee review area a bit more sparingly and relying more on the VAR for the more subjective decisions.“But we are putting something new into the Premier League and if it needs to be refined or improved or tweaked we will look at it when the moment arises.“We’ve got to let it happen first and keep an open mind about whether it is really working.”Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: VARShanghai, China | AFP | Premier League interim chief executive Richard Masters admits VAR is certain to cause “controversy” when the technology makes its English top-flight debut in the forthcoming season.The video referee system will be used for the first time in the Premier League after its introduction was delayed for a year to allow time to develop the system.VAR has been used in England in the FA Cup and League Cup, as well as in numerous other foreign leagues and tournaments including the Champions League.It hasn’t been a huge success, with complaints from managers and fans about the slowness of the system and mistakes made by the officials.“I have no doubt it will create some controversy because it is about the big decisions but we are prepared for that,” Masters said.“We have spent two years working up to this point, and we were committed to doing it in our heads for two years.“We have been training and testing and making sure when it happens, particularly on Saturday afternoons when we have got multiple matches going on, that we have a number of VARs trained. We feel that is done and we are ready to launch it.”Masters is adamant the Premier League have looked at ways to ensure VAR operates effectively, taking lessons from the initial use of the system elsewhere.last_img read more

Why I’m saying goodbye to football

first_imgby Roxanne Jones(CNN) — I fell in love on a Monday night. Now, many may say a teenage girl can’t know about such things. But that night as I watched Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett roll downfield 99 yards for a touchdown, I fell head-over-heals in love with the NFL.It was January 3, 1983 — Monday Night Football, Dallas vs. Minnesota. I’d never seen anything so inspiring. Dorsett was so free, so graceful and so powerful to me. He was focused and determined. Watching him break free of his competitors, those who wanted to bring him down and stop him from reaching his goal, I was in awe. And I knew then that his run capsulized all that I wanted to accomplish in my life.That football game is one of my most cherished childhood memories. I have been a passionate NFL fan since that moment — though I switched my loyalties to the Philadelphia Eagles, my hometown team. My family has never understood my love affair with the league. They have balked as play dates, family events, even church services have been rearranged or skipped to fit my football calendar. I ended up spending much of my career in sports journalism, a dream job if ever there was one.But after 30 years, my love and respect for the game is fading. And I’m seriously considering giving up football completely. I don’t want to, but I am left with little choice. I’ve come to this pass because of a recent airing of “League of Denial, The NFL’s Concussion Crisis,” the PBS documentary that details the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries.Based on a book by journalists Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, the program examines the NFL’s attempt to cover up medical science that has linked Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, called CTE, to concussions in NFL players. Players with CTE have battled depression, memory loss, and in some cases dementia.The NFL consistently has denied any connection. But many of the men who play the game feel differently.“I think I’m just paranoid. But … from their standpoint, I think they are looking forward to covering their own (butt) more than anything, more than player safety,” Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl champion Terrell Suggs told the Baltimore Sun.Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, whose concussion in 1994 was featured in the documentary, told PBS:“I do not have a son; if I had a son, I wouldn’t necessarily discourage him from playing football, but I don’t know that I would encourage him to play, either … I don’t know what the data show, but I haven’t sensed there’s been a reduction in head injuries. With that in mind, that’s concerning. As long as we’re having contact and as long as there are collisions, there’s going to be head injuries.”The NFL, which did not participate in the documentary, agreed in late August to a $765 million settlement in a concussion lawsuit with more than 4,500 players and their families.The proposed settlement allows the NFL to avoid a public trial to fight accusations that the league concealed what it knew about the dangers of head injuries. Under the terms of the pending settlement, which is still awaiting approval by a judge, the NFL likely won’t have to disclose internal files about what it knew, or when it knew of any links between concussions and permanent brain injury.When I watch the games today, the awe is gone. Instead, I thank God that my son never wanted to play football, that it was basketball that stole his heart. And I find it ironic and a bit disingenuous that the NFL, in an effort to make the game more attractive to its 44% female audience, adorns the players and the field in Breast Cancer pink. Imagine where breast cancer research would be today if the science around the cause of the disease was rejected, or covered up. Imagine if women were told to ignore the warning signs of this killer disease, or if we were denied access to lifesaving treatment.Today, instead of telling kids how football helped to inspire me to go after what I want in life, I advise them and their parents to avoid the game at all costs. It’s not safe at any level. Play other sports.I’m not alone. The Hall of Fame Giants linebacker Harry Carson, who was a leading voice in the documentary, doesn’t believe the game is safe for children today.“I pray parents understand all they’re getting into when they allow their kids to play football,” he said. “My oldest son luckily gravitated to basketball, and as a doctor he understands what concussions are about. My younger son didn’t play, and to this day I’m grateful,” said Carson, who begs his daughter not to let his grandson play.“Because concussions happen all the time on every level of football, the long-term damage is terrible, and we’re seeing evidence of it all the time.”I agree. I’ve worked with former NFLers who suffer blackouts in midsentence, after being diagnosed with numerous concussions over their careers. And many of us knew Junior Seau and others football players who have taken their own lives. Too many of us in the sports industry stood by and watched yesterday’s heroes implode, or fall into depression in retirement.It’s easy to sit back and pontificate about why so many players are violent, both on and off the field, or how they ended up with ruined lives. We often blamed the players themselves. “They were irresponsible men, or had bad agents, girlfriends, wives who took advantage of them,” we explained. We blamed everything but the game itself for so many ruined lives and serious psychological problems.Now I see that I have been an enabler, blindly protecting the game — the game that afforded me a lucrative career at ESPN. How could I criticize any NFL commissioner for doing the same? We have all made a very comfortable living off the game and the backs of men like Harry Carson, Tony Dorsett and Junior Seau.I want to save my relationship with the league but it needs to own up about CTE.Stop endlessly denying the findings of medical science that say playing football can cause permanent brain damage. End the lies. Just admit we have a problem. That is the first step. Stop the slick marketing campaigns to keep telling our children all they need to learn is a “safe way to hit in football,” while denying each hit comes with a dire consequence.This relationship is toxic. If my beloved NFL continues to lie and deny while men and boys are suffering and dying, then it’s time for this fan to say good-bye.Editor’s note: Roxanne Jones is a founding editor of ESPN The Magazine and a former vice president at ESPN. She is a national lecturer on sports, entertainment and women’s topics and a recipient of the 2010 Woman of the Year award from Women in Sports and Events. She is the co-author of “Say It Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete,” (Random House) and CEO of Push Media Strategies.last_img read more