USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy after sex-abuse scandal

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing over 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them. Nassar, 55, worked at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for decades. He is serving effective life sentences for child porn possession and molesting young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.Kathryn Carson, the recently elected chairwoman of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors, said the organization’s goal is to speed things up after mediation attempts failed to gain traction.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“Those discussions were not moving at any pace,” Carson said. “We as a board felt this was a critical imperative and decided to take this action.”The filing does not affect the amount of money available to victims, which would come from previously purchased insurance coverage, she said. Carson said the insurance companies “are aware we’re taking this action and our expectation is they will come to the table and pay on our coverage.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia LATEST STORIES No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2014, file photo, the USA Gymnastics logo is displayed at AT&T Stadium during an news conference announcing in Arlington, Texas. USA Gymnastics has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.(Ron Jenkins/Star-Telegram via AP)USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an attempt to ensure its survival.The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday in an effort to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to avoid its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.ADVERTISEMENT Nicholas Georgakopoulos, a bankruptcy expert and law professor at the Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus, said USA Gymnastics is “hoping for a miracle” with its legal maneuvering.“The USOC says you violated this relationship, here are the consequences and USA Gymnastics is saying it filed for bankruptcy, there are no consequences,” Georgakopoulos said. “This is like a gambling addict who goes to the casino and gambles every day and one day the casino says you can’t come anymore, you’ve lost too much, and addict says, I filed for bankruptcy, you can’t stop me from coming to the casino.”If the USOC wants to go forward with decertification, it must now go to court.USA Gymnastics has no timetable on how long the bankruptcy process will take and did not offer a ballpark on how much it expects to pay in settlements. Its doors, however, remain open for business.“We are continuing to pursue all aspects of our current operating model,” Carson said. “This affords us an opportunity to reorganize as well as resolve the claims with the survivors.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Flying high View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carson added: “This is not a liquidation. This is a reorganization.”John Manly, an attorney representing dozens of women who have pending lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, chastised the organization for continuing to “inflict unimaginable pain on survivors” and encouraged law enforcement officials to “redouble” their investigative efforts.“Today’s bankruptcy filing by USA Gymnastics was the inevitable result of the inability of this organization to meet its core responsibility of protecting its athlete members from abuse,” Manly said in a statement. “The leadership of USA Gymnastics has proven itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt.”USA Gymnastics insists that’s not the case, stressing that the filing is based on legal expediency, not fiscal distress.While Carson acknowledged that sponsorship is down since the first women came forward against Nassar in the fall of 2016, she described the financial condition of USA Gymnastics as “stable.”ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. USA Gymnastics reported assets in a range of $50 million to $100 million and a similar range of liabilities, with 1,000 to 5,000 creditors. The organization said its largest unsecured creditor is former president and CEO Steve Penny, who is owed $339,999.96. USA Gymnastics is disputing Penny’s claim, though attorney Cathy Steege declined to get into the specific nature of the dispute.Penny resigned under pressure from the USOC in March 2017. Two other presidents — Kerry Perry and former U.S. Rep. Mary Bono — have followed in what has become a revolving door amid the organization’s hierarchy.It’s that chaos at the top that led the USOC to initiate the process of removing USA Gymnastics as the sport’s national governing body at the Olympic level — a step that’s taken only under the most extreme circumstances.In an open letter to the gymnastics community in November, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics were more than it was capable of overcoming as currently constructed.Carson said the legal maneuvering Wednesday delays the USOC’s efforts to strip its designation as a national governing body.“We always have a dialogue going with them and intend to make it clear with them we have a lot to talk about and we want to keep that going,” she said.USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the committee is reviewing the filing’s potential effect on decertification. “Financial stability and viability are essential for a national governing body to operate in the best interests of the athletes,” Sandusky said.USA Gymnastics believes bankruptcy protects it from having opportunities or assets taken away by a debtor. Carson acknowledged that being a national governing body “is a big part of how we raise our revenue.”Carson, who replaced Karen Golz as chairwoman last week, said she accepted the position because she believes in the direction of USA Gymnastics, which she said doesn’t need money but rather time.“We think we’re changing the dynamic and we certainly believe that we will try to remain the NGB,” Carson said. “To be clear, it is our lawyers’ firm belief that the bankruptcy will automatically stay (decertification) … and we will work with the USOC to regain credibility.”last_img read more

SETI Sans ETI So Far

first_imgThere’s “no din of alien chatter in our neighborhood,” writes Richard Kerr in the Feb. 20 issue of Science.1  “Early-generation searches for extraterrestrial intelligence are coming up empty-handed, but the SETI community is carrying on,” he writes.  Search pioneer Frank Drake admits “We found nothing” in the latest Project Phoenix, a survey of 700 nearby sunlike stars.  James Trefil adds, “this idea there’s a galactic club that we would join as soon as we started … doesn’t look like it’s panning out.”  Paul Horowitz is not near ready to quit, though, urged on by the conviction that “There’s got to be life in the galaxy.”  Statistically, even with optimistic assumptions, it would not be probable to have found one by now – just hopeful.    Upcoming searches promise to be quicker and more powerful.  But if there are only 10,000 alien civilizations surfing the galactic radio internet, it could take decades to find one.  The importance of a positive signal keeps the search going.  Until one is found, however, SETI has been termed by Seth Shostak as “looking for an uncertain manifestation of a hypothetical presence.”1Richard Kerr, “No Din of Alien Chatter in Our Neighborhood,” Science Volume 303, Number 5661, Issue of 20 Feb 2004, p. 1133.Without the belief in Darwinian evolution, one wonders how much motivation SETI would have.  Would believers in God expect to find life all over the universe trying to contact us?  If so, would they work this hard looking?  The Darwin Party seems to think a discovery of alien life would disprove the Bible, but is that necessarily true?  Why would it not just as clearly indicate creation?  What if the aliens tell us they evolved, but are lying?  What if they turn out to be storytellers as incorrigible as members of the Darwin Party here on earth?    It’s fun, but maybe not useful, to speculate about things we cannot know.  Take your pick on this one.  Not even all secularists, though, agree SETI is worthwhile.  Michael Crichton used it as an example of policy-driven pseudoscience, essentially a religion (see 12/27/2003).  The only data point we have so far is that the local neighborhood is not teeming with alien broadcasters on the channels we are checking.  Maybe that means something.    If nothing else, the SETI researchers are making a great case for intelligent design (see 07/29/2002).  Their core assumption is that a nonrandom, coded message would be convincing evidence of intelligence, even if they knew nothing about the sender.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Reprieve for blacklisted consumers

first_img5 September 2013 Previously blacklisted consumers have been given some breathing space, with the Cabinet approving a proposal to allow consumers who can afford to take up more debt to access credit once they have settled their debt. Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Thursday following the Cabinet’s latest fortnightly meeting, spokesperson Phumla Williams said that denying credit to previously blacklisted consumers “hinders growth”. “What tends to happen currently is that even if you have settled your debt, you still have to wait for a period of five years,” Williams said. “The proposal that has been made is to ensure that those that have settled their debt are able to continue their lives in terms of doing the business that they may wish to engage in.” The proposal was made by the Select Committee on Trade and International Relations following a report by the Removal of Adverse Credit Information Project. The report’s recommendations were first discussed in Parliament last year after it was noted that denying credit to those that were previously blacklisted without considering affordability was detrimental not only to consumers but also to the economy. Williams said the Department of Trade and Industry still needed to conclude internal processes before the Cabinet’s decision could come into effect. Meanwhile, Williams said the Cabinet had also approved several other Bills for introduction to Parliament, including the National Credit Amendment Bill, which seeks to give the National Credit Regulator (NCR) more powers to implement and enforce critical credit provisions. “The Bill aims to strengthen the capacity of the National Credit Regulator to address certain challenges, especially around court processes, and to strengthen enforcement and implementation of the provisions of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005.” Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

Recent mission reveals Brazil’s huge production potential moving forward

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest On March 11, farmers with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association embarked on a 12-day market study mission of Brazil, a major competitor of international sales to the U.S. The purpose of this mission was to gain a better understanding of Brazil’s role in the worldwide market of agriculture. The in-person mission allowed first-hand insights of strengths and challenges in Brazil’s agricultural industry. Sustainability in BrazilBy Rachael Vonderhaar, who farms with her family in Preble County and serves on the Ohio Small Grains Checkoff BoardMarch 15, 2016As we start off on our 3- to 5-hour bus drive this morning (the wide time range due to rough infrastructure and heavy truck traffic) to tour Brazilian farms, I realize I have time to review my notes from the last couple of days. Our days have been action packed and long, which equals a migraine for Rachael. I am doing much better now as I am able to read and type on the bumpiest roads I have ever been on. I am definitely appreciating the air conditioning on the bus.Yesterday, we visited with Cid Sanches, Director of Aprosoja, Mato Grosso. Aprosoja is a soybean association formed in 2005 to unify the voices of the farmer to the federal government. Thirteen Brazilian states have Aprosoja Associations. Each state’s agriculture picture is unique and it’s hard to find a unified national voice across all agriculture.Soybeans are first crop here and corn is a second crop, which means, corn is planted behind the harvest of the soybeans. The growing season is long enough to raise and harvest two crops in one season in the same field following each other. Sometimes cotton is grown as the second, or double, crop.Cid mentioned several goals Aprosoja is working on for the farmers:1. Communication with the federal governmenta. Labor Lawsb. Production Lossc. Regulations2. International policya. Land useb. Biodieselc. Infrastructure/ Transportation 3. Educating Farmersa. Agronomyb. Farm Safetyc. Profitability4.  Coordinating ResearchComparatively to the U.S. Ag landscape, Approsoja is doing the work of our checkoffs, The Ohio State University Extension, and farm associations/organizations like Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association. Brazil has 22% of the world’s crop producing land and 12% of the world’s water, which is a lot of financial opportunity. However, the lack of infrastructure holds the Brazilian agriculture sector from reaching its full potential. Several groups, including the Chinese government, have tried to work with the Brazilian government to build railroad infrastructure to get crops to the ports more efficiently, but there is a current law that prevent any roads or rail from crossing state lines unless owned by the government.Brazil has partnered on public private partnerships in the past, but only when the government owns the final product. The Brazilian government has allowed several entities to explore rail construction options, but no progress has taken place. Conservation is also a big part of the conversation as to why the infrastructure is a challenge.My take-aways:Aprosoja has a lot of work to do with such a large list of topics.I have a lot of respect for the Brazilian farmers and the patience they have for dealing with lack of infrastructure and government struggle (there were large protests/demonstrations that took place on Sunday demanding impeachment of the current President). Marco Reis joined us this evening for a presentation and dinner. Marco represents Alianca De Terra, a not-for-profit committed to working hand-in-hand with the Brazilian farmer and sustainability in three specific areas:1. Environment — conservation, fireprevention/fire brigade, and soil health2. Social –sharing cattle genetics and agricultural practices with native and indigenous people3. Production — gathering information for research, profitability and traceability Alianca De Terra helps to provide education about conservation to the new farmers. They also work with RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy) which represents: the soy value chain, responsible soy production, and works with the European market on negotiations. Alianca De Terra is working hard to educate on the understanding the value of conservation and the long term value of “producing right.” Brazil has strict restrictions on clearing of land for agriculture and the value of conservation. Alianca De Terra helps to make sure all farmers are using good land stewardship practices. The most interesting detail of the night was that small scale ag in Brazil is in the most need for education on good stewardship practices.Marco shared the story of John Carter moving to Brazil and starting his soybean farm in the wilderness of northern Mato Grosso. I am not sure I have the grit to make that kind of leap in life, but what an exciting adventure. The Brazilian government did a social outreach program giving 600 families 100 hectares each so they may start farming. Our presentation was followed with a buffet meal at a Brazilian steakhouse and a lot of good conversation and debate.I am thankful to farm in United States. I am thankful to farm in Ohio. I am thankful for our infrastructure, and now I am even more driven to be vocal for maintaining it. I am thankful for the Extension services, checkoffs, and commodity associations who divide and conquer agriculture obstacles we face everyday. I am thankful for my opportunity to learn first-hand about Brazilian agriculture after reading about it for years in grain market reports.A few in the group snapped a quick photo with the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Fields as far as you can seeBy Eric Neer, who farms in Champaign County and serves on the Ohio Corn Checkoff BoardMarch 18, 2016For our last day in the state of Mato Grasso, our group pulled together for a few new experiences. After waking up and hearing that my roomie didn’t have hot water for a shower at the hotel, I crossed my fingers and hoped that the remainder of my day would be better than the first 15 minutes. I was in luck! I found a hot shower within the first few minutes and currently relax at the hotel after an eye-opening day of visits.Our day started out with our group loading the bus in Primavera do Leste, and driving west to Bom Futuro, a farm near Campo Verde. The farm name stands for Good Future, originated in the 1980s as a partnership between four original members. While we didn’t gather a good indication of their original scale, it was hard to believe that they currently farm over 1 million acres in several states. With 5,300 employees, they grow soybeans, cotton, eucalyptus trees (fuel source for dryer), and corn while also utilizing fish farms, cattle grazing, and hydroelectric energy to balance out their operation.It was easy to feel the shift in scale as we drove past a paved air strip on our way to the farm’s movie theater for our introductions. One of their many agronomists then provided a tour of the 225,000-acre farm in Campo Verde. The 4.5 million-bushel storage site was impressive. Eleven combines prepping for soybean harvest in the same field was also impressive. It became evident that we would have a challenge trying to describe the scale and vastness of the opportunities to our friends in Ohio.Picture yourself driving from Cincinnatti to Cleveland and finding nothing but gently rolling ground, fantastic soils, year round warmth, and acres upon acres of corn, soybeans, and cotton. Keep in mind you are on a two-lane road and haven’t spotted a single house. Now imagine that those crops have the potential to increase yield by a factor up to two times at any given moment.This potential opportunity is the true indication that we better prepare for as farmers in Ohio. While we strive to improve our own farming operations, we must also ask ourselves how we could adapt if world supply of corn increases at a faster pace than we traditionally expect. As we look towards our future, let’s be sure to keep one eye on building demand, serving our customers, and helping nourish the world. Capturing maximum sunlightStacie Seger, Communication Manager, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers AssociationMarch 18, 2016While visiting farms today, the common theme was clear: maximize the amount of energy (sunlight) you can capture. Land never sits idle.The grain farm we visited today was about 3,000 acres and had only been in production for two years. We watched as he harvested soybeans with three combines and across the red dirt driveway planted corn in the field he harvested yesterday. It was fascinating to learn that most of Brazil did not start double cropping until 1990. Although we have actually seen more on-farm storage than we thought we would, this young farmer was storing soybeans in bags until the two new grain bins by his shed were finished.Working to diversity how he captures energy, the 3,000-head beef producer we visited had his farm on a cycle of three years of cattle pasturing on elephant grass and then a year of soybeans as first crop and corn as second crop. His beef-crops rotation is unique and progressive. His 500-hectare farm is currently outlined into 50 to 60 hectare pastures where he moves his cattle on a 7-day rotation. All of the fence posts will be pulled out when it’s time to plant soybeans and corn.The state of Mato Grosso do Sul is currently changing to grains, ethanol (sugarcane), and eucalyptus production from beef cattle region due to land prices. It will be interesting to see how this young grain state looks in a few years.For more from the trip, visit ocwmarketmission.wordpress.com.last_img read more

Google Apps for Government Addresses Cloud Security Concerns

first_imgTags:#cloud#news The LA Times reported over the weekend that Google had missed its deadline for implementing a the city’s new email system, in part because it had not fully responded to some of the LA Police Department’s security concerns.But Google announced this morning that it was introducing a new edition of Google Apps, Google Apps for Government, an indication that Google is still committed to making inroads into enterprise, schools, and now government.Google Apps boasts Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification from the U.S. Government – the first suite of cloud computing applications to receive it. The FISMA law applies to all systems utilized by federal government agencies, and Google’s accreditation means that the federal government has reviewed Google’s security controls. “This review,” says Google in the blog post announcing the Apps for Government edition, “makes it easier for federal agencies to compare our security features to those of their existing systems; most agencies we have worked with have found that Google Apps provides at least equivalent, if not better, security than they have today. This means government customers can move to the cloud with confidence.”Google Apps for Government stores Gmail and Calendar data in a separate storage system housed state-side, one designed exclusively for Google’s government contractors. Google Apps for Government is available to any federal, state or local government in the U.S., and according to Google “should give governments an even stronger case for making the move to the cloud.”Whether or not it’s a strong enough case for the Los Angeles Police Department, and other skeptics, remains to be seen. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img audrey watters Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

Android Market Nears for Google TV

first_imgEarlier this month, brave, screwdriver-wielding developers got an early jump on creating Android apps for Google TV when a group of hackers figured out a hardware root for the device. Now, the day they were waiting for – the opening of the Android Market for Google TV – looks to be one step closer. According to one keen-eyed developer, the Android Market servers received a Google TV-related update today and it could be a sign that the app marketplace is soon on its way.“#Android market servers seem to have had a @googletv related update. Publishers are now warned that ‘touchscreen’ is a filtering feature,” tweeted Al Sutton. Tags:#Internet TV#NYT#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Android Community and Boy Genius Reports both picked up on the story, with BGR writing that “Google has not yet confirmed that the new ‘android.hardware.touchscreen’ filter is directly related to Google TV, but the writing is certainly on the wall – or screen, as it may be.”Android Community notes that the new feature “checks whether an app requires a touchscreen; that’s something you’ll find on an Android smartphone, but not on a Google TV device such as Logitech’s Revue.”A Google spokesperson said “We’ve never given a specific timeline on access to the market, but we’re still on track with our overall plans to launch the market this year.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Accounting for Renewable Electricity Savings

first_imgAccounting for ‘source’ and ‘site’ energy useThe underlying issue, and DOE’s updated thinking, rests on some rather arcane accounting treatment that distinguishes between “site” energy and “source” energy. Site energy is the amount of electricity used at a home or business (i.e., the kilowatt-hours consumed by lights, appliances and equipment); source energy is the amount of energy used at power plants to generate and deliver that electricity to the site. What’s next?There are a number of other issues that remain to be addressed in improving energy accounting, several of which are raised but not answered in DOE’s paper. These include the appropriate treatment of other low-emissions generation, e.g., nuclear and fossil fuel power plants that use carbon capture and storage technology; consideration of marginal rather than average power plants (marginal power plants are those that are affected by an increase or decrease in load, and don’t necessarily have the same carbon intensity as the average generating fleet); avoiding stakeholder confusion and ensuring continuity with historical data when shifting to a more appropriate methodology; choosing the right source accounting methodology for the decision at hand; and thinking about how to weigh up these issues in policy-making.It would be great if DOE would embark on a broader process to work through some of those important issues, something that NRDC has previously proposed. The constructive contributions of various stakeholders in the current effort indicate that such a process would be valuable and productive.And more broadly, perhaps it’s time to consider adopting metrics that get closer to the core of society’s interests of superior consumer and business impact, reducing carbon and other harmful emissions, cost, reliability, and security. That would surely be a longer-term transition, as much of federal energy policy revolves around energy use and energy savings as key metrics, with a very good track record of success.Finally, the importance of getting these accounting items right will only grow over time as the nation’s energy mix becomes cleaner, leading to a deeply decarbonized, and economically vibrant energy future. DOE has taken a great step in that direction. Because only about 30% of the fuel that goes into the average fossil fuel power plant on the nation’s grid is ultimately delivered as electricity to a consumer’s site (with the rest lost as waste heat at the power plant or in the grid), source energy accounting for fossil fuel plants indicates energy use that is about three times higher than site energy accounting.New high efficiency natural gas power plants, while not nearly as low-emitting as wind or solar, are far more efficient than the average units on the grid and a big step forward, converting closer to 50% of the fuel into useful delivered electricity.Accounting for source energy of different energy options can be informative for good policy; e.g., in comparing the amount of energy used to make hot water for households with either an electric or natural gas water heater, it makes sense to compare the amount of energy that would be used to deliver the natural gas to the water heater and operate it, with the energy that would be used in the grid to make the electricity used in the electric water heater.Ignoring the fact that about two-thirds of the fossil fuel energy used in making electricity is lost as waste heat in the power plant and in the transmission and distribution system would give the incorrect impression that an electric water heater uses much less energy than a gas one. Furnace efficiency standards: source accounting might matterDOE’s current standards-setting process for household natural gas furnaces is an excellent example of where proper source accounting could matter. In developing the proposed standard, DOE’s detailed analysis found that while a stronger standard will deliver great consumer and environmental benefits overall, some fraction of households that currently use natural gas furnaces would switch to electric heating, due to a combination of installation challenges in special circumstances and higher up-front costs.Using its traditional source accounting approach, DOE estimated that while the stronger standard would save about 7 quads (quadrillion Btu) of natural gas energy, electricity used for heating would increase by about 4.3 quads, resulting in a net savings of 2.8 quads.However, if DOE had used an updated source accounting methodology and the assumption that 50% of generation is from non-fossil fuel power plants sources by 2040 (e.g., including wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear), the 7 quads of natural gas energy savings would be offset by closer to only 3 quads of increased fossil fuel used for generating electricity, for a net savings of 4 quads.So would the standard save 2.8 quads or 4 quads of energy? That’s a big difference, and might be enough to sway policy-makers to consider a different choice.Of course, the standards-setting process involves balancing a host of issues — notably including consumer, environmental, and business impacts — and not just total energy savings; there’s not a direct link between the estimated total savings and the ultimate policy decision.Further, while the furnace standards highlight the growing importance of this accounting issue, it makes sense to start thinking about the implications for future policy, rather than suggest a significant and sudden change in the current standards process. A good next step from DOEDOE has proposed a sensible, transparent methodology that it calls “captured energy” for setting the source energy of renewable electricity generation. The captured energy methodology assigns a source energy value to renewable electricity that is exactly equal to the electricity produced, with no losses other than those in transmission and distribution from the generator to the site. This approach is a big improvement.Notably, while the impact of adopting the captured energy methodology is relatively small under today’s energy mix (i.e., with relatively little wind and solar compared to that which is anticipated by 2040), it will grow considerably over the coming decades.For example, DOE’s illustrative example shows that the more sensible captured energy methodology could reduce the estimated grid average source energy by about 30%. And to be clear, a major increase in renewable electricity is already on the way due to improving economics and policies such as strong renewable portfolio standards adopted in several states. Robin Roy is a consultant for the National Resource Defense Council. This post was first posted at the NRDC website. By ROBIN ROYHow much does it matter if energy efficiency programs like Energy Star or appliance energy standards save electricity generated by renewable resources like wind and solar, rather than from fossil fuel power plants? Certainly from the perspective of reducing carbon pollution, there’s a strong case that saving renewable electricity is not as valuable as saving energy generated from burning fossil fuels.As the role of renewable electricity in the nation’s electricity supply grows, this question will become increasingly important to think through.Recognizing this, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) took a great step forward to update its thinking and approach, with a report released in October. NRDC joined with the American Public Power Association, the Edison Electric Institute, and the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association to request that DOE rethink these issues and also joined in commenting on DOE’s initial thoughts earlier this year.DOE’s efforts were further aided by thoughtful input from the natural gas industry, which also has great interest in getting the accounting right. The overall result at DOE shows that constructive, collaborative efforts can deliver real progress. RELATED ARTICLES Understanding Energy UnitsOur All-Renewable Energy FutureShould the DOE Increase Furnace Efficiency Standards?Refrigerators Get New Efficiency StandardsNew Furnaces Will Be More Efficient A key challengeWhile using source accounting makes sense, the key challenge is that DOE has traditionally used “fossil fuel equivalency” when accounting for renewable electricity. In this approach, the source value assigned to renewable electricity is based on the average source energy of all fossil fuel power plants on the grid.That’s entirely artificial, and suggests that a kWh of clean wind or solar power raises the same concern as a kWh from the oldest, least efficient, dirtiest fossil fuel power plant — and that’s just not right. As the supply of clean renewable electricity increases over the coming decades, the fossil fuel equivalency approach would become increasingly misleading and unhelpful for policymakers.So what’s the right number to use? It might be possible to come up with a technically accurate source number for wind and solar (e.g., relating to the fraction of wind energy blowing across the countryside that is captured by a wind turbine, or the fraction of sunlight that is converted into electricity in a photovoltaic panel). However, to be clear, that source accounting approach doesn’t have a bearing on what society cares about, e.g., the carbon emissions of those generators, so that wouldn’t be of much use or interest for policy-making, either.last_img read more

Second BJP man found dead in West Bengal’s Purulia

first_imgThe body of another BJP supporter was found hanging in West Bengal’s Purulia district on Saturday. The BJP raised its pitch against the Trinamool Congress, saying it was a political murder.Locals spotted the body of Dulal Kumar, 32, hanging from an electricity tower in Dava village early on Saturday. They clashed with policemen when they tried to remove the body for post-mortem.The government replaced Superintendent of Police, Purulia, Joy Biswas, with Askash Megharia, Special Superintendent of Police, Criminal Investigation Department.’Worst kind of crime’The CID is aiding in the investigation into the death of another BJP supporter on Saturday. A team has reached Purulia and is coordinating with the district police.Superintendent of Police, Purulia, Joy Biswas, who was replaced with Akash Megharia, Special Superintendent of Police, CID, told The Hindu earlier in the day that prima facie, it appeared to be a case of suicide. More details would emerge after the post-mortem, he said.On Wednesday, the body of Trilochan Mahato, 20, was found hanging from a tree in the Balarampur area with a note saying he had been “punished for being associated with the BJP”.Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar, who was in Kolkata, said West Bengal was witnessing “political murders day in and day out”. He described it as the “worst kind of crime”.Inhuman, says ShahBJP president Amit Shah took to social media to allege that the Mamata Banerjee government “has completely failed to maintain law and order in the State”. “Distressed to know about yet another killing of BJP karyakarta Dulal Kumar in Balrampur, West Bengal. This continued brutality and violence in the land of West Bengal is shameful and inhuman,” Mr. Shah tweeted.The State BJP leadership took out rallies in Kolkata and called a 12-hour bandh in Purulia on June 3. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the deaths.Expressing their condolences, Trinamool Congress leaders said a thorough probe would bring out the complete picture.Party MP and spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said all angles must be probed. “The perpetrators of the heinous act must be punished. What elements of Bajrang Dal, Maoist or BJP (are) involved. Let the truth be found out through proper investigation,” he tweeted.Senior party leader Partha Chatterjee said the role of “ people who are bringing outsiders from Jharkhand and colluding with Maoists should also be probed”.The National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) on Friday evening took suo motu cognisance of the death of Trilochan Mahato.“The right to life of the poor Dalit victim has been grossly violated, which is a glaring instance of the failure of the law-enforcing agencies to protect the precious human life,” the NHRC press release stated.last_img read more

First Nations in BC negotiating to buy percentage of Coastal GasLink pipeline

first_imgLaurie HamelinAPTN NewsFirst Nations in British Columbia are vying for a percentage of the Coastal Gaslink pipeline that will cost billions of dollars.Part of the pipeline is up for sale.Dan George, an elected chief in Burns Lake First Nation, one of six First Nations in Wet’suwet’en territory, has been in Vancouver discussing business.George said he wants to buy into the pipeline.In 2014, he signed a benefit agreement with Coastal Gaslink but says he hopes to do more for his community’s future.Now he’s working towards equity ownership of the pipeline with all other First Nations along the proposed route.“Being equity owners creates a lot more wealth for us because we’ll have a bigger piece of the pie,” George said. “And we won’t need any money from Ottawa anymore, we can run our own businesses by ourselves, under our own conditions, so I think it is going to help a lot of First Nations get out of poverty in the north because opportunities are few and far between.”The Coastal Gaslink pipeline project will push natural gas from Dawson Creek, B.C., 670 kilometres to Kitimat on the coast where it will be liquefied and shipped to markets in Asia.TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, presented the First Nations with the opportunity to purchase a 75 per cent stake in the line.The cost is approximately $6 billion.“It’s going to be ongoing for a while to come because it’s a huge submission and it’s a lot of money that we need to raise,” said George.George told APTN News that Jason Kenney’s win in Alberta comes at a crucial time for Canada’s oil and gas business.“I think it will be a good thing for all people of Canada to be on the world stage instead of just giving all our resources to the U.S. for half the price,” George said.But the Coast Gaslink pipeline project faces stiff opposition from Wet’suwet’en Nations’ highest hereditary Chiefs, despite approval from al 20 elected band councils along the route.The traditional leaders don’t want the pipeline and say they have jurisdiction – not elected leadership.George said he isn’t worried – his members want the pipeline so he’s focussed on making sure the project goes through.“As elected Chief I follow what my band members tell me what they want me to do,” he said.“So we had a vote on the LNG and they all voted for it so I do what my members tell me and Hereditary Chiefs have to do the same thing.”lhamelin@aptn.ca@laurie_hamelinlast_img read more

French cable operator Numericable has added ESPN A

first_imgFrench cable operator Numericable has added ESPN America HD to its line-up.The service, which offers sports including Major League Baseball, NFL football and NCAA basketball, is available on Numericable’s channel 160.Numericable said it now offered 25 channels in full HD on its platform.last_img