Trump Lies To Americas Coal Miners: Reneges On His Promises

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE WEEK’)

 

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Trump accused of breaking promise to coal industry CEO

9:28 a.m. ET

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The CEO of “the largest coal mining company in America” believes President Trump has broken his promises to miners, The Associated Press reports. Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray claims he told Trump that without the White House invoking an obscure emergency order to protect coal-fired power plants, he would have to lay off more than 6,500 miners. Murray allegedly convinced Trump, and Trump told his energy secretary, Rick Perry, three times that “I want this done.”

The order allows “the Energy Department to temporarily intervene when the nation’s electricity supply is threatened by an emergency such as war or natural disaster” by offering a temporary exemption of “power plants from obeying environmental laws,” AP writes.

Murray argued that his biggest customer, the coal-burning FirstEnergy Solutions, faces bankruptcy. “As stated, disastrous consequences for President Trump, our electric power grid reliability, and tens of thousands of coal miners will result if this is not immediately done,” Murray wrote in letters reviewed by AP.

The Trump administration ultimately rejected invoking the emergency order, deeming it an unnecessary response. “We look at the facts of each issue and consider the authorities we have to address them, but with respect to this particular case at this particular time, the White House and the Department of Energy are in agreement that the evidence does not warrant the use of this emergency authority,” said an Energy Department spokeswoman.

Trump has long been considered the “savior” of the coal industry, although Paul Waldman writes for The Week that “the truth is that … coal jobs were mostly lost to automation and aren’t coming back.” Jeva Lange

China Will Be The Straw That Will Stir The World’s Economic Drink?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

HOME » BUSINESS » FINANCE

Forum hears pledge of more effort to revitalize China’s real economy

CHINA will remain committed to ensuring innovation drives development and will increase efforts to revitalize the real economy, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said yesterday.

“The real economy is the foundation of economic growth and we will optimize it,” Zhang said at the opening ceremony of the China Development Forum 2017 in Beijing.

China will improve its capabilities in scientific innovation and boost the development of strategic emerging sectors and modern manufacturing while transforming traditional industries with new technology and business models, he said.

The government will continue to promote entrepreneurship and the “Internet Plus” plan to meet the diverse needs of the market and Chinese companies will be encouraged to use craftsmanship to establish competitive brands that can stand the test of time.

China will further reduce costs for enterprises by streamlining administration and pushing forward tax reforms, and prevention and control of financial risks will be elevated to a higher position on the government’s agenda, Zhang said, adding that China will manage risks in bad loans, bond default, property bubbles and Internet finance to avoid systemic financial risks.

To stimulate growth and improve market vitality, China should increase supply-side structural reform, Zhang said.

Highlighting the basic tone of “seeking progress while maintaining stability,” he underscored the need for efforts to maintain growth, ensure employment and counteract risks from home and abroad.

China will forge ahead with its supply-side reform, cutting steel production capacity by around 50 million tons and coal capacity by over 150 million tons this year, he said.

The country will prioritize de-stocking unsold houses in third and fourth-tier cities as it fights speculation in the housing market, he added.

Zhang restated China’s commitment to better air, water and soil quality.

The government will speed up the reform of state-owned enterprises, make concrete mixed-ownership reforms in sectors such as power, petroleum, railways, civil aviation and telecommunications and open the market to more private investment, Zhang said.

On the close ties between China and the world economy, he stressed the need to advance globalization and fight protectionism.

“China is willing to join efforts with the international community to steer the world economy toward strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth,” he said.

The country will continue to implement its opening-up strategy and advance the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.

China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May. Taking part in this “new chapter in win-win cooperation” will be more than 20 heads of state and government, more than 50 leaders of international organizations, more than 100 ministerial-level officials, and more than 1,200 delegates.

Beijing suspends last of its coal-fired power plants: China Goes To The Future: Trump, U.S. In Reverse

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

HOME » NATION

Beijing suspends last of its coal-fired power plants

BEIJING’S last large coal-fired power plant has suspended operations, meaning the capital has become the first city in China to have all its power plants fueled by clean energy.

The Huangneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant came into operation in June 1999. It has five coal-fired units with a total installed capacity of 845,000 kilowatts and heating capacity of 26 million square meters.

Du Chengzhang, the plant’s general manager, said it is an efficient and environmental friendly plant with advanced emission treatment equipment. The plant has provided important support to the stable operation of Beijing’s electric power system and the heat-supply system, he said.

After the suspension of the plant on Saturday, about 1.76 million tons of coal, 91 tons of sulfur dioxide and 285 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions a year will be cut.

According to a clean air plan by Beijing from 2013 to 2017, the city was to build four gas thermal power centers and shut down the four large coal-fueled thermal power plants.

The other three plants which used to consume over 6.8 million tons of coal each year were closed in 2014 and 2015.

Du said Huangneng will prepare to serve as an emergency heat source for the capital’s heating system after operations cease.

Three of the four gas thermal power have already been built and are in use.

Beijing has 27 power plants, all fueled by clean energy with a total installed capacity of 11.3 million kilowatts.

Under the plan, Beijing will build no more large-scale power plants.

North China Is Choking On The Smog: Air Pollution Is Killing People

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

FRESH air is becoming a luxury for many Chinese. Especially in northern China where many areas been wrapped in heavy smog since last weekend prompting 23 cities to activate red alerts, the highest in a four-tier warning system for severe weather.

Beijing’s environmental monitoring center warned of worse to come today though the smog should disperse overnight due to a north wind.

At least nine of the city’s expressways were closed yesterday morning and, by 2pm, 273 flights had been canceled at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Lessons at kindergartens and primary schools in Beijing, Tianjin, Xi’an and Zhengzhou were suspended, with some high schools also affected.

Beijing-based magazine DUKU sent an apology letter to subscribers, saying its last edition of 2016 would not reach readers until after the New Year due to the temporary closure of a printing plant under the red alert.

Many ready-to-eat products are absent from shelves because of a ban on delivery trucks.

According to a circular released by the neighboring city of Langfang, all restaurants and breakfast stalls in county seats without equipment to deal with fumes have been ordered to halt operations until December 31. Also suspended, until mid-March, are all construction projects in the city.

Escape to Hainan

A resident of Lanzhou, capital of northwest China’s Gansu Province, told reporters in southern China’s Hainan Province that she had flown there with her 2-year-old granddaughter to escape the smog.

“We feel much better here than in Lanzhou,” she said.

Li and her friends are planning to buy houses in Hainan where they can escape during smoggy winters.

On Sunday, two days after Beijing’s red alert, the airport in Haikou, Hainan’s capital, welcomed 32,155 inbound passengers, the highest since October’s National Day holiday.

Liu Lijuan, a fruit and vegetable seller in Hebei Province, says her customers, most of them migrant workers, have little to spend because of work shutdowns due to the smog.

Hebei, one of China’s major steel and coal mining provinces, has shut thousands of factories, construction sites, and even fried-food stalls under red alerts.

“Our company was ordered to halt production on November 20, and 160 of our workers have been temporarily laid off,” said Tian Pengjie at a gypsum factory in the province.

Even under the red alerts, some companies have carried on polluting the air. Xu Ganlu, deputy governor of Henan Province, said the power consumption of the nearly 3,000 companies ordered to halt production had not reduced, indicating they did not halt production. Another 900 companies ordered to limit production did not make any reductions.

Canada to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030 to reduce carbon emission

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS PAPER)

Canada to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030 to reduce carbon emission

    • AFP, Ottawa

|Updated: Nov 22, 2016 01:09 IST

Canada phase out its coal-fired power plants by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emission. (Reuters/Representational image)

Canada will shutter its coal-fired power plants by 2030 as part of its strategy to cut greenhouse gas emission under the Paris climate accord, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced Monday.

The plants, located in four provinces, produce about 10 percent of Canada’s total CO2 emissions, and closing them will remove the equivalent in emissions of 1.3 million cars from roads, or five megatons of greenhouse gas emissions, she told a press conference.

“As part of our government’s vision for a clean growth economy, we will be accelerating the transition from traditional coal power to clean energy by 2030,” she said.

With an abundance of hydroelectric power, as well as nuclear, solar and wind power, 80 percent of Canada’s electricity production emits no air pollution.

McKenna said she aims to ramp that up to 90 percent by 2030. Citing National Energy Board figures, she noted that wind power-generating capacity increased twenty-fold in the past decade while solar capacity rose 125 percent.

The minister, however, added that carbon capture would be an acceptable substitute to closing a plant if Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Saskatchewan province wished to continue burning coal.

Saskatchewan has resisted strong climate action, which it says would harm its vast agricultural and burgeoning oil sectors.

It is testing the world’s first large-scale carbon capture and storage, built into a SaskPower coal-fired plant in the Canadian prairies.

Ottawa economics professor and energy policy expert Jean-Thomas Bernard, however, said efforts to capture and store coal have proven to be costly — Can $1.4 billion for the SaskPower Boundary Dam pilot project to produce 115 megawatts of electricity.

“We’ve been talking about clean coal for 20 years and it’s not yet realized commercially so there must be major difficulties with the technology,” he opined.

“Coal is a relatively small part” of Canada’s energy mix, he added.

Most of the coal plants in Canada are “quite old” and could be replaced with clean alternatives at “very reasonable costs,” he told AFP.

Hastening to clean economy

McKenna also set a new more ambitious goal of reducing total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2050, from 2005 levels.

Environmental activists and opposition parties had until now criticized the Liberal government for having kept the previous administration’s GHG emissions reduction target of 30 percent by 2030.

The move to accelerate weaning Canada off coal comes as Austria, Britain, Denmark, France and the Netherlands do the same.

It could, however, put Canada on a divergent path from the United States, its neighbor and largest trading partner.

Last year’s Paris Agreement set a goal of limiting average global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels by cutting greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Countries including the United States have pledged to curb emissions under the deal by moving to renewable energy sources.

But US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to “cancel” the pact and boost oil, gas and coal, dismissing climate change as a “hoax” perpetrated by China.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is due to announce in the coming weeks whether it will greenlight the construction of two new pipelines to bring oil and gas to tidewater in order to ship Canada’s abundant energy resources to new overseas markets.

Most of Canada’s energy exports currently go to the United States.

Critics questioned the government’s paradoxical support for the construction of new pipelines while championing climate action.

“It is our hope that Canada’s climate action plan will include corresponding measures to address emissions from oil and gas,” Citizens for Public Justice policy analyst Karri Munn-Venn said in a statement.

Trudeau has already spoken out publicly against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline for crossing the world’s largest coastal temperate rain forest in British Columbia.

Observers, however, believe the cabinet will support building a second pipeline alongside the existing Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver, as it looks to balance economic and environmental interests.

These Beautiful Hills

These Beautiful Hills

 

These beautiful hills of east Tennessee

The Smokies so beautiful, when natural

A gem of nature, for all, to please

Can the eye see, what was, what is, what will be?

 

Appalachia, scenic, pleasing to one’s senses

People so poor, yet so kind

Raised with tobacco, coal, and dirt in their blood

Heads bowed on the Sabbath or First

Like they know we all should.

 

Blue Ridge Mountains

Iron Ridge, Twin County, Carol and Grayson

Twin sisters in nature, the people are one

Her love is not money Her people come first

 

Tread lightly on that which you love

Walk to heavily, you crush all that is good

Consider that what you see

Is that which you breathe.

 

Do not let that which you love, be gone

Treat your gift like you love her,

From the Smokies to the Blue Ridge

A gift we are given by Grace to call it home.