Alliance Resource Partners’ bottom line takes a hit from Ohio coal plant closures FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享E&E News:Few coal executives are closer to the White House than Joseph Craft III. The CEO of Alliance Resource Partners LP texts with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. His wife serves as the ambassador to Canada. And he is a regular at administration events where the coal industry’s fortunes are at stake.But the Trump administration was powerless to help Craft earlier this year, when Dayton Power and Light Co. pulled the plug on two colossal power plants along the Ohio River. Craft’s mines fed coal to those plants.The retirements of the J.M. Stuart and Killen stations left a large hole in Craft’s balance sheet. Last year, his company, based in Tulsa, Okla., shipped 2.5 million tons of coal to those plants, according to federal figures. That accounted for 6 percent of Craft’s coal production in 2017.“There are other power plants out there, but trying to replace this with others — I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but it’s difficult,” said Andy Blumenfeld, who tracks the coal industry at Doyle Trading Consultants, a research firm.The closures of J.M. Stuart and Killen underline the inexorable issue facing the Trump administration: how to prevent the retirement of coal plants at a time when America is awash with natural gas. It also offers an explanation for the frenzied lobbying in Washington, D.C., where the coal industry has continued to press for a federal lifeline as plant after coal plant shuts down.… Critics of DOE’s efforts to sustain the coal industry say it’s based in political favor-giving, not economics. They point to FERC’s unanimous rejection of the initial DOE proposal; the commission said the grid does not face an immediate emergency.“Trump made a promise with no evidence to bring back the coal industry, and it’s not happening, and it’s not going to happen,” said David Schlissel, director of resource planning at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank that favors a transition to clean energy. “We don’t know what they’re going to do or how long it’s going to be for. But what we do know is it’s really not needed. It will be a bailout.”More: Meet the mining tycoon who texts with Pruitt
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Xinhua:Construction on a wind power project with a power generating capacity of 6 GW began Thursday in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.The project is the first phase of a wind power base invested in by the State Power Investment Corp. Ltd. (SPIC) in Siziwang Banner in the city of Ulanqab. Qian Zhimin, SPIC’s chairman, said the project involves an investment of 40 billion yuan (5.6 billion U.S. dollars) from the company.The wind turbines have an average power generating capacity of 4.16 MW.After being put into operation, it is expected to supply nearly 20 billion kWh of electricity to Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei every year and provide green energy for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.The project could replace 6 million tonnes of standard coal and reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide by 16 million tonnes a year, said Qian.Inner Mongolia has the country’s largest wind power resources with an exploitable amount of 150 GW, accounting for about half of the total in China’s land area.More: Construction on 6 GW wind power project kicks off in north China China begins construction of 6GW wind project in Inner Mongolia region
Bankrupt miner Murray Energy gets no bids for its coal mines FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Murray Energy Corp. received no qualified offers competing against an initial stalking horse [pre-auction] bid for substantially all of the company’s assets, according to a court filing.The final deadline for bids on the assets was March 16, but with no qualified bidders, the company canceled a bankruptcy auction scheduled for March 26. Given there were no higher bids, Murray Energy designated a stalking horse offer from a new group formed by its super-priority lenders as the winning bid.The company owns coal mines across Appalachia and in the Uinta Basin, Illinois Basin and Colombia. Previous bankruptcy filings show that Murray Energy engaged an investment bank advising firm in the summer of 2019 to explore financial options for the company, including potential asset sales. Those efforts were unsuccessful.Under the company’s restructuring support agreement announced in October 2019, the lenders would credit bid the company’s debt, and substantially all of the company’s pre-petition funded debt would be eliminated. The agreement also provides that Murray Energy founder Robert Murray would be named chairman of the board of the new company. Murray President and CEO Robert Moore would maintain his current role in the new organization.Murray Energy, which primarily produces thermal coal for U.S. power generators, is restructuring its business through proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio. There is a May 26 deadline for interested parties to object to the sale.Murray Energy’s metallurgical coal subsidiary is undergoing a separate bankruptcy auction process. The subsidiary was not part of the parent company’s late-2019 bankruptcy petition but filed its own in February.[Taylor Kuykendall]More ($): Murray Energy receives no bids for its coal assets, cancels bankruptcy auction
IEA charts three year, $3 trillion path for a green global recovery FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:The International Energy Agency has laid out a $3 trillion green recovery plan, offering governments around the world a “once-in-a-lifetime” roadmap to sustainably rebuild their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.The Sustainable Recovery report, published Thursday, is designed to present world leaders with cost-effective measures that could be implemented from 2021 through to 2023. It sets out three main goals: spurring economic growth, creating jobs and building more resilient and cleaner energy systems.“As they design economic recovery plans, policymakers are having to make enormously consequential decisions in a very short space of time,” Fatih Birol, executive director at the IEA, said in the report. “These decisions will shape economic and energy infrastructure for decades to come and will almost certainly determine whether the world has a chance of meeting its long-term energy and climate goals.”The Sustainable Recovery plan was published in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund as part of the energy agency’s flagship World Energy Outlook series. It is based on the assessments of over 30 specific energy policy measures and spans six key sectors: electricity, transport, industry, buildings, fuels and emerging low-carbon technologies.The IEA believes the plan could add 1.1 percentage points to global economic growth each year through to 2023. It says it could also save or create approximately nine million jobs a year over the next three years and reduce global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 4.5 billion tons by the end of the plan.Achieving those results would require global investment of around $1 trillion annually over the next three years. This represents about 0.7% of global gross domestic product (GDP).[Sam Meredith]More: IEA outlines $3 trillion green recovery plan for world leaders to help fix the global economy
Cherokee bent-trunk guideposts are natural signageImagine a scene back in time, more than 200 years ago, when a young Cherokee Indian might be found striding quietly through the dense wilderness of North Carolina. He might be in search of water, a sacred burial site, or perhaps even a specific kind of medicinal plant. This young Cherokee could only rely on nature to guide him. In his time, of course, there weren’t white blazes or yellow diamonds or blue squares indicating the right path.Explorers nowadays go into the Blue Ridge Mountains armed with water, maps, a compass and perhaps even a GPS. However, many Native American tribes in the South—like the Cherokee, Catawba, and Creek—used trees as their guideposts. And these weren’t ordinary trees. These were trees manipulated by the Indians on purpose, selectively bent to serve as Indian Trail Trees.In 2007, Don Wells, together with some hiking buddies, set out to map some trails in the north part of Georgia along the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. As they hiked along, they noticed trees with peculiar bends in their trunks. With more hiking came more peculiar looking trees. Because of their specific pattern, direction, and locations, the men believed the bends in the trees were not accidental or totally natural. And knowing their route was part of an old Cherokee Indian trail, the men began to suspect that Native Americans might have bent these trees as a way to communicate something. Directions? Water? Shelter? Medicine?In South Carolina, along a popular hiking path in a county park, three Indian Trail Trees have been discovered. Two of the trees remain proud and healthy, with characteristic horizontal bends in their trunks and purposefully shaped “noses”. Of the third tree, only the rotted trunk and short horizontal bend remains. The rest of the tree has rotted away.These three trees in Mecklenburg County were most likely chosen and bent to bear witness to something specific. All three Indian Trail Trees are located near a lake that was once the free-flowing Catawba River. Were these trees meant to lead tribe members to the water? Do they lead to a burial site or do they exist simply as trail markers, encouraging the tribe to keep moving forward in a particular direction?A fourth Indian Trail tree, located within the Grandfather Mountain property in North Carolina, is found along an easy and popular hiking path. Looking carefully, this tree has been modified twice – once with a typical horizontal bend and characteristic “nose” and again with a second bend in the opposite direction. This particular tree has large “hip scars” on both sets of bent branches. Does this tree give witness to the nearby water source or the large rock overhang that could serve as shelter? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.Additional trees have been verified and documented in both Dupont and Elk Knob State Parks in North Carolina. More than 1,800 Indian Trail Trees have been verified in 39 states along more than 1,000 documented Indian trails.
Win a year’s supply of Nikwax!This giveaway is now closed, but be sure to enter week 3 of our Snowbound Giveaway!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on December 15th, 2012. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and Nikwax reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before January 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2012. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.Money Sweepstakes
Southerners have a lot to be thankful for. Boiled peanuts. Fried chicken. The Allman Brothers…The list could go on infinitely. Personally, I’m thankful for collard greens, the word y’all and Donald Trump. Ignorance has never been this much fun to watch! He’s like a character from a Coen Brothers movie. I’m also thankful Donald Trump isn’t from the South. But what I’m really thankful for is all the damned IPAs there are to choose from at my local bottle shop. The choices are staggering, and I’m just talking about breweries operating below the Mason Dixon here. Every time I walk through the doors, I find a new IPA to try. First, you have all of the new breweries that are popping up with fresh cans and bottles to try, so it’s tough to keep track of all those new labels, but then so many tried and true Southern breweries are reinventing themselves with new, bold twists on this ancient style of beer. Look at the two beers in that picture. Just when I thought I knew Blue Mountain and had them pigeonholed they come at me with this citrus bomb. Blue Mountain does a killer flagship pale ale, but this new beer is a different animal altogether. It smells like Sunny Delight and pretty much tastes the same way. Awesome. And I had discounted Red Brick altogether because of some bad draft beer I had in Atlanta a couple years ago, but then I found this IPA at the store and was blown away. It’s also a citrus bomb, but not in the sweet juicy way that Hopwork Orange is. The citrus comes from the hop bill and is far more nuanced. And these are just the most recent IPAs from Southern breweries that I picked up. There are dozens more out there. Nay, thousands more. So yeah, we have plenty to be thankful for in the South.
In the age of information, most of us have the choice to be informed or to be ignorant. Most of us have the choice to act or to spectate. And we all have the choice to care or to be indifferent. Which will we choose?I recently attended a Buncombe County Commissioners meeting in downtown Asheville, N.C. This was no ordinary meeting. There were hundreds of people in attendance on this particular evening, and many of them were young! I don’t often generalize, but county commissioner meetings are not usually the place to spot youth. The reason such a large, diverse crowd came out that night was to protect the forests of Big Ivy, a section of the Pisgah National Forest just north of Asheville. If you’ve never been to Big Ivy, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the last old growths on the East Coast, and its majesty is indescribable.That night, the commissioners voted a unanimous 7-0 in favor of protecting Big Ivy by classifying it as Wilderness. The United States Congress are the only ones who have the power to officially make such a designation, but a strong message was sent.In the days following the vote, a particular quote danced around my mind incessantly: “Everybody wants to change the world, but no one wants to change.” Now, just to be clear, I believe taking time out of the day to come to the meeting and to make our voices heard was commendable. Many did not even do that much. Still, I couldn’t shake the the question, “What meaningful changes are we willing to make to change the world?”Big Ivy is beautiful. It drives eco-tourism, it is among the most bio-diverse forests in the U.S., it is studied by educational institutions near and far, and it is certainly worth more standing than it is logged. And what about other forests? Do we care about them, as well? How about forests we’ve never seen or been to? Forests in a far away land. Are those forests any less important? Any less worthy of our attention? And what actions are we willing to take to protect them?The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, roughly the size of the lower 48 states. To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 2.5 million insect species, 427 mammal species, 1,300 bird species, 378 reptile species, more than 400 amphibian species and around 3,000 freshwater fish species have been found in the Amazon. The Amazon Basin contains 54% of the remaining rainforests on the planet. Because of its ability to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen, the Amazon is often referred to as the “Lungs of the Earth.” To simplify, it’s really important. Unfortunately, the Amazon rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate. During the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down, more than in the previous four centuries since European colonization began. One and one-half acres of rainforest are lost every second.What is driving this destruction? Drilling? Damming? Logging?The number one cause of Amazon deforestation is animal agriculture. Whether it’s room for cattle to live or vast monocrop fields to feed a variety of farmed animal species, the results are in: our taste for animal products is leveling the Amazon. There’s no disputing it. And so I am taken back to the Big Ivy meeting in Asheville, where I sat amongst hundreds of people who obviously love their local forests, and I couldn’t help but think about the Amazon. What were we willing to do to protect that distant forest? A forest we may never get to step foot in? A forest that we’ve heard is disappearing, but never really thought too much about? Animal agriculture is destroying the planet, the Amazon region included. It is wreaking havoc on rivers, oceans and forests. It’s the number one cause of water pollution, habitat destruction and ocean dead zones. Animal agriculture emits more greenhouse gasses than the entire transportation sector—more than every car, plane, train and boat combined. The amount of water and food that farmed animals consume is staggering. The amount of land these animals and their feed occupy is approximately one third of Earth’s ice-free land. Almost single handedly, animal agriculture is killing the Earth. And, in a strange way, this is good news. This is good news because it puts the power in our hands, in our wallets, and on our plates. With so many of the other industries plaguing our planet, there is very little we can do, but without our dollars, animal agriculture crumbles. I started my activist career in environmental organizing, specifically in protecting southern U.S. forests. I was absolutely shocked when I began to understand the magnitude of the destruction caused by animal agriculture. But I was also excited. So rarely are we as individuals given such an opportunity to make such a meaningful difference. By choosing not to consume animal products, we are making one of the most impactful and revolutionary choices of our time.If you are a mountain biker, hiker, climber, runner, naturalist, dog-walker, or anyone who spends time in the wild woods, the absolute best thing you can do to help protect forests is to change your diet. Going vegan is the best way to protect all the forests you love. This understanding is an amazing gift that we can give to others, especially our environmentalist brothers and sisters. In the age of information, we know what the production of animal products is doing to the earth, to human health and to the trillions of animals who die every year to be consumed. We know and we can’t unknow. So then we are left with a decision, to act or not to act. Which will we choose?
There must be something musically mystical flowing in the waters in Eastern Kentucky.In recent years, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, both of whom hail from Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains, have risen to stardom, reminding people what country music is supposed to sound like.You can add Tyler Childers’ name to the list making a convincing argument that Eastern Kentucky is the new hotbed for Americana songwriting.Childers, a native of Lawrence County, released his debut record, Purgatory, produced by the aforementioned Simpson and David Ferguson, whose previous work includes projects by Johnny Cash and John Prine, earlier this month. The record, complete with barnyard fiddle, banjo rolls, and Southern gospel flair, has been received with critical acclaim, garnering high praise from the likes of NPR Music and Rolling Stone, and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.Childers’ tour schedule is packed. Early summer saw him on the road with the likes of Parker Millsap, Nikki Lane, and Yonder Mountain String Band, while future dates include shows with fellow rising star Colter Wall and roots rockets Drive-By Truckers.I recently caught up with Tyler to chat about the new record, working with Sturgill Simpson, and raising well rounded children.BRO – I live in Southwest Virginia, just across the state line from your Eastern Kentucky. This record sounds like home to me. Is there something about mountain music that allows for that kind of connectivity?TC – Jim and Jesse McReynolds, Ralph Stanley, those guys were from over your way and working that sound out over the radio waves the same time as the rest of our neighbors. It might feel like home because we are connected in the culture that acted as inspiration for these folks to pull from. The similar terrain meant similar struggles in transportation for early mountain people. This meant strong family ties that revolved around the home. Church acted as a community gathering area. Similar soil composition gave similar agricultural opportunities, and similar minerals meant similar exploitations of our communities.BRO – Easier to get to heaven or hell if you are hanging out in purgatory?TC – That’s probably a question better suited for a priest, but I would say heaven.BRO – You and Sturgill Simpson. Kindred spirits?TC – I consider him a friend and have a pretty high opinion of the man. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that has been to me through the time he took to help me. I feel we are on a similar mission to make honest art.BRO – We are featuring “White House Road” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?TC – It’s a character built out of my own observations of some folks around me at the time, as well as my own orneriness. It’s just a song reckless abandon.BRO – Speaking of that song, my nine year old got out of the van the other day singing, “We’ve been sniffin’ that cocaine . . . ” Should I be concerned?TC – I did not write these songs for nine year olds, but if you want to listen to them with your nine year old, that’s all you. I’ve seen children both sheltered and exposed, and I think something in the middle is the healthier of the two.Thankfully, Ben still listens to a lot of music with a naive ear, and I think Susie and I are doing a mighty fine job raising Ben right there in the middle that Tyler referred to. I am also sure that any time Ben spends in Purgatory is better than equal time spent in the hell that is modern radio.And I can also tell you this – come September, when we catch Tyler Childers in Bristol, Ben will be right there and singing along.Childers is in the midst of a run of dates throughout the Northwest and Midwest before he returns closer to home in late August. For more information on tour dates and how you can find a copy of Purgatory, please visit his website.
Chris Steuber of Ujoint Offroad It’s that time of year again. Time for nomads, wanderers and adventure seekers of all kinds to reunite under the banner of #vanlife for the third annual Asheville Van Life Rally in Asheville, North Carolina.Back by popular demand, the third annual Asheville Van Life Rally is being held at one of Asheville’s hottest new spots, the new Wedge Brewing at Foundation, on Thursday, September 28 from 4 to 10pm.The event will feature live music from Pleasure Chest & DJ Marley Carroll, along with art installations and outdoor brands, but most of all, the Asheville Vanlife Rally is an opportunity for fellow road life warriors to spend time together, swap stories, exchange ideas, dream out loud about future adventures, geek out on each other’s vehicles, and celebrate van life on full display.As in years past, the event can be attended free of charge, but donations benefitting Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity are encouraged.The Asheville Van Life Rally will also present an opportunity to catch up with the Live Outside and Play Road Team, fresh off a stint of vanlifing out West, who will be displaying their adventure rig and all the great gear that makes their nomadic adventure lifestyle possible.To get in the van life spirit, we caught up Chris Steuber of Ujoint Offroad. A two year attendee of the soon to be three-year-old event, Steuber creates custom 4WD van conversions, and he’s using the 2017 Asheville Van Life Rally to launch his new camper van fleet. We wanted to find out how long Chris has been interested in the adventure van lifestyle, how he got into converting regular vans into road worthy 4X4 machines, and pick his brain about some of his earliest conversions.BRO: How did you get interested in the van life lifestlye?CS: As a kid I would always sketch van interiors for camping and carrying musical gear. When I saw my first 4×4 van my passion was taken to a whole new level. I have been obsessed with 4WD vehicles since the blizzard of ’93!BRO: When did you begin modifying vans?CS: I bought my first 4×4 van when I was 19 years old. It took me 3 years to take it all apart and get it back on the road.BRO: Had many people been kitting vans out with 4WD suspensions systems before you got into it?CS: Nobody had ever offered a do it yourself 4×4 van conversion kit until I did. At that time there were 3 or 4 converters in the U.S. They all offered basic conversions with limited performance.BRO: Tell us about a typical uJoint Off Road custom van.CS: We build and provide parts for a wide variety of Ford vans that get used for everything from campers to hauling families, contractors, etc. We’ve been helping convert vans for over 10 years and have over 450 units built around the globe.BRO: Can you tell us about your first rig?CS: My 1st van was a major project that taught me a lot! Especially what not to do. I drove it to California, began working in the off road community and replaced that 1st van with a brand new E series van in 2005.BRO: What is the longest amount of time you’ve spent living out of one of your conversions?CS: 2-3 weeks total.BRO: Where are you based out of?CS: We’re in Fletcher NCBRO: Any tips for would be vanlifers?CS: Get the best rig you van depending on your budget and needs!Come hang out with the Live Outside and Play road crew and the Blue Ridge Outdoors team at the third annual Asheville Van Life Rally, and for more inspirational stories about people living the #vanlife dream click here.