FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Scott Tong for Marketplace.org:It’s not just a question of mines and jobs – on the chopping block in bankruptcy is money set aside for workers pension and for cleaning up environmental damage from mines.Here’s the difference five years makes. In 2011, Peabody Energy’s stock flew over 1,000. And it bet big on mine purchases in Australia, said analyst Kristoffer Inton at Morningstar.“They paid full price for these, and they used a lot of debt to do so,” said analyst Kristoffer Inton at Morningstar. “That’s basically the debt that they’re dealing with now. You buy something at the peak market, use a lot of debt and the market collapses.”Coal prices have fallen 60 percent. Peabody stock is down to $2 a share.This commodity bust has withered demand. U.S. production could hit a 30-year low, says the Energy Department, which also thinks cheap natural gas will surpass coal for the first year ever.Peter Marsters at the Rhodium Group said there’s a more hidden problem: a shrinking China market for the type of coal that makes steel. It’s more profitable.“It’s just worth a lot more,” he said. “So any decline on that market will have a comparatively greater impact on a lot of these companies’ revenues.”Many analysts think the companies in bankruptcy will shrink but not go away. But some of their financial obligations could.In court, at least one big company has canceled health insurance payments to retirees. Another is trying to do something similar. Andrew Cosgrove is with Bloomberg Intelligence.It’s kind of a back and forth where they say ‘Okay, we’ll chop part of the pension obligations off, and rework the labor contract,” said Andrew Cosgrove of Bloomberg Intelligence. “So you guys can keep jobs. The company can continue to run.’Then there’s a question of cleaning up mines when they shut down. For now, most are still open during bankruptcy. The question is, who holds the bag if a company liquidates.Bankruptcy looms for biggest coal-miner in U.S. Mistakes Were Made: How the U.S. Coal Industry Went Awry
Month: December 2020
Distributed solar cutting costs for California customers FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:One of the most important aspects of the solar power revolution is how it is making daytime electricity cheaper, and thus lowering wholesale electricity prices more broadly. This becomes evident when electricity utilities project no new thermal electricity as the ‘lowest cost option‘. More evidence of this is contracts being signed today at 2.3¢/kWh, for delivery in just a few years. And this is before we note that distributed solar is saving billions in grid upgrades.Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have come together to present a new report which puts numbers on these savings. A retrospective analysis of the market price response to distributed photovoltaic generation in California focuses on the whole electricity market in California governed by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) that represents about 80% of the electricity usage in the state.The research found that distributed PV reduced the ‘hourly mean whole electricity price’ by up to 2.9-3.2¢/kWh, 8-9% during the peak period of 12-1 PM. This means that throughout the day, utilities spent between $650-730 million less procuring electricity to provide to their customers.The analysis looked at 15-minute solar electricity production estimates, as this is the interval that generators bid for in the day-ahead market. The researchers looked across many system sizes and many regions of the state to make sure their data was accurately depicting a broad cross-section of distributed solar power in the state.The end argument put forth by the authors is that not only will utility-scale solar power lower the price of electricity, but so will the many gigawatts of solar power distributed on homes and businesses. This is something we in the field have always known, but now our industry has been around long enough to show it in hard numbers, based on actual data.More: Distributed solar saved California over $650 million from 2013-2015
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Algeria plans to issue several tenders for renewable energy projects this year as it seeks to meet growing demand for electricity and save gas for export, an official said on Monday.The OPEC oil producing member hopes to build solar plants to produce 22,000 megawatts (MW), or 27 percent of its electricity needs, by 2030, up from about 350 MW now.Algeria will soon invite bids from national and foreign firms to set up a solar plant with a capacity of 150 MW, a senior official at the energy ministry said. “We are (also) planning tenders to produce 2,000 megawatts before the end of 2020,” he added, without giving more details.Turning to solar power is part of a drive to guarantee cheap retail energy prices. The authorities are keen to avoid social unrest, and face sporadic protests in some areas over a lack of electricity and gas supplies.Algeria is currently using gas to generate 98 percent of its power output of 19,000 MW.Increasing or maintaining the level of gas and oil exports is a top priority for the country as the two energy products make up 60 percent of the budget and 94 percent of total sales abroad.More: Algeria plans solar energy tenders to tackle rising electricity needs Algeria looks to expand solar generation capacity
The latest technical apparel will keep you warm and dry when you are out playing in the wild.1. Westcomb ApocWestcomb pioneered the use of Polartec’s new waterproof/breathable NeoShell fabric in this light-but-very-protective shell that worked well for everything from resort skiing to alpine climbing. While Polartec is best known as a “soft” shell company, NeoShell is a hard shell fabric and it proved worthy when we tested it in rainy conditions in the Italian Dolomites.$480; westcomb.com2. Patagonia Primo Jacket and PantPatagonia used three-layer Gore Performance Shell and an innovative, 100-percent recycled nylon to craft a bomber shell that can survive all the buffeting of riding the lifts yet breathes when out in the backcountry. It became our go-to choice for a do-it-all shell. We put it to the test everywhere from cat skiing in Alaska to huffing laps on Berthoud Pass.$499 jacket, $399 pant; patagonia.com3. Powderhorn Corbet X-PressPowderhorn has mastered the art of the functional puffy. The Corbet X-Press is made for going hard in cold temps. A nylon Airtastic shell breathes while shucking off squalls and antimicrobial X-Static insulation keeps things cozy without picking up that ski-bum stank.$250; powderhornworld.com4. Spyder Eiger Jacket and Norwand PantChris Davenport wears this outfit ski mountaineering—good enough for us. Stretch nylon and a waterproof/breathable membrane round out the tech.$450 jacket, $375 pant; spyder.com5. Freeride Systems AnteroMade in Colorado, this native shell—a hybrid made from Polartec—handles the grind of backcountry laps thanks to stretchy breathability.$249; freeridesystems.com6. Mammut FelsturmThis athletic shell features Gore’s new Active Shell fabric, which provides light three-layer protection and even more breathability than standard Gore-Tex. While it might be a tad light for heavy-duty resort use, it’s the ticket for backcountry skinning or nordic touring.$450; mammut.ch7. Eddie Bauer Hangfire HoodieBill Belichick would be proud of this performance stretchy fleece hoodie that’s ideal for everything from walking the dogs in the winter to hiking for turns in the backcountry.$99; eddiebauer.com8. ArcTeryx TrinoIdeal for nordic skiing and other hard-charging winter activities this shell combines Gore Windstopper and stretchy Altasaris fabric in strategic locations to keep up with high-aerobic activities.$199; arcteryx.com9. Outdoor Research StormboundA jacket designed for the crazy temperature flip-flops of the sidecountry, the Stormbound relies on a light, waterproof Pertex shell with baffled down for warmth when it’s windy without overheating on the slogs.$399; outdoorresearch.com10. Loki Myth (jacket not pictured)Here’s a “soft” shell with all the functionality of a hard shell—thanks to a waterproof/breathable core that insulates it from the worst of mountain weather. But the deal breaker for changeable weather is Loki’s integrated mitts and neck warmer, built right into the jacket.$239; lokiusa.com
This week is a biggie for males; it’s make or break time. Not only is today the ticking time bomb of Valentines Day, but this weekend is President’s Day, a three day minefield of disappointment, miscommunication, and “Saying we won’t get each other anything doesn’t actually mean don’t get me a gift!” confrontations. I’m joking of course; this is a weekend to look forward to for the romance and splendor of being in the presence of the ones you love. Luckily for males, we can spend the rest of the year being Neanderthals as long as we step up around Valentines Day and make the grand gesture all women deserve. V-Day is a double edge sword though. It’s great if you pull it off, it’s curtains if you don’t so the pressure is on.This weekend is the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of whatever metropolitan area you are in and embrace the natural beauty of nature. A trek through the woods with your sweetheart can be just as romantic as a night at a fancy French restaurant. We suggest heading to what our voters picked as the Best Small Mountain Town in the Blue Ridge, Hot Springs, N.C.This little hamlet bubbles with romance and love – literally, the hot springs feed the Jacuzzis at the resort. Take a hike on the Appalachian Trail or a winter picnic to Max Patch before an amorous soak in the springs: the perfect romantic weekend getaway in one of our favorite towns.View Larger Map
Blue Ridge Brews from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.In honor of Virginia Craft Beer Month, we sat down with four of the region’s local breweries (and one cidery for good measure!) to see what they have to say about their companies.Soundtrack is Up On and Over by Bronze Radio Return, who we featured on July’s Trail Mix.
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 October 1st, 2014. 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 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 October 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2014. 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. This contest is closed! Check out the others here!
We really want to know what you think! With our 20th Anniversary coming up next year, we want to make 2015 The Year of the Reader. That means bringing you all the great stories, gear reviews, destinations, profiles and giveaways that matter the most to you.And here’s your chance to give us a piece of your mind. In just a few minutes, you can help us deliver the most groundbreaking and useful content in the entire Southeast right to your doorstep, or desktop, or iPhone…whatever works best for you. And to reward you, we’re giving you a free digital download of the magazine and entering you in a drawing to win a sweet MSR Whisperlite Stove! Because there’s one thing that everyone likes, and that’s free stuff! But enough about us, tell us what you want! Thank you from all of us here at Blue Ridge Outdoors!CLICK HERE TO TAKE SURVEYThe MSR WhisperLite Universal stove retails for $139.95 and delivers the ease and simmering capabilities of canister fuel, and switches easily over to liquid fuels for longer trips, cold-weather, and international use. Our patent-pending AirControl technology is what really makes it unique, delivering outstanding performance with all compatible fuels. It’s also the lightest stove in its class, offering excellent stability and easy maintenance, adding to the reasons this could be the only stove you’ll ever need.When you complete the survey you’ll be provided a promo code to apply to your next download, and be entered to win this stove!
Photo by Skip BrownTelemark skiing is one of the oldests form of skiing, dating back to Norwegian soldiers who traveled by ski during the Middle Ages. Fluid and seemingly effortless when executed properly, telemark skiing is trademarked by the flexibility both to climb mountains and rip downhill, all thanks to an unrestricted heel. Though not nearly as commonplace in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic as it is farther north, a community of telemark skiers is still dropping knees in our region one turn at a time.BRO talked with two freewheelin’ free-heelers from the Deep Creek Lake area in Maryland— Matt Fithian and Ben Scoville—who have been ripping up the trifecta of Pennsylvania-West Virginia-Maryland backcountry for over a decade.BRO: Let’s start off by telling our readers a little bit about your personal background in teleskiing. Matt Fithian: My parents got me into skiing and riding. We did it on the weekend and after school. It was a great way to recreate in Maine. All of my grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles—everyone skied. Even now we have family reunion ski trips. I started on alpine and then traded them for a decade in the early ‘90s to snowboard. Terri Peterson taught me to teleski at the Adventure Sports Institute of Garrett College about seven years ago. But I guess in all, I’ve been sliding down mountains for over 18 years.Ben Scoville: I started skiing for real back in 2002. I was in my mid-20s and realized sliding downhill on frozen water was as fun as sliding downhill on liquid water (aka kayaking).BRO: What’s one of your earliest memories of skiing?MF: Definitely a firelight torch ski with my dad at May Mountain in Island Falls, Maine. It was awesome to ski with a torch. I loved looking back up the hill and watching the torch skiers—looked like a fire snake sliding down the mountain.BS: First memory: I was flying down the bunny hill at Ski Roundtop.BRO: Any bad wipeouts?MF: The worst wipeout I ever had was when I was 10 or so. The tip of my snowblade stuck into the lip of a jump, which then propelled me forward. I did half a front flip and landed on my face. Broke my ski goggles, blood was everywhere. It was pretty bad.BS: Hit a head wall from Giant Boulder on to Giant Steps at Seven Springs. Had a pretty good head of steam. Blew up when I landed and tomahawked down the hill. Because I had teles, I stayed right on my feet. Ended up having a ski tip shred open my paddling pants (yes, paddling pants, they kept the snow out). from just above my boots up to my upper thigh. Almost ended up singing in the boys’ choir.BRO: What about signature moves? I’m sure you guys have some.MF: 360s and nose grabs.BS: Hunting down a stash of pow in some esoteric corner of a ski mountain.BRO: What’s the hardest part about learning tele?BS: For me, it has been learning the transfer of edges. The flow from one edge to another is not an easy thing to master. There are so many things to put together. To link turns perfectly is a beautiful thing.BRO: Describe teleskiers in one sentence, granola stereotypes aside.MF: Gear nerds, go-getters, and stewards of the land who love dark beer.BRO: True or false: once you go tele, you never go back.MF: True—I’ll tele and I’ll board but I won’t go back to alpine.BS: I’d say false. There are some out there who went back to the fixed heel. Sometimes there are just circumstances that dictate you have to get real and fix the heel. However, I haven’t found those circumstances yet.BRO: Not that teleskiing is any reflection of a man’s manliness, but does length really matter?BS: There is such a thing as the perfect fit.BRO: Boxers or briefs? With that much movement in your turns, I’m sure this has to be an important decision.BS: Boxer briefs?MF: Boxers. But really tele guys wear polypro.BRO: Who’s your telehero?BS: Chipper and his boys. When you watch those guys ski, it is watching the embodiment of the purity of skiing. Uphill and downhill!BRO: Teleskiers are pretty smooth. Have any good pickup lines?BS: You dropped that knee right into my heart. You free that heel and I’ll free your heart. Teleskiers believe in free heels, free love, and earning turns. That takes commitment. Isn’t commitment sexy?BRO: Surely with pickup lines like that, you work up quite an appetite earning turns and batting away the ladies. What’s your post-turn fuel look like?MF: Steak, salad, mashed potatoes, and a glass of water.BS: Cheeseburgers. Or Hellbenders’ burritos.
During our first call for #BackyardBadass nominations, we received an email from John, a student at Garrett College, nominating his friend Paige Harry, “one of the most badass, inspirational and intelligent human beings” he’s ever met. A 23-year-old graduate from James Madison University, Paige works in the ER and as a paramedic with the local rescue squad by day and shreds the trails by night. In between shifts in the ambulance and rounds of ski patrol and mountain bike patrol at Bryce Resort, Paige also finds time to study for her MCAT. Her goal? To one day become a doctor.“I’ve been around a lot of crazy talented, wonderful human beings in the outdoors and Paige by far, is at the top of my list,” John concluded in his email. “She deserves this to realize the work, effort, and determination she puts into everything doesn’t get unnoticed.”We didn’t need any further convincing.I called Paige early in the morning on a Monday. When she answered, I could barely hear her voice over the sound of garbled radio calls coming from the dispatch. She was already hard at work, and that’s when I knew we’d made the right decision in picking our first Backyard Badass.Readers, meet Paige.BRO: Where are you currently based out of?PH: Harrisonburg, Va.BRO: What do you consider your “occupation?”PH: Ski and Mountain Bike Patrol, EMT, aspiring physician (currently in the process of applying for medical school!).BRO: What are your favorite ways to go outside and play?PH: Trail running, mountain biking, skiing.BRO: And what is it about trail running, about mountain biking, about skiing, that you enjoy so much?PH: I love being able to spend time outside and get away from work, school, and other obligations for a little while. It’s a great way to have fun with friends or get some alone time. One of my favorite things about running is that it gives me the time to think and reflect on my day or week while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.BRO: What are your favorite trails in the area to run or bike?PH: Running — the Western Slope of Massanutten. Biking — Narrowback and Tillman West near Reddish Knob.BRO: And favorite place to ski?PH: Favorite East Coast ski spot, Timberline, W.Va. Favorite West Coast ski spot, Snowbasin, Utah.BRO: Any favorite rivers?PH: I’m not much of a water person…the power of whitewater intimidates me.BRO: Best trail food?PH: Honey Stinger waffles, Pumpkin Spice Clif Bar, or a tortilla with Nutella and peanut butter.BRO: Name a moment when you were really proud of yourself.PH: Two proud moments. First, completing the most physically challenging race I’ve ever experienced, the Ironman Triathlon, in less than 14 hours. Secondly, completing the most mentally challenge race, a 50K trail run in pouring rain, 38-degree weather, with ankle- to knee-deep mud the majority of the way. Luckily I had the woman who got me into running, Sue Malone, there to help motivate me.BRO: Most embarrassing moment?PH: I tripped over the paint of the crosswalk, or my own feet, and face-planted while running through a busy intersection on a Friday afternoon in Harrisonburg.BRO: List one thing that scares you.PH: Tornadoes.BRO: With all that trail time, have you ever broken any bones?PH: No, knock on wood, however, I had to go to the ER after a mountain bike crash last summer and the doctor was amazed I didn’t break anything. I had a deep wound on my arm, the doctor said my arm “exploded due to the hard impact with the ground,” but the bones were intact.BRO: If you’re trying to get pumped up, what song do you play?PH: Typically I’ll listen to a song that pumps me up but is also calming such as “The Intro” by the Xx or “Crystallize” by Lindsey Sterling.BRO: Working in the ER can be stressful. What have the outdoors taught you about life, yourself, or other people?PH: One thing I’ve learned with regards to others and the great outdoors, is that there is a sense of community among the outdoor enthusiasts or even those who consider themselves weekend warriors. Everyone is willing to help each other out and everyone on the trail is always open for making new friends.Something I’ve learned about myself is that you can always improve and push your limits a little bit further. With my running career, I started with my first marathon when I was 18 years old. I did it just to say I could, but I hated it. Since then I’ve grown to love distance running. My best thoughts and inspirations often come to me while I’m running. If I’m having a bad day, it will always be better after a run. I hope to inspire others to start running or to simply start moving and to be more active.BRO: Any goals for 2015?PH: I am training to run nine marathons in nine days across the state of Virginia. The goal of the run (and the fundraising I did) is to raise awareness for childhood obesity and to educate children on the importance of physical fitness. Hopefully I can help inspire a healthier and more active future for the children I interact with along my journey.BRO: Why do you think it’s important to make time to go outside and play?PH: It increases physical health, reduces stress, connects you with others in the community, and makes you feel great all around! All too often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the 9-5. We need to remember to take time for ourselves, to step back, and to slow down. Life happens fast, so it’s important to enjoy what we have and the world around us.