December 2020

Australia Coal Advocates Bank on Unlikely Demand From India

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Daniel Hurst for The Guardian:Australia’s resources minister has predicted India’s demand for coal will increase, even as some analysts warned him against relying on “overly bullish” forecasts.In a speech in Canberra, Josh Frydenberg said China – which is undergoing an economic transition – was “not the only game in town” and strong economic growth in India would drive increased demand for Australian resources.India is seeking to increase its own domestic coal production and also boost its reliance on renewable energy. Frydenberg acknowledged global demand for coal would fall as a percentage of the overall energy mix from 40% now to 30% in 2040, but said India would become the largest coal importer in the world by 2020.Frydenberg said absolute demand for energy in Asia was rising because of dramatic increases in population, urbanisation and a rising middle class.“The reality is that there will be significant demand for our energy and minerals going forward and this forms the basis for long-term optimism for these sectors of Australian industry,” he told the National Press Club on Tuesday.“Consider this: today India has 18% of the world’s population but represents only 6% of global energy use.”Last week, Frydenberg met with the Indian minister for coal, power and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, who has previously suggested the country could stop importing thermal coal by 2017 except to supply coastal plants.When asked on Tuesday to reconcile India’s ambitious target with his own rosy outlook, Frydenberg said there was a “real market for Australian coal, which is low in sulphur, low in ash”. He said when considered alongside “still evolving” carbon capture and storage technology, “the picture for coal is not one-sided”.“When it comes to India, Goyal has made very clear that they still will need to import coal, they are looking for clean coal, or cleaner, that Australia has an important part to play,” Frydenberg said.“We export $5bn worth of coal annually to them. It is their real key form of baseload power. They are investing in renewables, and that’s a fantastic story, but if they are going to expand the grid, the way to do that, he made it very clear, is coal and Australian coal has a role to play.“I got the clarification that he will need Australian coal for some time to come.”Pressed on whether that demand would increase, Frydenberg said: “Based on the arithmetic I have seen, I think it will.”But Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the pro-renewables Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, urged the government to tread cautiously.“Josh Frydenberg’s general disposition is very bullish for Australian coal but several of his points are factually inconsistent with the existing data,” said Buckley, a financial markets expert.“For example, he doesn’t clarify the distinction between India’s increasing reliance on coking coal imports versus the declining Indian reliance on imported thermal coal, which is down 15% year on year.”Buckley said while four-fifths of India’s coal usage comprised thermal coal, or the type used in power plants, just 20% comprised coking coal, or the type used in steel production. This meant that coal imports were likely to experience an overall decline, with India aiming to double its domestic thermal coal production by 2020.“Energy minister Goyal has made it very clear his top priorities are driving improvement in grid efficiency, energy efficiency, solar, wind, hydo capacity expansions and a diversification away from coal over time,” Buckley said.Full article: Josh Frydenberg says India’s demand for Australian coal will increase Australia Coal Advocates Bank on Unlikely Demand From Indialast_img read more

On the Blogs: A Better Future for Coal Workers

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Adele Morris for the Brookings Institution:Some politicians call climate or other environmental policies a “war on coal,” framing the measures as an attack on the well-being of hard working Americans. Others chafe at such rhetoric, arguing it is aimed at derailing sensible measures to reduce the risks of global climatic disruption and harmful air pollution. Whatever the merits in each side’s arguments, it is increasingly clear that owing to both market-driven trends and environmental policies, workers in the coal industry and their communities are rightly concerned about their future.The coal sector is already changing dramatically, particularly but not only in Appalachia. Job losses are mounting. Longstanding firms are facing bankruptcy, and retiree benefits are under threat. Some communities are experiencing deteriorating fiscal conditions, and many residents in the coalfields have important unmet healthcare needs. In addition, even while coal improved countless lives by fueling affordable, reliable electricity, many decades of coal production have scarred landscapes and impaired waterways, and reclamation liabilities could be underfunded. Federal policies to control carbon dioxide emissions, if they are implemented as planned, will decrease coal consumption further, exacerbating all of these challenges.Addressing these concerns is urgent. A well-designed well-funded package of federal policies could help hard-hit communities and families make the necessary transitions to a more diverse economic base, to new careers, and through retirement. A truly effective set of measures could also assure policymakers that environmental protection doesn’t have to kick people when they’re down, and if done well may even make them better off than they would have been absent climate policy.This paper reviews the challenges facing the coal workforce and the case for significant federal investment those workers and the areas in which they live.Section 2 examines recent trends and the outlook for the industry under current and alternative policies with an eye to understanding the implications for the associated workforce.Section 3 explores the specific needs of the affected individuals and communities and summarizes literature on previous transition programs.Section 4 reviews current legislative and budget proposals. It concludes that they include promising approaches, but their funding levels are unlikely to be sufficient to address appropriately the myriad needs outlined in Section 3.Section 5 argues that replacing Clean Air Act regulations with a tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels and other greenhouse gas emissions could provide more-than-ample resources to advance the well-being of coalfield workers and communities, while at the same time producing superior environmental and macroeconomic outcomes.The paper draws on insights from a November 2015 workshop at Brookings that gathered a high level group of experts and stakeholders. The conclusions are strictly those of the author.Build a better future for coal workers and their communities On the Blogs: A Better Future for Coal Workerslast_img read more

On the Blogs: Unsubsidized Costs of Wind Energy Seen Dropping 50% by 2030

first_imgOn the Blogs: Unsubsidized Costs of Wind Energy Seen Dropping 50% by 2030 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享National Renewable Energy Laboratory:With science driving wind-technology innovations, the unsubsidized cost of wind energy could drop to 50% of current levels, equivalent to $23 per megawatt-hour, by 2030, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).In 2016, the U.S. wind power industry benefited from an estimated $14 billion in new investments. Wind energy supplied more than 5.5% of U.S. electricity generation.“Our research indicates that, if the United States continues to invest in wind research and development, wind energy can achieve costs competitive with the fuel-only cost of natural gas-fired electricity generation in less than 15 years,” said NREL engineer Katherine Dykes, lead author of the report.  Next-generation wind technology—enabled by government-funded scientific advancement and industry-led technology innovation—will comprise a collection of intelligent and novel features characterized as “System Management of Atmospheric Resource through Technology,” or SMART strategies. SMART wind power plants will be designed and operated to achieve enhanced power production, more efficient material use, lower operation and maintenance and servicing costs, lower risks for investors, extended plant life, and an array of grid control and reliability features. The realization of the SMART wind power plant is projected to result in an unsubsidized cost of energy of $23 per megawatt-hour and below—a reduction of 50% or more from current cost levels. Under this scenario, wind energy deployments in the United States could increase to more than 200 gigawatts by 2030 and 500 gigawatts by 2050, supplying respectively 20% and 47% of U.S. electricity with wind. In addition, investment in SMART wind power technology research and innovation could support as much as $150 billion in cumulative electric sector cost savings from 2017 to 2050.More: Science-Driven Innovation Can Reduce Wind Energy Costs by 50% by 2030last_img read more

Gov. Cuomo pushes major renewable energy effort in New York

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a “Green New Deal” initiative Tuesday, responding to pressure for bold climate action from progressives and clean energy advocates.The plan, outlined in Cuomo’s 2019 Justice Agenda, calls for a “globally unprecedented” ramp-up in renewable energy deployments as New York seeks to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040, and ultimately eliminate its entire carbon footprint. Former California Governor Jerry Brown signed a similar executive order last fall calling for the Golden State to achieve carbon neutrality economy-wide by 2045. California also passed legislation to achieve 100 percent clean electricity by the same year. If Cuomo’s 100 percent carbon-free electricity goal is approved by the state legislature, New York will officially have the most aggressive — and legally binding — clean energy target in the country.The cornerstone of Cuomo’s Green New Deal is to boost New York’s Clean Energy Standard from 50 percent to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. To meet this new mandate, the briefing calls for: nearly quadrupling New York’s offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035, up from 2,400 megawatts by 2030; doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025, up from 3,000 megawatts by 2023; more than doubling new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard; maximizing the contributions and potential of New York’s existing renewable resources; and deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030.Gov. Cuomo also announced $1.5 billion in competitive awards to support 20 large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects across upstate New York. These projects are expected to add 1,650 megawatts of capacity and generate enough renewable energy to power nearly 550,000 homes. All projects are expected to be operational by 2022 and create more than 2,600 short-term and long-term jobs in the process.More: New York governor launches ‘green new deal’ with accelerated clean energy targets Gov. Cuomo pushes major renewable energy effort in New Yorklast_img read more

Florida muni OUC to close Stanton coal plant by 2027

first_imgFlorida muni OUC to close Stanton coal plant by 2027 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Orlando Sentinel:Orlando’s landmark power plants will cease burning coal by 2027 and switch to natural gas as an early step in a sweeping plan by the city’s utility for a surge in solar energy and cuts in carbon emissions of 50 percent by 2030 and entirely by 2050.OUC has taken nearly two years and a $1 million study to respond in detail to a call by Orlando’s mayor and council for the city to have converted to 100 percent “clean, renewable energy” by the 2050.OUC executives said Wednesday that the use of coal by its two Stanton Energy Center plants in east Orange County, workhorses for decades able to produce a combined 900 megawatts, will be cut significantly by 2025.Converted to natural gas, the two units will not be as efficient as modern natural-gas plants, but the conversion will cost a small fraction of a building a new plant, officials said. Both units, constructed in the 1980s and 1990s and distinctive for their chimneys and cooling towers, would be permanently shuttered in 2040.Meanwhile, the public utility is in early talks for another large solar plant, with a capacity of 150 megawatts, and is ramping up its capacity to store energy produced by solar plants with the use of advanced batteries and via hydrogen technology. So far, OUC has committed to 270 megawatts of solar energy.While the two coal plants will be overhauled to run on natural gas, and OUC now owns a pair of plants that run on natural gas, the utility does not expect to again build another plant that runs on fossil fuel.[Kevin Spear]More: OUC to wipe out carbon emissions by switching from coal to natural gas, solar energylast_img read more

The Kids are on Bikes

first_imgChris Keeling races in the high school mtb series. On a late spring morning, nearly 30 high school students clad in spandex jerseys emblazoned with school logos pedaled eagerly along the rolling, root-laden trails of Walnut Creek Park, just south of Charlottesville. The race was the championship of the new six-race Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series—one of only a handful of interscholastic mountain bike race programs in the country.Peter Hufnagel, a dean at the private preparatory Miller School in Charlottesville, started the series as an offshoot of his school’s growing endurance athletics program. Hufnagel reached out to other high schools and found immediate interest from others willing to put together mountain bike teams. In its first year, the series attracted up to 40 riders per race from Virginia schools.“We have a group of high school mountain bikers that are fully committed and really excited about racing,” says Hufnagel. “We created a weekday race series that makes mountain biking very similar to traditional high school sports.”At the series finale, parents like Harrisonburg’s Gary Ritcher hiked through the woods to watch their kids race and offer support. The series courses are designed to be spectator-friendly, so parents can watch kids tackle twisting, moderately technical singletrack. Gary’s son, Cameron,  finished sixth overall in the series, racing for team Rocktown, a composite crew from Harrisonburg-area high schools.“Cameron is always on his bike,” says Ritcher. “He even figured out an off-road route to school. These races have given him a competitive goal with his peers.”Before the series was created, Cameron Ritcher’s only option was to race against older, more experienced riders at the rugged Massanutten Hoo-Ha! and other regional races. This was part of Hufnagel’s initial motivation.“Most kids just getting into mountain biking are forced to race against adults,” he says. “When they can race against their peers, it’s less intimidating.”Races in the series were held on different courses near each participating school, so each team could host a race on their home turf. But Hufnagel, an experienced racer, also wanted the kids to experience the best of biking. He had the rider with the most points wear a leader’s jersey, and at the first series race, professional mountain bikers Jeremiah Bishop and Andy Guptill took the kids on a practice lap and explained race strategies.It’s helped kids like 13-year-old Campbell Rutherford, also of Harrisonburg, become serious about mountain biking at an early age. 1 2last_img read more

Beyond the Edge: Life and Death on the River

first_imgI watched a friend die on the Green River in North Carolina. Witt was vertically pinned against a tombstone-shaped rock at the bottom of Chiefs. I was scouting Gorilla when I heard shouting.“He’s pinned,” a panicked voice rang out. I turned and looked back at Witt. He was vertical but not moving. Water slammed against his back. In an instant, the boat collapsed violently, and Witt was buried in a liquid avalanche.We ran upriver to help, but it was hopeless. I will never forget his hand. It reached up to the surface desperately. He was still alive and reaching, praying, hoping that somehow we could get a rope to that weakening hand and rescue him. He struggled for a couple of minutes before going limp. I could not see his hand after that.Hours later, we extracted Witt’s body with the help of a rescue crew. His femurs were both broken in half, his legs limp and deformed like bags of jelly.The second drowning I witnessed was five years later on the Russell Fork, a notoriously deadly class V run in Kentucky. The rocks there are like Swiss cheese, full of holes. John was an older man and he was rag dolled in a hole for minutes. Eventually he flushed out, still in his boat. A friend pulled him out of the kayak and onto shore. CPR was initiated, but it was far too late. John’s skin was a blue-ashen pale.In both instances, I paddled class V the following day.My dad got me into kayaking when I was a kid. We lived thirty minutes from the Nantahala in North Carolina in what seemed like the whitewater epicenter of the universe. What more could an eleven-year-old boater ask for? I spent several years learning the basics and eventually I was paddling 200 days a year. I became an expert hair boater and steep creeker.My greatest fear was not death.  My greatest fear was losing my edge. My greatest fear was shoulder dislocation.  I lived to paddle and paddled to live.In the shadow of all the insane boating, I led a normal life. I graduated from paramedic and nursing school, working in the field for over 10 years. I married and had a beautiful little boy. I was aware that as I forged my way through life, running difficult water, my responsibilities were increasing, but the idea did not bother me. Nor did it change the way I paddled.  I became a little more conservative as I aged, but I was still running class V+ whitewater.Then last August, rain fell in New England. My main paddling partner Alan Panebaker and I ran Glover Brook—a true gnar run full of wood and pin rocks. We approached a blind slot, and I hopped out to scout from the top. I glanced downstream and everything looked clear. I got back in my boat and shouted some directions to Alan. As I ferried into current, I felt a twinge in my gut: “Something ain’t right,” I thought.  But it was too late.I was ripped from my boat. I swam under a log breaching the slot.“I should be dead,” I thought as I gathered my gear.“If you had stopped in there, I would just be standing on the shore in a panic right now,” Alan said grimly.“Yeah, there’s nothing you could have done for me, that’s for sure.”The close call did not have a lasting effect on us. We were immediately back in our boats.Alan died a month later. I watched him broach and pin against a sieve with a tree in it. He fought for his life, but he was on his own and there was nothing he could do. He flipped and went into the sieve. We were below him in a walled out, smooth granite bowl.  By the time we got back up to the sieve, he was nowhere to be seen. We weren’t even sure he was in the sieve but threw ropes into it with fading hope.  He was there, but his hands never grasped our ropes.An hour or two later, with more manpower, we were able to move the log around and free his body. He floated through the rapids before coming to rest in a large recirculating eddy. I ran to my boat horrified and paddled up to my friend. He was the pale blue hue that is unmistakably dead.“Oh, Alan,” I whispered under my breath as I clipped my tow tether to his lifejacket. I pulled Alan’s cold body out of the frigid, clear water. I lay across the top of him, hugging him.  I looked up and saw tourists taking pictures of us with their phones.I called Alan’s girlfriend fifteen or twenty times before finally leaving a message. “It’s Adam. Call me.”We drove to her house that afternoon. I quickly got drunk on a bottle of Knob Creek whiskey. Its warm burn was the only thing I could feel.When I arrived at her house, we hugged and cried. I apologized over and over. Alan’s dog barked nervously, like he expected Alan to walk in the door any minute.There is no moral to this story. Alan, Witt, and John were in the wrong place. They died. I have many other friends who were in the wrong place. They died too.I love the sport.  It has taken me to places physically and figuratively that most people will never see. And there are more good lines than bad ones-more near misses and close calls than fatalities. Kayaking dangerous whitewater is often forgiving. The problem is that when it’s not, the toll is unbearably high.When not on a river or trail, Adam Herzog competes in eating contests with his two-year-old son.last_img read more

Piping Hot: 25 Pipelines Proposed for the East

first_imgCoal may be declining, but fracking is booming.Over two dozen natural gas pipelines are planned for the region, many of which cross our favorite outdoor playgrounds. Other pipelines will use eminent domain to traverse private property. All of them will affect the future of energy, health, and recreation in the East.Do We Need Natural Gas Pipelines?Dominion Power stands behind their Atlantic Coast Pipeline as a necessary means to meet energy needs throughout the region. “Demand is expected to increase by 165% over the next two decades,” Dominion spokesperson Aaron Ruby says. “Our existing infrastructure is simply not capable of meeting these needs.” As communities grow and businesses expand, energy demands also increase within those developments, Ruby says.Touting natural gas as a “bridge fuel,” Dominion and other energy companies are hoping to build a massive pipeline infrastructure that could extend fossil fuel dependence for another century or more. Currently 34 percent of our energy comes from natural gas.19 pipelines are proposed for Appalachia. If built, we would blow past our climate change commitments made in Paris, according to Oil Change International.  And a recent report by Synapse Economics shows that gas pipelines aren’t needed to feed electrical demand. They conclude: “Given existing pipeline capacity [and] existing natural gas storage…the supply capacity of the Virginia‐Carolinas region’s existing natural gas infrastructure is more than sufficient to meet expected future peak demand.”Each individual pipeline costs upwards of $50 million, with several reaching into the billion-dollar price range. The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline comes with an estimated price tag of $3 billion, while the Atlantic Coast and Northeast Energy Direct lines ring up at over $5 billion. Such high costs will force the region and the nation to commit to fossil fuels for many more decades. More pipeline infrastructure also means more drilling and fracking in order to supply the lines with enough gas.But the multibillion dollar investment in a natural gas infrastructure—including massive subsidies from the federal government—is taking away from investment in renewable energy. If the U.S. had given the same subsidies to solar and wind as it has to oil and gas, we could meet most of our energy needs today with renewables.Solar and wind power now make up over 75 percent of new electric capacity additions in the United States—representing over $70 billion in new capital investment in 2016 alone.So why aren’t we building a renewable energy infrastructure instead of a fossil-fueled pipeline network?No one is claiming that renewables can provide all of our electricity overnight. Massive hurdles in energy storage still need to be cleared, and the better battery grail remains elusive. But a smart grid of renewable technologies seems like a better long-term investment than thousands of miles of fracked-gas pipelines.gasline_map_fixIs Natural Gas Better Than Coal?Ruby argues that natural gas provides a vast improvement over the coal. “Natural gas produces half the carbon emissions as coal,” Ruby claims. “Our project will help the region reduce carbon emissions and meet the regulations of the new Federal Clean Power Plan.”Natural gas companies also claim that access to local shale gas supplies in Pennsylvania and West Virginia will prove more cost-effective than transporting the gas from the Gulf Coast. Pending their completion, pipelines like the Atlantic Coast project could save the consumer base hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs. “Cheap energy options lead an improved economic competitiveness of the region,” says Ruby.But is the environmental and public health cost worth it? “The pipelines in and of themselves are devastating for the communities that they pass through,” says Maya van Rossum, spokesperson for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “They cut through wetlands, creeks, rivers, and inflict an immense amount of ecological harm that cannot be undone.”And according to Ramon Alvarez of the Environmental Defense Fund, natural gas is only better than coal if leakage in the gas pipelines and extraction is less than 3.2 percent. Leakages regularly soar above this limit. Methane—the leaked gas—is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.Fracking, a drilling method that involves injecting high-pressure toxic fluids into the ground, has been linked to increased earthquakes and groundwater contamination. It uses mercury, lead, methanol, uranium, and formaldehyde to blast through the ground, and many of these chemicals end up in communities’ drinking water.Pipeline construction itself causes air pollution and acid rain that harms the surrounding soil and vegetation, invades natural wildlife habitats, and contaminates water supplies. Once completed, pipelines continue to cause disruption by maintaining rights-of-way that permanently splinter natural landscapes and block regular animal movement, while also emitting air pollution from compressor stations that jeopardize public and environmental health.Many local landowners and environmentalists believe that this money would be better spent investing in a renewable energy infrastructure that would set us on a path toward cleaner energy and healthier, more sustainable communities.Joanna Hanes-Lahr, a resident in Annapolis, Md., worries about pipeline safety amid increased rates of leakage and rupture. She is concerned about drinking water, gas explosions, and increased air and water pollution. She and others believe that a renewable energy infrastructure makes more sense ecologically and economically.“We don’t need the fracked gas,” she says. “Clean energy is here today.”What about jobs?The pipeline industry promises to create new jobs, but they neglect to mention the expenses that accompany them. Pipeline construction often threatens the status of community projects, tourism, and scenic viewsheds which attract many more jobs and visitors. Wintergreen and Nelson County may encounter a loss of $80 million and 250 jobs as a result of two large projects—a new resort hotel and marketplace—that would be postponed or canceled due to pipeline construction.Already, solar and wind industries employ more workers than oil and gas. The solar industry has hired more veterans than any other industry, retrained coal workers, and has created one out of 80 jobs in the U.S. since the Great Depression. And wind is not far behind. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind technician is the fastest growing job category.The Delaware Riverkeeper Network has also found that the clean energy sector provides more jobs and a better quality of employment than natural gas jobs. Natural gas employees “spend six months to build something and then [they’re] out,” says van Rossum. “For every million invested in clean, renewable energy versus fossil fuels, you get 3 to 5 times the number of direct jobs created. You also get a lot more long-term jobs.”Bottom shot of a pipeline at sunset. Pipeline transportation is most common way of transporting goods such as Oil, natural gas or water on long distances.Where are the pipelines proposed?Some of the outdoor community’s most treasured sites may be destroyed by pipeline implementation, including the beloved backbone of the Blue Ridge: the Appalachian Trail. The proposed PennEast, Atlantic Coast, and Mountain Valley pipelines cross the Appalachian Trail on several occasions, which will cause permanent disruptions to the trail and surrounding forest.“The natural gas companies have not done a good job articulating a plan that will not have an impact on hikers [because] they are looking at boring under the trail, which is not compatible with the trail experience,” says Director of Conservation Laura Belleville.Pipelines have also been proposed through Delaware State Forest in Pennsylvania and High Point State Park in New Jersey, the latter of which boasts the highest point in New Jersey. “Now, when you go to look from that high point, what you’ll see is just a swath of denuded forest with a pipeline cut through it,” says van Rossum.In West Virginia and Virginia, Monongahela and George Washington National Forests and the Blue Ridge Parkway will be permanently marred by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will require regular clearcutting along its entire length.The Mountain Valley Pipeline similarly endangers Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest, while the Leach Xpress Pipeline moves within 2 short miles of The Wilds Preservation Area and Wayne National Forest in Ohio. Farther south, the Dalton Expansion Project will cross the Etowah River and has already poisoned the waterway after an oil spill during the preparatory construction process. The Sabal Trail Pipeline that winds through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida crosses above the Falmouth Cathedral Cave System, parts of which lie only 30 feet below the earth’s surface and are liable to collapse as a result of the pipeline’s intended path.The Sierra Club has already opened cases against pipelines where “environmental effects have not been adequately addressed in public areas,” says Thomas Au, the Oil and Gas Chair of the Pennsylvania chapter. Right now, the Constitution Pipeline and Atlantic Sunrise Pipelines worry Au the most. These proposed pipelines pass through Ricketts Glen State Park and across the Lehigh, Susquehanna, and Conestoga Rivers.Private landowners are also in jeopardy. Pipeline companies are frequently given permission by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to use eminent domain to construct and maintain pipelines across private property. Even if property owners refuse to sell their land, the companies can seize the land anyway.That’s what happened to the North Harford Maple Farm in New Milford, Pennsylvania, where the Holleran family runs their maple syrup business. But the Constitution Pipeline will run straight through the Holleran’s property and take down the maple trees that they and their loyal customers depend on.Even worse: most people who will lose their land to pipelines will not receive any energy benefits in return. Eminent domain seizures mostly accommodate the interests of those on either end of the pipeline while taking resources from the communities in between.Many of the proposed pipelines will take new paths rather than follow existing rights-of-way, like highways and electric lines. Choosing to use pre-established pipeline routes reduces waste by conserving the amount of land in use—a perk that appeals to environmentalists and landowners alike.“When we saw what Dominion had crafted for its pipeline route, we were a little horrified,” says Jon Ansell, Chairman of the Friends of Wintergreen. “There are better choices using the principle of co-location.” The Nelson County, Va., organization hopes to protect Wintergreen Resort from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by examining alternative routes that use more existing rights-of-way.Pipelines ultimately inflict lasting wounds but provide only a short-term energy fix. Together, these pipelines will cut across 3,500 miles of Appalachia and beyond.last_img read more

Instagram Takeover | Tyler Mann

first_imgThis week we’re handing over the reigns of our Instagram takeover of Tyler Mann, AKA @mtnsoul_t. Tyler has traveled much of the country capturing the beauty of different mountain landscapes, but he calls the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee home. Check out some of his work below and scroll to the bottom to read our Q & A with Tyler.linville-gorge Linville Gorge Wilderness, North Carolina  ” Two things that make me happy are sunrises and coffee.  Put the two together with a view like this and you’ve already owned the day.kodak-along-french-broad-river From a farm just off of the French Broad River in Kodak, Tennessee“Some days you’re in the right place at the right time, and this day happened to be one of those.  I didn’t plan on getting my camera out of the truck because of other priorities this morning, but when I saw the show mother nature was putting on my priorities quickly changed!”big-creek-gsmnpBig Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park North Carolina“I do a lot of trail running in the Big Creek area but this particular day I decided I wanted to work on some water shots.  I started up the trail anticipating hiking up a few miles but 3.5 hours of shooting later I realized I hadn’t even made it 2 miles.  Turns out my hike was shorter than expected that day, but I left feeling satisfied.”max-patch Max Patch, North Carolina“For years I have loved spending time at Max Patch but with the increase in traffic there I find myself venturing other directions.  I happened to be on my way home from Asheville one afternoon and decided spur of the moment I was going to take a chance and catch a sunset.  Turns out I was one of three people on the bald this evening, and I couldn’t help but remind myself to take chances even when you don’t always feel like it.  More times than not I am always glad I did after it’s all said and done.”mt-cammererTaken from Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower, Great Smoky Mountain National Park“Mt Cammerer has long been one of my favorite places to get away in the Smokies, and this day I was certainly blessed by mother nature.”[divider]Q & A with Tyler Mann[/divider]BRO: How long have you been taking photos?     TM: About Christmas time last year is when I made the decision to purchase a camera and actually start taking real photos. I had just gotten back from a trip to Canada a month or two before and several friends and family kept asking to see pictures, but all I had were iPhone photos to show them.  I realized that I had no good pictures of years worth of adventures I had been on and that’s when I decided I wanted to start capturing these beautiful places I love. This past year has been full of adventures all over the country and my Nikon has been by my side for every step.  I’m hooked and now find myself learning anything and everything I can about photography, and shooting every chance I get.BRO: What kind of equipment are you using?     TM: I’m shooting with a Nikon D5500 and most often a 35mm prime.  I swore that I wouldn’t spend any money on new lenses until I mastered the ones I have and actually use them to their maximum potential.  I have held true to that decision so far, mostly because I’m too cheap to fork out the money required for better lenses. BRO: Do you live in the Blue Ridge?   TM: My home base is in East Tennessee near the Sevierville area.  I’ve been blessed to grow up close to the smokies and always seem to migrate back every time I leave. BRO: What’s one piece of outdoor gear you can’t live without? TM: First aid kit. I never leave home without one because I’m the most graceful person you will ever meet. BRO: If you could only recreate in one state park, national park, national forest or wilderness area for the rest of your life, what would it be?          TM: This is an extremely tough question to answer but I’m inclined to say the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado.  I just can’t get enough of that area and one can push their limits any way you can imagine in the outdoor recreation world.BRO: Tell us about your craziest experience while out on a shoot or just out in the woods in general. TM: I work in the outdoor field so this is tough to narrow down to one crazy experience, but this summer I was out on a training run preparing for an upcoming trail race I had planned to run. It was extremely hot and I had planned to do a 16-mile loop this particular day.  I must have miscalculated my hydration and nutritional needs because at about mile 12 I turned into a zombie.  Cramps, hearing killer bees that weren’t really there, and the mental game took over and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back to the trailhead.  Fortunately, I did but it was crazy and a humbling experience to say the least. BRO: What is your all-time favorite outdoor pursuit?       TM: Paddling whitewater has always been my passion, and I still can’t get enough of it to this day. I have slowed down a bit due to some shoulder injuries that have really limited my paddling over the last few years, but it will always be a part of my life.  A friend that got me into paddling once told me that paddling rivers would change my life, and 15 years later I guess I have to say he was right.last_img read more

A series of unfortunate events: snowboard edition

first_imgAn avalanche sent three snowboarders tumbling down the mountainside at Maroon Bowl outside of Aspen Highland ski area this past week. Fortunately, all three survived, only to be charged by a moose shortly after rescuing themselves.According to the Aspen Times, the three boarders had been filming higher up the ridge that day and decided to make their way back down. One victim said they made the poor choice to all three go down the slope at once, instead of following the one-at-a-time protocol.The avalanche started 300 feet above the men and swept them hundreds of feet down the mountain. Once they stopped toppling down the slope, one man was partially buried, one was buried up to his chest, and the other was pinned against a tree and suffered from broken ribs.The two non-injured men carefully slid and crawled through the snow while pushing their injured friend on his board to safety. Once they reached Maroon Bowl Road, one of the men left for the T-Lazy-7 Ranch to get help. Meanwhile, the other two men sat awaiting their friend to return with support.However, these two men’s troubles weren’t over yet. While waiting for help, a moose charged at them three times. The men managed to stand their ground against one of the largest animals found in the U.S.Shortly after, the T-Lazy-7 squad arrived and helped the three men to their car where they then drove themselves to the Aspen Valley Hospital. The area the men had been skiing in had been experiencing avalanches that week due to multiple nights above freezing.Read more here.last_img read more