On the Blogs: Bankrupt Coal Companies Don’t Always Stop Mining Coal

first_imgOn the Blogs: Bankrupt Coal Companies Don’t Always Stop Mining Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Daniel Cohan for TheHill.com:The largest pillar of the coal industry has now fallen. In filing for bankruptcy last week, Peabody Energy joined Arch Coal, Patriot Coal, Walter Energy and Alpha Natural Resources among the largest coal mining companies recently facing this fate.Coal emits more air pollutants and climate warming gases than any other fossil fuel, and its mining can devastate local ecosystems and watersheds. Curtailing the amounts of coal mined and burned would thus yield a myriad of benefits for the environment and health.However, the road to bankruptcy court doesn’t necessarily mark the path to a sustainable energy future. It is time to think afresh about how the environment and health can be considered in coal bankruptcies.Like most of its peers, Peabody chose Chapter 11 for its bankruptcy filing. Unlike a Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 11 allows a company to continue operating while it manages its debts and seeks to emerge as a viable corporation. Peabody’s statement said it intends to continue operating its mines uninterrupted as the bankruptcy process proceeds.Thus, while bankruptcy can crimp the finances of creditors and investors, it won’t necessarily cut coal mine output. In fact, coal companies seeking to pay off creditors may face pressure to maintain revenues from coal.The challenge of maintaining revenue has grown as coal prices have fallen. Coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, widely used for its low sulfur content, has fallen to $9.35 per ton. I’d call it dirt cheap if I knew anywhere selling dirt for less than half a penny per pound.With coal so cheap, its sales likely generate far less revenue than its damage to health and the environment. Since coal is composed primarily of carbon atoms, each of which combines with two oxygen atoms to form carbon dioxide, burning coal generates about 1.87 times its own weight in carbon dioxide.In other words, Powder River Basin coal mines are receiving only about $5 per ton of carbon dioxide that their coal generates when burned. The revenue per ton of pollution would be even lower if we consider life cycle impacts such as the diesel emissions needed to mine and transport the coal and the methane released from the mine.Virtually all estimates of the social cost of carbon to climate change are many times higher than $5 per ton. That’s even before considering environmental impacts beyond climate such as damage to air quality, water and wildlife.In other words, society as a whole pays a very high price as coal mining companies seek to pay off their creditors in bankruptcy. It could even be argued that a domino effect of coal mining bankruptcies has taken hold, as the urgency of already-bankrupt companies to pay off creditors has kept coal mine output from falling sufficiently. Though coal mining is down sharply, unusually large stockpiles of coal show that mining has not fallen fast enough to offset the effects of cheap natural gas and growing deployments of renewables.Bankrupt coal companies create an additional burden if they do not cover the environmental damages they have caused. Communities near coal mines have reason to be concerned about whether adequate steps will be taken to remediate coal mines owned by bankrupt companies.All of these factors receive insufficient attention in bankruptcy proceedings, as repayment of creditors and restructuring of debts dominates deliberations. How best to give the environment and public health seats at the table in bankruptcy court requires legal expertise far beyond my training as an environmental engineer. Nevertheless, the prices and emissions calculations provided here demonstrate that the coal assets owned by these bankrupt companies may be far more valuable to society if left in the ground rather than mined to pay off creditors.Cohan is associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University.When coal companies go bankrupt, the mining doesn’t always stoplast_img read more

Seaford Middle School Evacuated for Bomb Scare

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Seaford Middle School was evacuated for a bomb threat on Wednesday morning, Nassau County police said.A police spokeswoman said school officials called 911 at 9:35 a.m. reporting the discovery of “some sort of written threat,” although it wasn’t immediately clear if it was a note or a message written on a wall.Arson/Bomb Squad detectives are on the scene searching the campus.The incident comes a day after Elmont High School was put on lockdown when a student brought a toy gun to school.last_img read more

House votes to let more mortgages count as QMs

first_imgThe U.S. House approved a bill Wednesday that would allow credit unions and other lenders to treat mortgages held in portfolio as qualified mortgages (QM) for purposes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) mortgage lending rules. The vote was 255-174.CUNA supports the bill, The Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 1210). CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle contacted House lawmakers earlier this week encouraging them to approve the legislation that would help reduce operational barriers for credit unions.CUNA maintains that when a credit union is willing to hold a loan in its portfolio, thereby having “skin in the game,” there should be the presumption that the loans is as worthy as a standard QM loan even if it might not meet all of the technical requirements.Mortgage lending, CUNA has noted in support of the bill, is a key service that credit unions provide, and enactment of H.R. 1210 would bring meaningful regulatory relief, allowing credit unions to more fully serve their members. continue reading » 17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

And the forecast is …

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Import relaxations not enough to secure garlic supply: Business watchdog

first_imgThe government’s recently issued import policy has failed to ensure a steady supply of garlic as importers have been late to complete garlic imports, Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) commissioners have said.KPPU commissioner Guntur Saragih said on Thursday that the Trade Ministry needed to evaluate its importers because garlic prices were currently high even though the government had rolled out import relaxations.”Under current conditions, a mere relaxation is not enough. There needs to be an emphasis on industry players promptly completing their imports because what we need is stock availability,” Guntur said in a teleconference. Guntur’s statement came after the Trade Ministry issued a policy that temporarily removed import permit letters and surveyor’s reports for importers from March 19 to May 31. The ministry previously claimed that importers would no longer need import recommendations for horticulture products from the Agriculture Ministry, though the latter has since refuted the claim.Read also: Staple foods safe, but masks, sanitizer gone from markets as consumer behavior shiftsGarlic and brown onion prices have spiked in the last three months as a result of an increasing shortage of the two commodities.The average price of garlic nationwide was Rp 44,450 per kilogram on Thursday, nearly double the usual price of Rp 25,000 to Rp 30,000 per kg, according to the Information Center for Strategic Food Prices. The price has fallen since mid-February, when it was above Rp 50,000. The average price of brown onion has also increased, with Vegetable and Fruit Importers and Exporters Association data showing that retail prices for the commodity leaped to Rp 170,000 per kg in March, a sharp increase from Rp 62,500 in February and Rp 35,500 in January.The Trade Ministry had imported 11,000 tons of garlic as of March 19, a far cry from its 150,000-ton quota. It had yet to announce its latest figures for brown onion imports as of Friday.Read also: Rising garlic price cannot be blamed on coronavirus: Business watchdogGuntur said this was not the first time that imports lagged behind. Last year, the price of garlic spiked to more than Rp 80,000 per kg due to import recommendations not being issued until April 2019.However, Guntur said his team’s investigation had yet to ascertain whether importers were intentionally holding back imports, a move that could push up prices. He said the commission would act upon this if it found any indication of violations.”If needed, the government could blacklist these naughty importers,” he said.While there is a possibility of importers holding back their supply, Australian National University’s Indonesia Project economist and Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS) supervisory board member Arianto A. Patunru said on Friday that opening up to more imports was still the “most powerful weapon” to combat such importers.”They are less incentivized [to hold back supply] as they are unable to sell them at a high price because they know that the goods are already present in the market,” he said in a webinar.In contrast to the KPPU, CIPS researcher Felippa Ann Amanta said during the webinar that the ministry’s relaxation had succeeded in stabilizing garlic and brown onion prices. As such, she suggested that the government apply similar policies for sugar and beef since Indonesia relied on imports to fulfill domestic needs for the two commodities.Topics :last_img read more

Dutch roundup: KLM, Philips, Vervoer

first_imgThe €7.4bn KLM pension fund for ground staff (Algemeen Pensioenfonds) attributed its quarterly return of 1.6% in particular to the performance of equities and real estate, which generated 5.4% and 2.3%, respectively.Its return over the full year was 0.7%, with real estate and equity returning 8.6% and 3%, respectively.It lost 0.9%, however, on its 52% fixed income portfolio.The ground staff scheme closed the year with a funding of 111.1%The €2.5bn KLM pension fund for cabin staff said a fourth-quarter return of 1.9% allowed it to avoid reporting a loss for 2015, ultimately delivering 0.5%.Real estate, returning 8.6% over the year, was the best performing asset class.The scheme said its equity holdings returned 3%, whereas its fixed income generated an annual loss of 1%.At year-end, funding at the Pensioenfonds KLM Cabinepersoneel stood at 108.5%.Meanwhile, the €17.6bn Philips pension fund reported a quarterly return on investments of 1.1%, which it attributed in particular to real estate and equity.It said its annual return was 1.2%.During the past three months, high-yield credit and emerging market debt delivered positive results.In contrast, euro-denominated government bonds, global government bonds and commodities all declined.The pension fund said it official policy funding stood at 111.7% at year-end and that its assets had dropped from €19.8bn to €17.6bn over the fourth quarter.Lastly, the €20bn sector scheme for public road transport (Vervoer) reported annual and fourth-quarter returns of -1.5% and 0.7%, respectively.Vervoer said its policy funding stood at 104.4% at year-end. The three large KLM schemes and the Philips Pensioenfonds have reported “modest” results for 2015, with KLM’s pension fund for cockpit staff performing best with a 2.3% annual return.At least one KLM scheme, thanks to relatively strong performance over the fourth quarter, was able to avoid closing out the full year with a loss, according to the schemes’ quarterly report.The €7.9bn KLM scheme for cockpit staff (Vliegend Personeel) reported a fourth-quarter return of 1.5%.Its policy funding – the criterion for indexation and rights cuts – stood at 122.9% at the end of 2015.last_img read more

Asset management roundup: Natixis launches infrastructure affiliate

first_imgCredit: Manuel JosephShanghai, ChinaAegon Asset Management has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Shanghai Lujiazui Administration Bureau, a free trade zone in China, with a view to jointly supporting the establishment of a global asset management centre.Aegon said the agreement “signalled its intention” to set up a subsidiary in Shanghai to distribute products to China’s high net worth and institutional investor sectors.The company already has a partnership in China with Industrial Securities, known as Aegon Industrial Fund Management Company (AIFMC), which was set up in 2008. The new company in Shanghai would “complement AIFMC’s distribution strategy and investment capabilities”, Aegon said.Martin Davis, head of Aegon Asset Management Europe, said: “As signatories we will be one of an early group of global asset managers able to bring world class investment strategies to the domestic Chinese high net worth and institutional market.“As such we are extremely pleased to be working with the Shanghai Lujiazui Administration Bureau to establish this new centre of asset management excellence.” Jean Raby, CEO of Natixis Investment Managers, said: “At a time where the infrastructure investing market is growing significantly, creating a stand-alone specialised affiliate, with an entrepreneurial approach and proven track record, will enable global investors to more easily access the infrastructure investments fitting their specific needs and constraints.”The launch of Vauban follows a number of additions to Natixis’ line up of affiliates focused on real assets and alternatives, including the creation of Flexstone Partners in December 2018, the acquisition of MV Credit in June 2018, and the launch of a private real asset debt co-investment offering run by Ostrum Asset Management and Natixis’ investment banking arm.Aegon targets China onshore market Natixis Investment Managers, one of Europe’s biggest investment houses, plans to launch a new subsidiary focused on infrastructure.Subject to approval by the French regulator, Vauban Infrastructure Partners will oversee €2.8bn in assets and join Natixis’ network of asset manager affiliate companies. It has been spun out of Mirova, which Natixis established in 2014.The affiliate firm will be run as a partnership, Natixis said, with Gwenola Chambon as CEO and Mounir Corm as deputy CEO. The Vauban team has raised five funds and bought more than 50 assets during 10 years of operatons as part of Mirova.Corm said Vauban aimed to double its assets under management in the next few years, adding: “Our mission is to continue to deliver long-term sustainable value to all our stakeholders, including investors, local communities, public entities, employees, and industrial partners, with the highest quality of service.”last_img read more

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

first_img Loading… Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening. A bar next in central Milan closes following security measures against the coronavirus mount “Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers. Inter Milan themselves announced their Europa League match with Ludogorets on Thursday would be played with no fans present. “In agreement with UEFA, the Lombardy regional health authorities and Milan city council, our return game with Ludogorets will be played behind closed doors,” an Inter statement said. The sports minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban. There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter. Italy reported its seventh death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe. Eleven towns – 10 in Lombardy and one in neighbouring Veneto – are under lockdown, with some 50,000 residents prohibited from leaving. Promoted ContentThe Models Of Paintings Whom The Artists Were Madly In Love With7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your Phone5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Who Earns More Than Ronaldo?This Is The First Meme Ever, According To The Internet7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Become A VegetarianWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?8 Most Interesting Sylvester Stallone Movies Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk. The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to that. Read Also: UCL: Lampard hopeful Chelsea underdogs can bite Bayern again “We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.” Other sports were also hit with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) confirming that in line with government instructions, all events in the Lombardy and Veneto regions would be postponed. Regional authorities have ordered gathering spots, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas and discos to close. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Bacolod-Iloilo sea trips resume June 15 but ‘leisure travel’ still prohibited

first_imgEarlier, the PCG commander said ferry operators still need to apply for a special permit before the Maritime Industry Authority prior to resuming passenger operations. However, ferry operations will only be limited to the transport of locally stranded individuals and authorized persons outside of residence, according to PCG-Negros Occidental chief, Lieutenant Commander Jansen Benjamin yesterday. BY DOMINIQUE GABRIEL BAÑAGA For authorized individuals who are residents of Bacolod City, they would no longer be required to get a travel authority. Instead they would need to show their company identification card (ID), which would prove that they are working in Iloilo City.  “Leisure travel will still be prohibited,” said Benjamin, saying this development came after the city government, ferry operators and concerned agencies agreed to push the reoperation of passenger ships with several conditions in place. The same can be applied for Iloilo residents, wherein they would also be required to show their company ID, if they will cross to Bacolod City for work. BACOLOD City – Sea trips from this capital city to Iloilo and vice versa are set to resume on June  15, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in  Negros Occidental announced.  He added ferry operators will still follow the minimum health protocols set by Marina such as boarding only 50 percent of the vessel’s total seating capacity, requiring passengers to wear face mask at all times, and disinfection of passenger accommodation areas after every trips./PN Benjamin said stranded individuals are required to secure documents from the barangay where they are temporarily residing, along with a travel authority and medical certificates.last_img read more

IMCA focused on best event in Super Nationals history

first_imgBOONE, Iowa – Drivers and fans won’t see a lot of changes in the facility or the format when they pull into Boone Speedway for the Sept. 4-9 IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.And IMCA President Brett Root believes that’s a good thing.“There are no race night changes. There were no major changes to the speedway since last year’s Super Nationals. This year we can focus on logistics and putting on the best event possible,” he said. “We are positioned to putting on the best event in the 35-year history of Super Nationals.”Southern SportMods joined the opening night card when they were added to the program last year and the Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models moved to Thursday.The pit area and hot pit viewing area have been expanded, with new spectator seating added on both sides of the track in recent seasons. With those improvements in place, Root and all of the IMCA Racing nation are next hoping for a more weather-friendly event this September.“Weather is always the wild card. Last year was our worst-ever in terms of the weather,” he said, recalling the wet week at Boone. “The last time we had that amount of rain was 1996, when the Modified main event was postponed to Sunday.”“That led to the purchase of the jet dryer the next year. The jet dryer was used more at last year’s Super Nationals than any year since 1997,” Root added. “We have a had a very good format in place and the only thing that would affect that is the weather. The changes we made in qualifying last year were made because we had no other options time-wise.”Two hundred and twenty-five drivers have already pre-registered for Super Nationals. Those early entries represent 20 states and Canada.“That’s about 75 ahead of this time last year,” Root noted. “As always, we encourage drivers to get entered and get pit stall applications in. Reserved stalls have always sold out at previous Super Nationals and I anticipate that to be the case again. There is plenty of non-reserved pit parking available but any drivers on the waiting list for concrete reserved stalls who don’t get them will receive refunds.”Entry forms and pit stall applications for Super Nationals are posted on both the IMCA (www.imca.com) and track (www.raceboone.com) websites and published in the July Inside IMCA newsletter.Entry fees, if paid before Aug. 25, are $40 for Modifieds, $50 for Late Models, $25 for Stock Cars, Hobby Stocks, Northern SportMods and Southern SportMods, and $15 for Sport Compacts.Super Nationals competitors can also pre-enter by calling the IMCA home office at 319 472-2201.Drivers in all divisions except the Late Models are required to pre-enter to be eligible for shares of $13,000 in championship bonuses. Modified, Stock Car, Hobby Stock and Northern SportMod drivers must also be entered ahead of time to be eligible to compete in the Sept. 2 50th anniversary Prelude special at Boone.There were 267 entries in the 2016 Prelude, which set the stage for a record car count of 906 at Super Nationals.After Southern SportMods headline the opening night show, which also sees qualifying begin for Hobby Stocks and Northern SportMods, the complete Sport Compact program will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Modified and Stock Car qualifying starts Wednesday, Sept. 6. The Deery Series takes center stage on Thursday, Sept. 7 and the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational is Friday, Sept. 8.Main events and races of champions for the Modifieds, Stock Cars, Northern SportMods and Hobby Stocks bring the week to a close on Saturday, Sept. 9.Both the Prelude and Super Nationals will be broadcast by IMCATV.last_img read more