FERC Rejects Perry’s Coal, Nuclear Subsidy Plan

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享AP:An independent energy agency on Monday rejected a Trump administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to boost the struggling coal industry.The decision by the Republican-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was unexpected and comes amid repeated promises by Trump to revive coal as the nation’s top power source. The industry has been besieged by multiple bankruptcies and a steady loss of market share as natural gas and renewable energy flourish.The energy commission said in its decision that despite claims by the administration to the contrary, there is no evidence that any past or planned retirements of coal-fired power plants pose a threat to reliability of the nation’s electric grid.The administration’s plan was opposed by an unusual coalition of business and environmental groups that frequently disagree with each other. Critics said the plan would distort energy markets and raise prices for customers, especially in the Northeast and Midwest.In its decision, the five-member energy panel essentially agreed with critics who said there was no evidence of a threat to the grid’s day-to-day reliability that would justify the emergency action Perry was seeking.FERC said in its decision that it is launching a new process to evaluate the resilience of the nation’s electric grid, which is overseen by a network of regional transmission organizations and independent system operators.More: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/energy-panel-rejects-trump-administration-plan-to-boost-coal-nuclear-power-plants FERC Rejects Perry’s Coal, Nuclear Subsidy Planlast_img read more

South Korea energy plan expected to push quicker green energy transition, close coal plants

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:As renewable energy powers up in South Korea, coal-fired generation, long the bedrock of the country’s electricity supply, is being tapped to give up room.Facing choking smog in its major cities and under pressure to meet emission reduction targets, the world’s fourth-biggest coal importer is expected to accelerate targets for green energy in an updated 15-year energy plan later this year.Long seen as a laggard with Japan in moving away from coal, the government now looks set to close some 20 ageing coal-fired generators and broaden operating caps at others, say advisers and energy experts.South Korea began its transition to cleaner energy in a 2017 power supply plan that aimed to boost the share of renewables from about 6% to 20% by 2030, while scaling back coal and unpopular nuclear.Amid public anger, the government in March designated pollution a “social disaster”, and a month later pledged to boost renewable energy to up to 35% of total energy supplies by 2040. The 2019 energy plan is expected to reflect the push for even more renewables and more gas-fired power at the expense of coal, imported from countries such as Indonesia, Australia and Russia.South Korea operates some 60 coal power plants, mainly owned by state-run utilities, which last year supplied about 42% of the country’s electricity.More: South Korea fires up on renewables, to close more coal plants South Korea energy plan expected to push quicker green energy transition, close coal plantslast_img read more

Anybody want to buy a bike?

first_imgI’m so ready for a new bike. I can’t seem to get the Pivot 5.7 off my mind ever since bounding down the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. Although it would be so sad to sell my bike and buy a new one only to learn that it was the magic of the Wasatch Mountains that made my ride so sweet.Instead of dropping thousands of nonexistent dollars, I brought my Stumphumper to the shop for an overhaul. It’s back to being a Stumpjumper now. It was easier spending hundreds of dollars on new components and a helpful mechanic.The last ride I took made me wish I had a singlespeed since I couldn’t use any of my gears anyway. At least with a singlespeed I don’t keep thinking that I can’t make it up the hill without several gear choices.My cables and housing were so mucked up and the cassette so clapped out that my favorite gears were completely inaccessible. I’m sure you can guess that means my granny gear, and the two leading down to it, were gone. Not only did that make my climb up Inglesfield Gap excruciating, but it made me keep trying to mash the shifters into those gears with the hopes that something might change. In case you too are tempted to behave this way, it’s a far worse choice than just grinding up the mountain in a bigger ring. All it did is hurt my thumb and cause the chain to slip back and forth between gears with a loud “cachunk!” every time I stood up in the pedals. I’m certain this led to the demise of my chain. That’s not all that was demolished. The mechanic said that the middle ring practically fell off on its own when she was evaluating whether it needed replacement.My descents were no better. I had to use the heel of my hand to force the shifter into giving me the big ring on the flats and down hills. This maneuver would coincide with my front wheel dabbing into a gully or meeting with a rock throwing me gracefully off trail. By the way, none of these tactics offered a flow to my ride. At least I was no longer riding on the shredded seat, which had been missing the padding for my left butt cheek. Who needs to sit anyway? I finally traded it out for an old one that I pulled out of the rubble from the box of old bike parts. 1 2last_img read more

How Young is Too Young for the Outdoors?

first_imgDear Mountain Mama,I’m the proud dad of a healthy two-month old baby girl. My wife and I hope to raise her to enjoy the outdoors. How early should we start introducing her to the outdoors?Thanks,Outdoorsy DadDear Outdoorsy Dad,I applaud your desire to raise a child who loves the outdoors! The desire to wonder about the natural world begins as an infant. It’s up to us parents to nurture that connection early and often.From the first few days of life, when my baby started to fuss, an easy solution was to take him on a walk outside. Something about the cool air in his face and the sound of birds chirping soothed him.When the weather was warm enough, I’d place him on a blanket. He first learned how to roll outside, off the blanket and onto the grass. Rolling around on the grass led to learning to crawl outside. Crawling outside, in turn, has naturally progressed to learning to walk outside.It’s true that spending time outside can mean contending with grass burns, bug bites, dirt, sun, rain, and wind. Babies get germs, they get dirty and they can even get hurt. We can’t baby-proof the outdoors.  My little guys has fallen in puddles, scratched himself, eaten a few not-yet-ripe tomatoes, and has gotten bitten by a bug or two along the way.  He’s also become comfortable outside.  He’s learning that nature is something he is meant to explore, along with my kayak!Outdoorsy Dad, let your babe feel the joy of sunrays on her skin, and to laugh as blades of grass tickle her toes. Encourage your sweet baby girl to relish the cool relief that splashing around in water provides on a hot summer day.  You’ll be helping her develop life-long habits that keep her active in nature.Yours,Mountain MamaGot a question for Mountain Mama? Send it herelast_img read more

Why Women Need Women

first_imgI know I’m not the only gal out there who has more guy friends than lady friends. If you’re an adventurous woman, inevitably, you will find that you’re a big fish in a very small, very testosterone-laden pond.Now ladies, there are benefits to this, no doubt, especially if you’re in the market for a man of the mountains.But eventually, you’re going to get tired of the crude, borderline inappropriate jokes that guys make between guys (often on the subject of girls). Eventually, you’re going to resent having some dude help you carry your boat while you portage a rapid or make excuses for you when your legs are pumped and you have to bail early on your weekend ride.Whether they’re literally intimidating or not, going outdoors with males can sometimes be damaging to a woman’s morale. I remember when I first started kayaking, I was the only girl at my school to really chomp at the bit and take the initiative to go on trips. Though I was able to get on a number of different runs in the Southeast, I never progressed much above class III, and I wonder if that was due, in part, to the fact that I was paddling with a bunch of dudes.Though I know a number of women who could easily stomp the men in their sport, the reality is that women and men treat their respective sports and their time in the outdoors differently. Women, inherently, will compare themselves to men. Maybe you think you don’t, but gender aside, people compare themselves to other people. It’s not necessarily a healthy thing to do, nor is it very productive, but it’s normal and it sometimes can lead to gaining that extra edge, that extra oomph needed to light a fire under your ass and man woman up.But sometimes it does the total opposite. When I saw the guys I was paddling with throwing ends and looping in holes and paddling harder stuff every weekend, I felt very much like they were on some unobtainable level and that by tagging along or trying to push myself to the next level, I would be a burden to them and their precious time out of the office.For awhile, I stagnated. My outdoor ambitions reached a plateau of sorts. I didn’t realize the value of having adventurous girlfriends until my junior year in college when I spent my fall semester in the Amazon with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Though, like I admitted earlier, I typically have more male friends than female, I walked away from those three months with three of the closest lady friends I’ve had to date.The last week of our course was trademarked by independent, student-led travel (i.e. backpacking without instructors). Our group had exactly four guys and four gals and the instructors decided to split us up as such for the last week of the semester. We all had the same final destination, the same route, but we had a week to get there in whatever fashion and on whatever timeline we wanted.[[The following images are from that girls’ time in Brazil. Yes I had short hair. No I don’t want short hair ever again. Photo cred: Kelsey Kuhn.]]376490_10150423373415838_1485902088_n 381353_10150423394505838_920443983_n 386056_10150423373685838_1214628773_n 390996_10150423374755838_261027991_n 394466_10151077097725268_2130422548_n 398899_10151687475360268_634505471_nIf I could describe those ladies-only days in one word it would probably be glorious.Everyone pulled their weight. We cooked amazing group dinners, star-gazed till the wee hours of the morning, lounged butt-ass naked by watering holes with no concern for male intrusion, and talked about boys and dates-gone-bad and period woes and haircuts. But we also talked about our dreams for the future, the mistakes we’d made in the past, and our career ambitions (if any).Though we came from different parts of the world, from the sand dunes of Michigan to the metropolitan hub of northern Virginia to the even larger city of São Paulo, we were all united at that time in our lives by our love of adventure. Those ladies pushed me when I felt like I couldn’t put one more foot in front of the other, carried my weight when I needed to give my knees a break, and inspired me to suck it up when we found ourselves traversing a narrow animal path on a 3000-foot cliffside, battered, bruised, and scared shitless.Since then, I’ve made an effort to surround myself with like-minded women. My best friend from college (hi Hannah Banana) went on a NOLS trip to the Himalayas the same semester I was in the Amazon, and she’s since thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, traveled to Iceland, worked on a commercial salmon fishing rig in Alaska, and built up an impressive long-distance trail running resumé. In subtle ways, we’ve always competed with each other, both outdoors and in the academics world. But whenever I’m outside with her, whether it’s trail running or climbing, I’m never comparing myself to her in a counter-productive way. Usually, my thoughts are much more positive, replacing the “I can’ts” with “I can.”Recreating outdoors with other adventurous women creates a support system, a means of gauging your abilities, and the confidence and inspiration to push yourself further.green river takeoverI recently came across this blog post on reasons why women should go to the mountains with other women. It’s pretty spot on, and I highly recommend taking a few minutes to breeze through it. This topic in particular has been on my mind given that this weekend, I’ll be joining a number of female paddlers on the Green River for a girls’ day on the water. Anna Levesque’s organization Girls At Play will be there promoting women in whitewater and connecting female paddlers in the Southeast. I think it’s a long overdue event and I’m happy to be a part of what will hopefully become an annual event.If you’re a female paddler and you’re interested in joining us on Sunday, check out the Facebook event for it here.Though it can prove particularly challenging to find ladies who like to go outside and play, reach out to local clubs, organizations, and even campus outdoor programs for resources. Once you open one door, a thousand more are bound to follow.Rock on, ladies!** 10-29-14/post update!Check out these pics from the event! Over 50 ladies showed up to the Green. No carnage and epic good times! Let’s do it again sometime!IMG_1260 IMG_1283 IMG_1311 IMG_1314last_img read more

The Fight to Save Coggins Farm

first_imgCoggins Farm, a 169 acre tract of land just a few miles from downtown Asheville, is slated for residential and commercial development. Kept largely undeveloped and bordering the forests of Warren Wilson College, it features a mix of pastures, long stretches of Bull Creek, fertile bottom lands, and mature woods that provide a home to many native medicinal plants and wildlife. The Warren Wilson College trail system borders the property, and it has long been cherished as a scenic oasis.Coggins Farm has been in the same family since the founding of Buncombe County. Recently, the owner of the property decided to sell the land to developers, but the community is rallying to rescue the land. They’ve created the Coggins Conservation Project, which aims to create a sustainable agriculture center on the property instead of subdivision. It will present its plans to the public tomorrow, May 7, at 7 p.m. at the French Broad Food Co-Op in downtown Asheville. Learn more here.last_img read more

Pedal with a Purpose: Cyclists Climb the Saluda Grade Ten Times to Conquer Cancer

first_imgEach April, Polk County cycling icon John Cash organizes, directs, and rides in his annual Climb to Conquer Cancer bicycle ride, to raise money for the Gibbs Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program in Spartanburg, S.C. John’s ride, held in Polk County, N.C., generally features up to ten climbs of the famous Saluda Grade on U.S. Highway 176, up to Saluda.John Cash’s Jeep, adorned with notes about folks he’s riding for. Photo by Mark SchmerlingEach trip up the grade is four miles, with 1,000 feet of elevation gain—not especially demanding, but doing it ten times as John does, and as a few others do, is tough, giving a total ride of 80 miles with 10,000 feet of elevation gain.Linda Votey, left, a five-year breast cancer survivor, who rides on the Beardon Josey Center for Breast Health team. Votey, who rode in this April 29 Climb to Conquer Cancer, is shown with Stacey Kindall, who coordinates the Gibbs Survivorship Program.Since 2007, John’s rides have raised about $90,000, with this year’s donations (still being accepted) setting a new record at at least $9,000. John rides about 12,000 miles each year, training on the steepest and most difficult climbs (of which there are plenty) in the area and region.“I would love to see cancer cured in my lifetime,” said Cash, who, with his wife Diane, owns and operates Nature’s Storehouse, a health food and natural supplement store in Tryon, N.C.last_img read more

Three Fourteeners– Climbing for a Cause

first_imgIn the early hours of Monday, July 9th, eight heavy-eyed, and coffee-fueled individuals met at Kite Lake trailhead near Alma, Colorado, and starred up at the three mountains they were going to attempt to summit that day. The three fourteeners, peaks reaching above 14,000 feet above sea level, sat in a pleasing loop. The loop is named the Decalibron Loop, a mash-up of all the peaks (three official fourteeners and one unofficial) you hit along the way– Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross. Over 7.25 miles and 3,700 feet of elevation gain, you can summit all three and walk away feeling like a champion.The group of eight (plus three pups) comprised of team members from both Elevation Outdoors and Big City Mountaineers, were all there as a challenge to raise money for Big City Mountaineers through the Summit for Someone program. BCM provides wilderness experiences for under-resourced youth. It is an awesome non-profit committed to helping tons of kids experience the outdoors and hopefully, learn to love it and take care of it. “At BCM, we work alongside the transformative powers of Mother Nature to leave a lasting impact on the lives of under-resourced youth. Our wilderness expeditions bring kids out of their comfort zones and into the wild, where they develop the confidence needed for more promising futures. Our programs focus on improving the self-esteem, sense of responsibility, group communication and decision-making skills of nearly 1,000 youth annually.”Elevation Outdoors did a custom trip with Summit for Someone, but there are plenty of pre-planned trips where you pair with a group and a guide to summit the mountains you’ve been dreaming of. You raise and donate a certain amount, and they provide the guide and adventure.At 6am in the Colorado summer, mother nature is already in full swing. The sun is up, the birds are singing, and plenty of fellow hikers have already left for their adventures. We stuffed our bags with snacks and started hustling. The fourteener game is 1/4 fitness and 3/4 mind games. For most of the journey, you are looking up at what seems like an impossibly far, high, minuscule goal, which is probably a false summit anyways. The higher you go, the less pressure there is (literally, not figuratively), and the more room oxygen molecules have to spread out. The farther apart the oxygen molecules, the less you are breathing in, and the less that gets to your muscles (and brain). At some point in every 14er hike, you fight headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Of course, this trip was no different! One by one we ticked the 14ers off in a huffing and puffing line up and down, up and down. We chose to summit Mount Bross first (although due to land ownership you can only get within 192 verticle feet of the summit). Kite Lake campground, the beginning of the loop, sits at 12,030 feet and you head up loose scree all the way to 13,980 feet. With a huge climb out of the way, we had the pleasure of meandering over to Mount Lincoln. And finally, across Mount Cameron (an unofficial 14er because a mountain has to gain at least 300 feet of prominence off the ridge to be considered an official 14er, sorry Cameron!), on up the daunting summit of Mount Democrat. Then we tackled the long descent back into the valley with tired knees, achy muscles, and a gratitude for hiking poles. The dogs were energetic the entire way, and our jealousy was palpable. We had a crew of mixed ability and experience, but everyone stuck together and smiled up the climbs. Elevation Outdoor’s newest intern, Sophia, had only been in Colorado for three weeks (coming from sea level Florida) and had never climbed a 14er. She chugged along with the rest of us and showed incredible lungs on the climbs. Megan, from Big City Mountaineers, and her husband Andrew, led the pack with confidence. Conor, our Elevation Outdoors rock in the office, supplied Dad Jokes the entire way up, something I was extremely thankful for.Ben: Which one is Mount Lincoln?Conor: Look for the one with the mutton chops.If you also enjoyed Conor’s Dad Joke, our fundraising page is still up and accepting donations. Although we completed our climb already, any and all donations will still go to BCM to support getting kids outside. Below are our three summit group pictures. We did it! Three 14ers down, and so many more adventure to go. Find us next in Salida, where we are helping reshape Double Rainbow Trail, a mountain biking trail near town on Saturday, July 14th, 2018.  For more info click here!There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click hereto enter for a chance to winlast_img read more

Not Your Grandpa’s Bluegrass: String Bands Messing with Tradition

first_imgIf you’re an open-minded acoustic music fan, check out these new releases from top pickers taking unconventional routes.Love Canon: Cover Story (featured)Cover bands are easy to initially dismiss, but Love Canon is definitely an outfit that deserves your ears. The Virginia-based quintet consists of first-class pickers that play inventive acoustic takes on popular (mostly) 80s tunes. Resonator guitar player Jay Starling is the son of the Seldom Scene’s John Starling, and a couple of the other members, including soulful lead vocalist Jesse Harper, were part of unfortunately defunct Old School Freight Train, a band that temporarily backed and recorded with David Grisman.The group’s latest album, Cover Story, is a guest-filled ride through familiar old favorites, interpreted not as party reboots but as thoughtful reimaginations. Songs from an era known for indulgent electric sheen get broken down and rebuilt with serious bluegrass chops. There are obscure, once-popular FM radio gems that are instantly recognizable: Howard Jones’ “Things Can Only Get Better” and Mr. Mister’s “Kyrie Eleison.” In Love Canon’s hands, the latter, once a synth-heavy anthem, becomes a pastoral country cruiser, enhanced by an appearance from Grammy-winning dobro master Jerry Douglas. The greater transformations are even more interesting. A take on Billy Joel’s “Prelude (Angry Young Man)” turns a frantic piano jam into a jazz-grass workout, and Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” becomes a gentle chamber ballad with dramatically arranged classical strings.Throughout the record, the band dips into its deep rolodex of musical friends, tapping quirky troubadour Keller Williams to sing lead on R.E.M.’s “Driver 8,” which features blazing solos and an extended reggae breakdown. Ace fiddler Michael Cleveland and singer Aoife O’Donovan also show up for one of the album’s best tracks, a mountain-hop version of Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” Bluegrass has always been about passing songs down the line and sharing them with friends; Love Canon is toying with that tradition in a good way.Performing at Soulshine Farm Music Festival in Green Mountain, N.C. (August 10), the Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, Va. (September 22), and Devils Backbone Hoopla in Roseland, Va. (September 30).Trampled by Turtles: Life is Good on the Open RoadComing out of its shell after a recent extended hiatus, Trampled by Turtles is back with its first studio album in four years. While armed with acoustic instruments, the six members of this crew are more about string pounding than picking, eschewing flashy solos for a hard-charging collectiveness that blends a front-porch aesthetic with punk fury. This rowdy edge, a favored element of the sextet’s energetic live shows, is alive and well on Life is Good on the Open Road.“Blood in the Water,” a backwoods head-banger, finds the cross section between Bill Monroe and Black Flag. Another chugging foot-stomper, the lively, fiddle-led “Kelly’s Bar,” offers cautionary advice about blurry youthful nights.The full-force fist-pumpers are fun, but the band also has a reflective folk side. When navigating more gentle country terrain, primary singer and songwriter Dave Simonett exhibits a knack for crafting catchy hooks and sings with an earnest ache about solitude (“We All Get Lonely”) and taking disappointment in stride (“I Went to Hollywood”). On the title track he shares, “The light inside you comes and goes, but it never really goes out.” After 15 years on the highway together, this band has more miles to cover.Performing at UnionBank Pavilion in Portsmouth, Va. (August 17), the Hot August Music Festival in Cockeysville, Md. (August 18), and the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta (September 20).Town Mountain: New Freedom BluesA new set of songs is also on the horizon from Town Mountain, the International Bluegrass Music Association Award-winning band from Asheville, N.C. In years past the band has been a steadfast practitioner of the high lonesome sound, and purists shouldn’t fret, because on New Freedom Blues, which will be released on October 5, much of that reverence is still intact. The band confidently delivers hard-driving straightforward bluegrass tunes, like “Tar Heal,” a fleet-fingered instrumental, and “Underdog,” which would sound right at home in a Del McCoury set. But the group has also decided to extend its roots-music reach. A swinging drum beat paces the honky-tonk shuffle “One Drop in the Bottle,” and on album closer “Down Low” special guest Tyler Childers shows up to trade verses with banjo player Jesse Langlais on a dark outlaw anthem about overindulgence that includes dirty electric guitar runs to set the mood.Performing at Soulshine Farm Music Festival in Green Mountain, N.C. (August 11), Headliners Music Hall in Louisville, Ky. (August 16-17), Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley, N.C. (August 19), and the Capital Ale House in Richmond, Va. (August 31).last_img read more

Wolves present in CO for the first time since the 1940s

first_imgThe N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public hearing for public comment about the plan to excavate coal ash at Duke Energy’s Roxboro Power Station on Wednesday, Feb. 19, beginning at 6 p.m., according to a DEQ press release. Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are recruiting volunteers to adopt small plots of land within the park to track seasonal biological data. Volunteers will be asked to monitor their plots at least twice a month from the first bloom in spring until the trees lose their leaves in the fall. Read the story here: https://wlos.com/news/local/volunteers-to-record-impacts-of-changing-weather-patterns-on-plants-trees-in-smokies Read the story here: http://outdoornewsdaily.com/genetics-tests-confirm-presence-of-wolves-in-colorado/ The public session will start with a meeting to provide information and answer questions immediately followed by a public hearing to record public comments. All comments received by March 11, 2020 will be considered in determining whether the plan will be approved by the state. The meeting will be held at North Elementary School in Roxboro, NC. More details about Duke’s closure plans can be found on the DEQ website. A genetic test has confirmed that four scat samples collected near a scavenged elk carcass in Moffat County, CO came from wolves. It is the first official documentation of a pack of wolves in the state since the 1940’s. Testing indicated that three of the wolves are female and the other is male. The test also determined that the wolves are related, likely as full siblings. Two training dates have been scheduled for those interested in volunteering. The first will be held at the Oconaluftee Visitors Center on Feb. 29 and the other at the Sugarlands Visitors Center on March 7. Both sessions will run from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. “The DNA doesn’t tell us age,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Species Conservation Program Manager Eric Odell. “We don’t know where or when they were born. We can’t say. But that they are closely related wolves is a pretty significant finding.”  Great Smoky Mountains National Park seeks Adopt-A-Plot volunteers Public hearing on closure plans for coal ash impoundments at Roxboro Power Station to be held Feb. 19 Wolves present in CO for the first time since the 1940’slast_img read more