California AG Sides With Oakland in Refusal to Allow Kentucky-Utah Coal-Export Scheme to Proceed

first_imgCalifornia AG Sides With Oakland in Refusal to Allow Kentucky-Utah Coal-Export Scheme to Proceed FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享East Bay Times:State Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a brief in support of the city’s ban on the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in Oakland.The city ordinance was passed in July 2016, effectively killing plans to transport the ore through a lpanned terminal near the Port of Oakland, on a portion of the former Oakland Army Base land. The city based its findings on research that found such a facility would pose a serious health risk to both workers at the terminal and West Oakland residents, who already suffer from high levels of asthma and other respiratory illnesses from emissions from the port and truck and auto traffic on nearby freeways.This ban also reflected the extent to which these impacts would negatively affect communities of color residing in West Oakland near the Bulk Oversized Terminal, according to Becerra’s office.Phil Tagami, the developer of the new Terminal – is challenging the ordinance. Tagami plans to import coal by rail from Utah to the new terminal, where it would be loaded onto overseas ships.In his amicus brief filed Friday, Beccera argues that Oakland properly invoked its local police powers to protect health and wellness of residents; West Oakland residents are already overburdened by pollution and coal storage would increase this; Oakland’s ordinance was not preempted by any federal law; and the ordinance does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the Constitution.If the ordinance is reversed, it could mean that millions of tons of coal could be moved from Utah to Oakland annually by train, with that coal dust potentially affecting nearby neighborhoods, Becerra said.More: Attorney General sides with Oakland in coal banlast_img read more

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Colorado legislature passes bill with 2050 deadline for 100% carbon-free electricity

first_imgColorado legislature passes bill with 2050 deadline for 100% carbon-free electricity FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Colorado lawmakers on May 3, the last day of this year’s legislative session, sent a bill that makes extensive changes to state utility regulation to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. Polis, who took office in January, ran a campaign promoting clean energy issues, and the bill checks off several items from his energy wish list. A Democratic-controlled legislature helped push the bill through both chambers.Most notably, the 81-page SB 236 requires utilities to consider the social costs of carbon when submitting resource plans. It requires them to include in such plans road maps of how they will reduce carbon emissions from 2005 levels 80% by 2030 and to provide 100% clean power by 2050. The bill essentially codifies the clean energy plan announced in December 2018 by Xcel Energy Inc., the state’s largest electric utility.Further, the bill requires investor-owned utilities to include workforce transition plans in proposals to retire electric generating facilities. It authorizes the use of securitized bonds to pay off coal debt, the proceeds of which would be invested in clean energy infrastructure as well as assistance to laid-off workers and their communities.Under the bill, the PUC would evaluate and approve electric cooperative Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.’s energy plans, following internal membership dissent from rural electric cooperatives that make up the Tri-State organization. Some of the cooperatives have pushed Tri-State to use cleaner, cheaper sources of power.More ($): Colo. lawmakers pass sweeping overhaul of utility regulationlast_img read more

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U.S. corporations signed contracts for a record 4.4GW of wind power capacity in 2019—AWEA

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Corporations signed agreements for 4,447 MW of U.S. wind power capacity in 2019, a record, the American Wind Energy Association said in a report released June 11.Total corporate power purchase agreements, or PPAs, for wind power to date reached 16,857 MW, the trade group said. Corporate customers have purchased 10% of all operating wind capacity in the U.S. as they try to cut costs and meet sustainability targets that are increasingly common in the private sector.Corporate purchases of renewable energy have soared in recent years. At the end of 2013, wind power under contract with corporations totaled 800 MW, the report said.Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google LLC is the top corporate wind energy purchaser in the U.S., with 2,397 MW of capacity under contract, the report said. Facebook Inc., Walmart Inc., AT&T and Microsoft Corp. are also top purchasers.In 2019, Walmart purchased the most new wind power capacity of any company, signing agreements for 541 MW, the report said.There were 18 first-time corporate purchasers of wind capacity in 2019, including McDonald’s Corp., which was the first fast food company to contract for wind power, the report said. It purchased 220 MW of new capacity in 2019, “the equivalent of over 1,300 restaurants-worth of electricity.”[Justin Horwath]More ($): Corporations purchased record amount of wind power in 2019 – AWEA U.S. corporations signed contracts for a record 4.4GW of wind power capacity in 2019—AWEAlast_img read more

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Fluence rolls out latest battery storage product, with signed orders for 800MW

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Fluence is launching the sixth generation of its integrated grid storage product and has already signed orders for 800 megawatts/2,300 megawatt-hours.The new version comes in a 10-foot cube shape, which the company plans to use as the building block for storage plants small and large, in place of the long rectangular containers from previous iterations. The first installations will happen by the end of the year, COO John Zahurancik said in an interview.The 800-megawatt roster of orders, which amounts to considerably more than all the grid storage installed in the U.S. in 2019, comes from Enel, LS Power, sPower and Siemens. Fluence declined to specify where these projects are located, other than that they span North America, Europe and Asia. The new purchases bring Fluence’s tally of built or contracted storage capacity to 2.1 gigawatts.The new product marks the first new addition since Fluence formed as a joint venture between AES and Siemens in 2018; AES Energy Storage had previously developed the Advancion product. It follows similar product updates from other leading storage integrators, including Tesla’s Megapack and Powin Energy’s BESS.The sizing of Fluence’s new product is such that a commercial or industrial customer could buy just one cube to meet its needs, while a major front-of-meter project could fill a field with them. That flexibility foreshadows an expanding addressable market for Fluence, which previously focused on supplying some of the largest battery projects in the world.The design shifts labor from the field to the factory, where more systems and quality checks will take place than with previous generations. Fluence used to install batteries into enclosures onsite; the cube will ship with batteries already assembled, eliminating the variables that arise from installation in the field.[Julian Spector]More: Fluence launches next-generation battery storage product with 800MW of orders Fluence rolls out latest battery storage product, with signed orders for 800MWlast_img read more

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Best Mountain Towns

first_imgThe Best Mountain Towns poll is closed, but you can vote for your favorite places, things, trends, people, and more in our Best of the Blue Ridge Reader’s Choice Poll!The Votes Are In!Over 85,000 votes poured in for our Best Mountain Towns Contest, which wrapped up last weekend. Readers across the Blue Ridge region rallied for their favorite towns and generated a deluge of responses.Readers celebrated the trails, rivers, restaurants, pubs, outfitters, and especially the people of their favorite towns. We will be highlighting all 38 of our nominated towns in the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and including specific comments from voters who chimed in.In our small towns category, the results came down to the final week—and even the final hour—of voting. One town led the polls for most of the six weeks of voting, but a late run by another town made for an exciting finish. Both towns represent what’s best about the Blue Ridge: small outdoor hamlets nestled in the heart of mountain adventure.Which towns won? Pick up the November issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine to find out.Congratulations to all 38 towns for mustering so much support from residents and visitors. As the overwhelming participation in our poll indicates, people feel passionately about their home towns and favorite adventure hotspots.last_img read more

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The Nature of Bass: Victor Wooten

first_imgVictor Wooten’s bass playing is unmistakable. Known for mixing fluid jazz technique and heavy doses of funky thump, his virtuosic acrobatics have undoubtedly taken the instrument to a new level of range. For the past three decades, Wooten has exercised his chops as a member of Grammy-winning banjo-driven fusionists Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. These days, though, he’s spending a lot less time in the tour bus and a lot more time in the woods.This summer the bassist is leading a full schedule of music camps at Victor Wooten’s Center for Music and Nature at Wooten Woods. He’s turned a secluded 150 acres along the richly bio-diverse Duck River into an idyllic retreat for musicians. The property is located west of his Nashville home in the small town of Only, Tenn.Wooten has been hosting music and nature camps for close to a decade, at first renting space at a nearby state park. When he realized teaching in this setting would become a permanent endeavor, he decided to purchase his own land in 2008. The idea is to give musicians of all levels expert instruction in a peaceful environment. “In the woods you can let go of your nerves and baggage and just play,” Wooten said during a recent interview. “I find people trying to get better on an instrument make faster progress in this natural setting.”Years ago, Wooten took classes with naturalist Tom Brown, Jr. He noticed some striking similarities between learning wilderness skills and making music and soon started incorporating similar exercises into his music teaching. He believes being in the forest heightens the senses and that ultimately translates to better playing. During courses that cater to specific instruments, students are divided into groups and rotate between instructors, who offer instruction on theory, soloing, and the relationship between music and nature. There are also more specific portions of the camps devoted to naturalism and survival skills.“We’re trying to raise the awareness of the student in different areas,” Wooten adds. “It gets them away from the normal aspects of music. Most musicians think they need to lock themselves in a practice room all day. That’s true to a certain extent, but it’s a slow way to improve. You need to get out and interact with others—or to use a musical term, jam.”Wooten certainly has plenty of experience to relay. He was playing in a family band with his brothers by age 5. The group opened for soul legend Curtis Mayfield, and by the time he had finished high school Wooten had shared the stage with War, Frankie Beverly, and the Temptations. Wooten met Fleck in the late 1980s, and along with his brother Roy Wooten, joined the banjo ace to form the Flecktones. The group picked up five Grammy Awards between 1997 and 2012 and along the way blurred the improvisational boundaries between jazz and bluegrass in front of audiences around the world. Wooten also fronts his own band and has released nine solo albums dating back to 1996. Although he’s certainly not done being a professional musician, this husband and father of four is happy to have found a new musical outlet that keeps him closer to home.“Now tours are being booked around camps,” Wooten says. “It’s time for me to share what I’ve learned from years of being on the road.”Interlocken Music Festival – Sept. 5-8Massive new festival heading to the Blue Ridge!Just when you thought the festival landscape couldn’t get anymore crowded, a late-season announcement is bringing the Blue Ridge a high-profile bash that could be an annual game changer. The Interlocken Music Festival is taking place September 5-8 at the idyllic Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Va. Located on a 4,800-acre expansive property between Charlottesville and Lynchburg, the festival is shaping up to be a long weekend of jam-rock nirvana that’s expected to draw up to 30,000 people. Initial artists announced include Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Furthur featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, the Black Crowes, and the String Cheese Incident. The festival is also focusing on unique collaborations like String Cheese playing a set with country rock hero Zac Brown and Panic doing a full set of Credence Clearwater Revival tunes with John Fogerty. Furthur will also play a set featuring the Dead’s acoustic masterpiece Workingman’s Dead. Additional artist announcements are coming soon. interlockenfestival.com.last_img read more

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ToWanda Bike NC: Not Just Another Charity Ride

first_imgCharity rides abound these days—it seems like everyone is cycling for a cause. But few rides get as personal and profound as the  ToWanda Bike NC ride for Wanda Redmond. For 18 years, Wanda has served as a hospice nurse in Asheville, N.C., providing comfort to dying patients in their final days. Now, Wanda is fighting for her own life, battling colon cancer for the second time.Two friends and fellow hospice nurses, Nina Snoddy and Michelle Knight, decided to ride 500 miles across North Carolina to support her, and every single penny goes directly to Wanda. They completed the ride on Saturday and have raised $8,400 so far…just a few hundred short of their $9,000 goal.Visit their site and help them get there.last_img

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Trauma Tuesday: Wipeout!

first_imgSince so many in the Blue Ridge are dreaming of warm weather and beaches today, or perhaps you are on spring break and actually on a beach, here are some of the Web’s best oceanside wipeouts from Hawaii for your entertainment.Sandy beach shorebreak wipeouts…last_img

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Trauma Tuesday: What’s a Whipper?

first_imgFalling while climbing isn’t funny. But there’s nothing that gets the adrenaline flowing more than a solid whipper where no one is actually injured. Here’s a few that will make you glad you are solidly planted on terra firma.Whipper Therapy: Katie’s scary Tombstone fall Extreme Climbing Fall Compilation (some explicit language)last_img

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Gear: Car Camping Essentials

first_imgWhat’s not to love about car camping? All the comforts of home rolled out into the woods, plus your favorite gadgets and techy tools to boot? You get breathtaking views, all the fresh air you want, and if the weather turns or things get weird, you’re only a car ride away from a Denny’s or Motel 6. And for most of us, car camping brings back all the child hood memories of camping with the family – both good and bad.According to the Outdoor Industry Association, of the 43 million people who camped last year, 38 million of those were car, RV, or backyard camping, and manufacturers are taking notice of this fact.When I’m heading out for a weekend of climbing or paddling, car camping frees me to focus on the gear and preparedness for my sport, not my camping gear. With that, here are a few Blue Ridge Outdoors picks for some must-have car camping favorites.Grand TrunkFounded in 2002, Grand Trunk is making a splash in the travel market with its outdoorsy accessories, including an awesome new hooded travel pillow, a packable travel blanket (also ideal for picnics), handy utility pouches, and its popular hammocks — new this summer is a very cozy double hammock in updated prints, perfect for wet and uneven camping environments. The Parachute Nylon Double Hammock ($64.99) is 10.5 by 6.5 feet and holds up to 400 pounds. Material is stretchy and mildew resistant with triple stitched seams; rope and nautical-grade hanging biners included. www.GrandTrunkGoods.comBlack DiamondWhen it comes to lighting up your campsite – and digging through your vehicle looking for your wine bottle opener – you really don’t want to take any chances, which is why I recommend one of the most dependable and reliable outdoor brands in the world for your lighting needs, despite there being so many great options available. The BD Voyager ($39.95) lantern is simple, durable and serves the dual function of non-glaring camp lantern and flashlight, perfect for late night trips to the cooler or the latrine. For personal lighting, choose one of the new BD headlamps with PowerTap Technology for super easy brightness adjustments with just the tap of a finger. The proximity mode on the new Spot Headlamp ($39.95) is awesome for reading in your tent, cooking, etc., while 130 lumens are still available when the dog runs off and you need some real candlepower to find him. For ten dollars more, the Storm is the fully waterproof version. www.blackdiamondequipment.comKeltyWhen it comes to comfort camping, few brands do it all quite as right as Kelty, from tents to packs, pads, coolers, lanterns, sleeping bags and camp furniture. Before your next outing, I suggest adding the folding Basecamp Kitchen ($184.95) to the car camping kit. It provides wind-protected surface area for food prep, cooking and playing cards after dinner if you like. Durable aluminum can handle up to 100 pounds and collapses into its carry sack at 8 by 32 inches. A fabric panty holds drygoods and pots and pans and it’s a cinch to accessorize. www.kelty.comSlumberjackSlumberjack is another one of those classic family camping brands, still offering great value and comfort. For sleeping in comfort outdoors, the inflatable mattress is the go-to solution, perfect for unruly mother-in-laws or others insisting on a slight upgrade from the cold hard ground. The Slumberjack Haymaker inflatable bed is made for use outdoors and even has a soft flocked top and comes with a battery powered pump (twin $59.95; queen $69.95). Throw a fitted sheet on it or just a sleeping bag. www.slumberjack.comTherm-a-restConsider throwing the Therm-a-rest Vela Double ($279.95) down blanket over your air mattress or two sleeping pads pushed together. The 650-fill down is the perfect amount of warmth for Blue Ridge nights and breaths better than other materials. www.thermarest.comTiclaIn the “brands you might not have heard of yet” category, Ticla represents everything about car camping you already knew, but couldn’t find available at specialty outdoor retail. But now you can. Ticla offers car-camping specific gear including sleeping pads, bags, shelters and tents…all meant to be easy to use and store with an emphasis on functionality and aesthetics, not weight. Their new Tortuga (3-person $275; 4-person $350) is being called the quintessential car camping tent – featuring 360-degree views even with the fly on; kid and dog proof materials and construction; and oversized traditional architecture. The Besito ($100) sleeping bag has the same luxurious comfort and style. It’s available as part of the company’s GOOD Kit ($180) which includes the sleeping bag, the Tsubo sleeping pad ($90), and roomy storage bag, eliminating the hassle of trying to stuff a sleeping bag into a tiny sack. www.ticla.comSierra DesignsSpeaking of comfort, nothing says luxurious car-camping comfort (or cabin, yurt, or condo) like a pair of down booties. If your (read, her) feet are warm, you will be warmer all over. This classic piece of camp gear has been revamped for men and women…men now get an easy-to-throw-on Moc ($65) and women get a plush and stylish mid-calf Bootie ($65). Both are extremely packable and still boast durable ripstop nylon construction, slip-resistant bottoms, clip/pull loops and 700-fill down. Rumor has it these booties will be discontinued so snatch them up. www.sierradesigns.comHelinoxAnother great option for sleeping near the vehicle if you’re not into air mattresses is the classic cot. Well, now there’s a cot available that’s so light and easy to set up, you’ll be taking it canoeing and backpacking, not just car camping. The Helinox Cot One ($299.95) pretty much revolutionizes the very concept of the cot, bringing it down to about four pounds with next-generation materials and industrial design. And it holds up to 320 pounds of flesh. If you’re not looking to drop three-hundred bucks, settle for the Helinox Chair One ($99.95) – again, one of the lightest and easiest to set up and down folding camp chairs on the market. www.bigagnes.comGSI OutdoorsOne of the most trusted names in camping and still family held, GSI is especially known for their durable camp kitchenware and innovative accessories. And once you have a set of dedicated and reliable pots, pans, dishes and utensils for camping, you’ll thank yourself every time out. One of our favorites is the new 4.7-liter Halulite cooking pot ($44.95), featuring dual locking stainless steel bail handles, integrated straining holes (no need to carry a colander), silicone thumb pads for handling, and a spiral-turned base that helps it stay put. The enduring Destination Kitchen Set 24 ($49.95) gives you everything you need to serve a family of four and stays put in a handy carrying case. You’ll also want to add the Vortex hand-crank blender ($99.95) to the gear box, because eating good food and making fancy drinks is really what car camping is all about. GSI even has a new line of campground games designed to be packable and durable, even for backpacking. New items include Freestyle Bocce ($30), Table Tennis, Kubb, and classics like Chess ($12), Checkers and Backgammon. www.gsioutdoors.comLowa Bahia SandalsOften overlooked, Lowa makes sandals just as rugged and functional as Chaco or Keen. Their super-grippy outsole is lightweight and flexible, providing great traction on and off the water. ($110) lowaboots.comFarm to Feet socksThese socks feel good—and not just because they are soft and comfy. Based in North Carolina, Farm to Feet sources 100% of their merino wool from U.S. ranches, and every stitch is 100% made in America. These socks keep feet dry and blister-free on creek-splashing trail runs and muddy mountain hikes. ($12) farmtofeet.comLifestrawIt’s not just for Third World countries. Lifestraw is just as effective for campers needing to purify drinking water. And for each Lifestraw sold in the States, one child in the develping world receives clean water for a year. ($19) buylifestraw.comlast_img read more

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