Month: December 2020

U.S. Government Releases First Details of Lease-Reform Program Aimed at Requiring Coal Companies to Pay Fair Market Value

first_imgU.S. Government Releases First Details of Lease-Reform Program Aimed at Requiring Coal Companies to Pay Fair Market Value FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Matthew Brown for the Associated Press:Royalty rates on coal extracted from massive strip mines on public lands could increase 50 percent under a pending overhaul of a U.S. government program that critics say contributes to climate change, documents released Thursday show.The royalty hike — money paid to the government for the right to strip mine on public land — was contained in an Interior Department notice providing the first outlines of a planned three-year evaluation of the government’s sale of coal from public lands, primarily in the West. Lower royalty rates to stimulate mining also will be considered.The administration of President Barack Obama in January imposed a moratorium on new coal leases to address the costs of climate change from burning coal and ensure a fair financial return to taxpayers. Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw said Thursday’s notice sets “sideboards” for that review.“This isn’t a hard and fast determination on the actual royalty rate increase or decrease at this point,” Kershaw said in an emailed response to questions from The Associated Press.The royalty increase from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent would apply to coal from strip mines. That would be comparable to royalties on offshore oil and gas leases, the Interior Department said. Underground mines pay an 8 percent royalty.The Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana is home to many of the largest mines, including those owned by St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. and Creve Coeur-based Arch Coal Inc., and has emerged as the focus of the debate over U.S. coal mining.A mining industry representative said a royalty increase could dampen coal production and ultimately reduce revenue. Companies with mines on federal lands “already are paying their fair share,” said Emma Gross with the National Mining Association.But coal’s detractors counter that the industry has benefited from billions of dollars in federal subsidies, artificially propping up an industry that has seen its share of the electricity-generation market plummet as cheap natural gas provides new competition. A recent report from the environmental group Greenpeace found numerous instances of companies buying multi-million ton coal leases on federal lands and then mining more fuel than what they paid for. The report was based on data released by the Interior Department in response to public records requests.More than 40 percent of U.S. coal production — roughly 450 million tons a year — comes from public lands in Wyoming, Montana and other Western states. Over the past decade, companies mined about 4.3 billion tons from public lands, yielding about $9.5 billion in royalties, taxes and other revenue, according to the Interior Department.Royalty rates have remain unchanged since 1976 and nearly 90 percent of coal tracts leased by the agency receive just a single bid.The lack of competition and other problems in the program have cost the government as much as $200 million a year in lost revenue, according to a 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office.U.S. to consider sharp hike in royalties on coallast_img read more

Bloomberg: Wind and Gas Are Supplanting Coal- and Nuclear-Generated Electricity in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mark Chediak for Bloomberg News:For a snapshot of the woes of the U.S coal and nuclear industries, take a look at Illinois.Following a four-year drop in electricity demand, power companies there announced the closing of coal and nuclear plants that account for more than 10 percent of generating capacity. The shutdowns come amid a fourfold increase in cheap wind from neighboring states and growing competition from generators burning low-cost natural gas.Exelon Corp., the operator of 11 nuclear reactors in Illinois, and Dynegy Inc., which has 10 coal-fired plants in the state, are asking lawmakers to bail out their money-losing assets to prevent further job-cutting, closures and, in Exelon’s case, preserve carbon-free electricity production.“You’ve got free wind power coming from the west and cheap gas coming from the east and that’s not a good place to be for coal and nuclear power plants,” said Travis Miller, a utility analyst for Morningstar Inc., an investment research firm.Illinois isn’t alone. The power industry upheaval is playing out in more than a dozen states that deregulated their electricity markets, opening their borders to competition, over the past two decades. In those locations, owners of aging generators are particularly vulnerable as the average wholesale power price has dropped by about half since 2008. In response, electricity providers in places like Ohio and New York are asking for millions of dollars to keep their units running.Nowhere has the confluence of market forces produced such a profound dislocation as in Illinois. The rise of lower cost competition from inside and outside the state has pushed coal and nuclear units to the brink. For example, unregulated power suppliers in southern Illinois are competing against out-of-state generators able to recover costs through state-approved rates while selling their excess power on the deregulated markets.There’s little relief in sight. Generators have reached a point where they don’t see any “real pickup” in prices for the next year or so, according to Kit Konolige, an analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence. They are being forced to confront the uncomfortable question of how long they can afford to lose money.“The power price you are getting now is so much lower than it used to be a few years ago,” Konolige said. “Plants that used to be comfortably in the money are losing it now.”In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a clean energy standard that would require utilities to buy credits from qualified, financially struggling nuclear operators.In Ohio, American Electric Power Co. and FirstEnergy Corp. won guaranteed rates from the state’s utility regulator in March for some money-losing coal plants and FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse power reactor, before the matter was stalled by U.S. regulators.Full article: Where Free Wind Meets Cheap Gas in U.S., Power Dynamics Changing Bloomberg: Wind and Gas Are Supplanting Coal- and Nuclear-Generated Electricity in U.S.last_img read more

Coal economics face low-cost wind, solar reality in Pakistan

first_imgCoal economics face low-cost wind, solar reality in Pakistan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:When a giant infrastructure project in an emerging country doesn’t make sense these days, you can usually count on China’s Belt and Road to be on hand with a bailout check. For the global coal industry, that prospect has been one of the last great hopes for demand growth. Chinese policy banks have committed some $45 billion to coal projects overseas since 2000, according to a Boston University database.That pattern may be starting to crack. Pakistan, which has been working on an aggressive expansion of new coal power plants under the Belt and Road’s China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, is getting cold feet. The country’s planning minister has told Beijing that it’s not interested in developing the Rahim Yar Khan plant, a potential 1.32 gigawatt project that would probably have left the country’s grid well over capacity.While the big beasts of potential coal development are China and India, smaller second-ranked markets such as Pakistan are likely the tougher nuts to crack to wean the world from its most polluting fossil fuel.Whereas new wind and solar is already cheaper than coal in those two countries – one reason project cancellations there are only likely to increase – that’s often not the case in smaller emerging markets, where the plug-and-play availability of thermal plants plus the existence of overseas developers seeking to build them can still look tempting. As my colleague Liam Denning wrote last year, coal is like junk food: ubiquitous, full of calories and (at least at the building stage) cheap.Still, power generation is more about long-term than short-term costs, and with fuel accounting for about half the price of coal generation, the presence of willing foreign builders can only stave off economic reality for so long. Coal in the Thar region east of Karachi already costs about twice that of equivalent lignite in other markets and the area’s multiple thermal projects may become uncompetitive, Syed Akhtar Ali, a former member of the country’s Planning Commission, wrote in the Express Tribune last year.That dynamic is accentuated by the speed at which rival sources of energy are dropping in price. Pakistan has a rich endowment of wind and solar resources and has already joined the club of countries where the costs of new renewables are lower than coal. Long-run costs for wind projects are at about half the cost of coal, according to government data cited by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Given the low penetration of variable renewables and high share of natural gas, solar and wind won’t even need significant storage backup to maintain grid stability.More: Coal’s Belt and Road links are crumblinglast_img read more

Indiana regulators reject gas plant, tell utility to reconsider renewables

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Courier & Press:The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Wednesday rejected a Vectren proposal to build an 850-megawatt natural gas-fueled power plant to replace its aging coal-burning A.B. Brown Generating Station.The IURC order took Vectren to task for not adequately considering various combinations of other less expensive alternatives, especially renewable energy sources, of which it said there was a lack of evidence that Vectren “…made a serious effort to determine the price and availability of renewables.”In denying Vectren preapproval for the new power plant — which was projected to cost $781 million — the commission cited the potential financial risk to customers who would be stuck paying for it over a 30-year period in a time when the energy industry is rapidly evolving.According to the 38-page order posted on the IURC website: “The proposed large scale single resource investment for a utility of Vectren South’s size does not present an outcome which reasonably minimizes the potential risk that customers could sometime in the future be saddled with an uneconomic investment or serve to foster utility and customer flexibility in an environment of rapid technological innovation.”The IURC order noted Vectren is scheduled to develop a new integrated resource plan (IRP) in 2019. Utilities regulated by the state are required to submit these new long-range plans every three years.The commission’s order said: “Vectren South should use its scheduled 2019 IRP process to address problems in its modeling, incorporate more options for partnering with other entities and competitive inquiries into smaller-scale options that can be acted upon swiftly to meet the end-of 2023 date upon which additional capacity may be needed.”More: Denied: Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rejects Vectren’s power plant proposal Indiana regulators reject gas plant, tell utility to reconsider renewableslast_img read more

The Ultimate Tourist

first_img1. Timbuk2 Tandem PannierThese dueling saddlebags are built from burly waterproof tarpaulin, giving your gear protection from the elements and the road. Bonus: built-in magnets convert the two saddlebags into one shoulder bag. Fits on any rack.$120. timbuk2.com2. Zoic Tourist ShortThe Tourist rides like a bike short (the full liner is super cush and removable) but looks like a hip pair of cargo shorts, which is nice when you transition from the bike into a café where skin-tight lycra is out of place. The pockets come in handy when you want to quickly stash a phone, bar, or map.$79. 3. Showers Pass Elite 2.0There are lighter jackets and there are burlier jackets, but the Elite 2.0 successfully walks the line of supreme packability and usability. It weighs 14 ounces and packs down to a water bottle, but is fully waterproof and blissfully breathable thanks to the eVent fabric.$240. showerspass.com4. Princeton Tec PushA 100-lumen, self-contained headlight with blinking sidelights for 260-degree visibility. Add the Swerve ($29.95) taillight to your seat post, and you’ve got supreme visibility if you get stuck on the road at night.$49.95. 5. Bolle DraftThese super-light specs wrap your entire eye for full protection, and the polarized lenses adjust to the sun intensity automatically, so there’s no need to switch lenses. The result is a crisp, clear view regardless of conditions.$149. bolle.com6. Pearl Izumi X RoadForget the super stiff, carbon-soled road shoes you race in. For long miles day after day, you want a shoe that’s stiff enough for pedaling, but soft and flexible enough to walk without causing you to wince.$100. pearlizumi.comThe Wringer: Drift POV Video CameraThe concept of point-of-view cameras is alluring—strap a rugged digital camera to your head, bike, or paddle, and capture raw action footage on the go. But the actual practice can be far more complicated. I’ve tested POV cameras before, and I typically get a bunch of clips, half of which are of my face looking into the camera asking, “Is this thing on?” The other half are pointed straight at the ground.Not so with The Drift HD 170 Stealth, which  comes with an LCD screen so you can see exactly what you’re filming, then play it back immediately after you shoot it.  I took the camera on a multi-day backpacking trip, and without even looking at the instruction manual, I was able to figure out the controls within minutes of charging the battery. The Drift captures action beautifully in an almost idiot-proof package perfect for amateur videographers.$349. Watch footage from the Drift on a gear testing trip to Yosemite.Blue Ridge Outdoors - September Gear - Multi-day bike tour gearlast_img read more

The Great American Eclipse

first_imgA total solar eclipse will grace the skies of the continental U.S. later this month for the first time in 38 years. Here’s everything you need to know about the eclipse and how to see it. What Is The Great American Eclipse?A total eclipse of the sun is when the moon slides directly in front of the sun, causing that bright orb of light in the sky to go dark. When viewed from Earth, both the sun and the moon are about the same size, which results in a near-perfect overlap. The only visible part of the sun is an ethereal ring of light, known as its atmosphere, or corona. A partial eclipse, on the other hand, looks not unlike some softer variation of Pac-Man, or a normal crescent moon. Those in the direct line of the 2017 Great American Eclipse’s path will see the total solar eclipse, while the rest of North America and parts of Central America will see a partial eclipse.A total solar eclipse hasn’t passed through the Southeast since the 1500s.When Can I See The Eclipse?On August 21, the eclipse will begin its diagonal cross-country journey off the coast of Oregon at 10:15 a.m. Pacific Time. From there, it will pass through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, a piece of Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois, before finally reaching the Southeast. By 2:48 p.m. Eastern Time, the eclipse will be gone.The eclipse will take just 90 minutes to travel through four time zones, from the coast of Oregon to the coast of South Carolina. Its shadow will literally be flying faster than the modern commercial jet at a rate of 1,450 miles per hour. If you take a bathroom break during the 90-minute time frame expected for the eclipse to reach totality, you’re likely to miss it altogether—the total eclipse will only be viewable for a maximum of two minutes and 40 seconds.Do Birds Really Stop Chirping During The Eclipse?“Because it gets so dark, the temperature will drop substantially by about 10 to 15 degrees. The animals will probably be a little spooked,” says Dr. Britt Lundgren, an astronomer at the University of North Carolina-Asheville’s Lookout Observatory.One of the oldest Cherokee names for a total solar eclipse, “nvdo walosi ugisgo” means “the frog eats the sun.” Total solar eclipses were usually accompanied by loud and frantic dancing or chanting, which the Cherokee believed would scare the giant frog away and alleviate the sun’s suffering.Other cultures around the world had similar beliefs. In China, it was a dragon, not a giant frog, that ate the sun. Scandinavians theorized that a pack of wolves ran rampant in the sky, chasing both the sun and moon, which they would, occasionally, catch and devour. Lundgren is hopeful that these fascinating histories and the eclipse itself will inspire younger generations to ask more questions and become more curious about the celestial events that take place more regularly, such as the orbit of the International Space Station and Perseid and Leonid meteor showers.Where Is The Best Location To See The Eclipse?“If we have good weather, this is the place to be,” says Outdoor 76 co-owner Rob Gasbarro of Franklin, N.C. “Franklin is literally in 100 percent totality for almost the max time. We have families from Florida to Wisconsin staying at our house. Every bed in town is booked that weekend.”Eclipse Viewing TipsView the eclipse safely and efficiently with these 5 tipsExpect a big crowdPlan to get to town early and factor in extra travel time to and from the eclipse viewing. If you can’t find an available (or affordable) room, go camping.Be readyThe max total solar eclipse viewing time is only two minutes and 40 seconds. You can look up specific partial and total eclipse start times for your area at You can also download the eclipse app from to be outdoorsThat means bringing sunscreen, snacks, water, and appropriate layers for hanging out under the sun.Watch the weatherHave a Plan B and even a Plan C in case your first choice is under the weather (pun intended). The Eclipse Resource Center at STAR_Net also has eclipse-day weather forecasts.Buy a pair of eclipse glassesYes, they are kinda dorky. No, you can’t just use the ones you got from the IMAX theater. The real eclipse glasses are available online ( and should have ISO 12312-2 certified printed on the back. When the eclipse is in its partial stage, it is dangerous to look at the sun directly, even if you have sunglasses on. When the eclipse reaches totality, it is safe and encouraged to remove those special glasses so you can soak in the eclipse.last_img read more

Worlds Apart: Looking Beyond Conflict in Coal Country

first_imgRain is falling in sheets along the New River in Radford, Va., where I’m huddled under a tent discussing a float trip with a woman and her daughter. We’re here for an outdoor expo, and I’m staffing a tourism display. I’m in the middle of describing the run—a lazy float with just enough whitewater to keep things interesting—when the exchange I’d been waiting for surfaces.“I wonder why I’ve never heard of this place,” the woman says.“Well, it’s down in the coalfields,” I respond, explaining that the region is just now starting to get on the outdoor radar. She cuts me off before I finish.“Oh, coal,” she says. “Nope.” She and her daughter walk off into the rain.By now, I’m used to the response. I moved to the coalfields from the north Georgia mountains six years ago to work as a college professor. Like many in my field, I lean hard to the left on issues related to the outdoors. I sit on the boards of environmental nonprofits and write the occasional, pedantic letter to the editor on controversial policy changes. When I’m in a formal setting, it’s pretty clear where I stand.At the outdoor expo, though, I don’t look the part. I’m wearing old cargo shorts and a t-shirt, and it’s been a while since I last shaved. A career in academia hasn’t fully erased my southern twang. I might as well be anyone from a mining town, so I get the unfiltered brunt of everyone’s views on the region. Later that afternoon, another visitor responds to a photo of our city park with “do you blow stuff up there, too?”If it’s possible to pinpoint the most discouraging part of living in coal country, it wouldn’t be our poverty or even the environmental damage the industry has wrought. Instead, it’s the way coal has been caught up in our national attempt to distill seemingly every issue into neatly-packaged, non-overlapping sides. Think coal still has a role to play in Appalachia? Time to leave the holler and join the 21st century, hillbilly. Want to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels? You hippies should try freezing in the dark. On my drive home from work, I’ll often find myself behind a truck that’s further condensed the conflict into a bumper sticker: Save a coal miner. Shoot a treehugger.I’ve downed beers with industry supporters and diehard environmentalists while discussing the state of the region. I’ve been surprised at how much we agree.To be fair, I was once one of those people that might be tempted to smart off about coal to someone at an outdoor expo. I’ve read the scientific articles showing a clear link between fossil fuel extraction and climate change, and I’ve digested my share of think-pieces on Appalachia. You know the type: a writer reluctantly drives into a rural coal town to interview locals at a barbershop or diner. Talk about depressing economic statistics or the latest industry-endorsed political candidate ensues.But then I moved to that hypothetical town, a small Virginia mining community nestled against the border with Kentucky. Eighty percent of my county voted for Donald Trump, and our local Wal-Mart looks out over an active mountaintop removal site. It’s an easy place to stereotype—until, that is, you spend some time there. Since my move, I’ve taken hikes with former miners who can run circles around my doctoral training in identifying local wildlife. On more than one occasion, I’ve downed beers with industry supporters and diehard environmentalists while discussing the state of the region. I’ve been surprised at how much we agree.That agreement is there because we’re not defined by our political allegiances; we’re neighbors first. We shop at the same stores, drive to the same trailheads after work for an evening run, and bring our families to the same volunteer events to clean up former surface mines. If that sounds like I’m veering too much towards fence-sitting, I’m not—we still have vastly diverging views on how to improve the region, and it’s unlikely that the tension between them can ever be fully reconciled. But what you find living in coal country isn’t just that tension but the constants that exist in spite of it. After all, no one checks to see what bumper stickers you’ve got when you show up to plant trees on an old strip job.The challenge in understanding the coalfields, then—the thing I wish our tourism displays could convey—is the need to face head-on the uncomfortable complexities that make this such a frustratingly wonderful place to live. Not too long ago, I struck up another conversation on the region, this time with a fellow academic at a conference. Our discussion eventually migrated to the coalfields’ dismal economic and health statistics.“I’m so sorry you have to live there,” he said, as if I was serving out some kind of sentence instead of moving to the area on purpose. I asked him if he’d ever been to the coalfields, and he said no; he’d only looked at the region at an arm’s length.I thought about all the things I could mention to change his mind, the way mountain laurel frosts the hillsides white in late spring or how you can talk with a stranger here for five minutes and feel like you’ve known them for a lifetime.I ended up mentioning neither. “You should visit,” I told him. Some things are better left experienced than said.last_img read more

#TRASHTAG: Born in the Blue Ridge

first_img The idea was born by a Haywood Country, NC local Steven Reinhold. We asked the now social media hero how #trashtag all began.  Internet Challenges can sometimes cause trouble, but the ‘Trash Tag Challenge’ brings us nothing but positivity and inspiration for a cleaner Earth. How did you start it? Did it take off right away? Reinhold: This whole thing started in 2015 when my friend John Heyward and I were on a USA road trip. We lost a receipt out of our car window and vowed to pick up 100 pieces of trash to make up for the incident. As we traveled around picking up trash and tagging our locations the idea for #trashtag was born. Then, UCO Gear, one of my outdoor sponsors, jumped in to help springboard the #trashtag project into existence.  The campaign was created a few years ago in 2015 but was recently resurrected last week by an Arizona Facebook user. Boy, are we glad that he did! The challenge is spreading worldwide, and as of now, isn’t slowing down. Q&A with Steven Reinhold: the man who started it all Reinhold: I knew #trashtag was a great idea from the start but never dreamed it would go this far. By design, it had the potential to worldwide through social media but I don’t think the world was quite ready for it in 2015. After all of the ridiculous challenges that have been floating around the internet lately it was the perfect time for the #trashtag challenge to take off, which happened when a guy named Byron Román made the perfect #trashtag post at the perfect time.  What do you do in your day to day life? Is the outdoors a big part of your life? Have you thought of more ideas for a cleaner, greener future? Reinhold: I run the Appalachian Adventure Company which is based out of Western North Carolina. We take people on guided hikes, do photography workshops and shoots with our pro photographer, Steve Yocom. You can check us out at Did you expect it to go this far? Lets keep #trashtag ALIVE Steven Reinhold Reinhold: Our original plan was to get the outdoor community to sweep our trails, parks and wild places clean of trash. The original audacious goal was to get a million pieces of trash picked up. Thanks to the recent viral craze the number of pieces of trash that we could pick up are almost endless. Now that everyone’s picking up the planet I hope it shines a spotlight on our pollution paradigm and begins to shift the discussion to how we can create less trash from the beginning. An internet challenge that puts a smile on yours and Mother Nature’s face – and it all started in our neck of the woods Do you have a favorite #trashtag post? This challenge has already motivated thousands of people to clean and go green. Posts are blowing up on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. What inspired the idea for #trashtag? Reinhold: The #trashtag project was sponsored by UCO Gear, which I represent as a Brand Ambassador, and it showed great results at first! The outdoor community really embraced the challenge and we had over 20,000 posts of #trashtag’s in the first few years—most of which came from National Parks.  Reinhold: It is hard to pick a favorite, but one that comes to mind was with Cassius Cash, the superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I got to ramble around the park with him and he was so cool with us picking up #trashtag’s on our hike! I truly admire him so, it was great to clean up the Smokies with him!  The ‘Trash Tag Challenge’ dares people of all ages to take a “before” picture of a littered outdoor location, then clean it thoroughly, and share an “after” photo with the hashtag #trashtag. We want to bring this challenge to our beloved Blue Ridge and see how you #trashtag! The weather is warming up, so get out there, get cleaning, and post with both #trashtag and #bluerigdeoutdoors so we can share the progress. We’ll see you out there!last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Lost Hiker Found on Foothills Trail

first_img“Bears are NOT Billboards!” HAB said in a Facebook post. “HAB is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the person(s) responsible for putting this political sticker on this beautiful bear who has already been trapped, tranquilized, and collared unnecessarily.” Courthouse Creek Road on North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest is temporarily closed to motorized use until December 31, 2020. Non-motorized use is allowed. The road is closed due to active timber operations involving the use of heavy equipment and large trucks in the area. The closure helps to ensure the safety of forest visitors. Hikers and bikers are asked to be aware of increased truck traffic.  Building rock cairns or flipping over stones in creeks to search for salamanders may seem like a fun way to spend the day, but naturalists want to remind the public that rock cairns aren’t art and flipping or moving rocks in waterways disturbs the habitat of aquatic creatures. “The avoided deaths are valued at more than $37 trillion. The avoided health care spending due to reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits exceeds $37 billion, and the increased labor productivity is valued at more than $75 billion,” Drew Shindell, a professor at Duke, told lawmakers.  Virginia teens embark on 21-mile hike to raise money for childhood cancer research Rock stacking is of particular concern to the Hellbender salamander, which lives in silt-free mountain streams. These threatened salamanders are the largest in the United States and are nocturnal, spending most of their day hiding beneath rocks. To learn more about the Hellbender and the negative effects of rock stacking, check out this 10 minute documentary.  Two North Carolina catfish state records broken in July Photo: Headwaters of the Chattooga River in the dense forests of the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina courtesy of Getty Images by mtilghma Catfish anglers in the Tarheel state had an impressive month after two of them caught record catfish, breaking state records. On July 5, Joey Baird of Lawrenceville, VA caught a 121-pound, 9-ounce blue catfish from Six Pound Creek at Lake Gaston. Just 15 days later, Tyler Barnes of Pikeville, NC broke the 15-year-old freshwater fish state record for a flathead catfish, reeling in a 78-pound, 14-ounce fish from the Neuse River.  Reward offered for information on who put ‘Trump 2020’ on Asheville bear Clean water activist and adventurer, Katie Spotz, will run through the entire state of Maine to raise funds for non-profit Lifewater International in their global mission to ensure every child has safe water. On September 5, Spotz will begin her run at the Canadian border, running south until she reaches Belfast, Maine—an anticipated 30-36 hours of non-stop running. She will be the first person ever to complete the 130-mile journey. The distance represents 10% of the total distance someone in a village without water travels annually to access a water source that is often not clean or sanitary. “Partners like Katie make this life-changing work possible,” said Gary Weyel, Lifewater Director of Communications. “Because of her efforts, vulnerable families in very remote regions of Tanzania will have clean water, improved health, and hope for the future.”  Three 14-year-old teenagers from Virginia are hitting the trail for a good cause. Lifelong friends Joseph Campione, Erik Gunderson and Lauren Allen will soon hike 21-miles through West Virginia to raise money for childhood cancer research. Campione, who has made the hike alone the past two years, is a survivor of a rare childhood cancer that still impacts him today. “During cancer, radiation stray beams hit my hip and ultimately destroyed part of it,” he told WJLA. Runner plans nonstop endurance feat across Maine to raise money for clean water New study warns eating protein at night can raise blood sugar the next morning Earlier today we reported that authorities in Oconee County were searching for a 27-year-old man from Texas who became separated from his friends while hiking the Foothills Trail near the Chattooga River. Richard Gonzalez lost his friends on the trail between Nicholson Ford and Burrells Ford, Oconee County Emergency Services said on their Facebook page.  Researchers found that healthy young men and women who consumed protein in the middle of the night had significantly higher blood sugar levels after eating breakfast a few hours later than when they only had water overnight, Runner’s World reports. Though the reason for this is unclear, one theory is that the body doesn’t need or expect much food at night, so instead of using protein the way it would during the day, the body turns the protein into sugar instead.  Courthouse Creek Road on Pisgah National Forest closes temporarily To qualify for a N.C. Freshwater Fish State Record, anglers must have caught the fish by rod and reel or cane pole; have the fish weighed on a scale certified by the N.C. Department of Agriculture, witnessed by one observer; have the fish identified by a fisheries biologist from the Commission; and submit an application with a full, side-view photo of the fish.  Wednesday, August 5 Athletes may be tempted to eat a protein-heavy dinner after an evening workout and then consume protein again after a morning workout, but research presented at The Physiological Society’s virtual conference warns that consuming protein later in the evening and then again when you wake up in the morning can result in higher blood sugar levels in the morning. Bear activists in Asheville, NC are furious after someone put a ‘Trump 2020’ sticker on a bear’s tracker collar. The group, “Help Asheville Bears” (HAB), is offering a $5,000 reward for information on who is responsible for putting the sticker on the bear.  Naturalists remind the public not to move rocks in waterways Study shows fighting climate change could help US avoid 4.5M early deaths A study out of Duke University concludes that the U.S. could avoid 4.5 million premature deaths if it works to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius, in alignment with the Paris Climate Accord, The Hill reports. The study also found that reducing climate change could prevent about 3.5 million hospitalizations and emergency room visits and 300 million lost workdays in the country. A lost hiker was found on the Foothills Trail in South Carolina’s Jocassee Gorges area. The friends embark on their hike August 15 and have raised $12,000 so far for Curesearch, a National Childhood Cancer Foundation. To support the teens in their fundraising effort, click here.  UPDATED AUG 6, 2020 – 5:00PM: Lost Hiker Found on Foothills Trail  An inexperienced hiker visiting the area from Texas, Gonzalez disappeared on Monday while hiking the 77-mile trail, and this morning a group of family and friends came together to look for him. According to Fox Carolina, emergency officials confirmed his safe recovery just before noon (hyperlink: read more

President of Colombia Calls for International Cooperation to Capture Drug ‎Traffickers

first_imgBy Dialogo March 10, 2009 BOGOTA, March 9, 2009 (AFP) – On Monday Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ‎sought the cooperation of the international community in arresting the kingpins of the ‎illegal drug trade, including several heads of the FARC and ELN guerrilla organizations, ‎some of whom are hidden in other countries.‎ ‎”We are asking for complete national and international cooperation. Some of these ‎bandits are evading Colombian justice by hiding abroad, like the cowardly leaders of the ‎ELN and the FARC,” Uribe said in a statement from the government palace.‎ The country needs the “support of the entire international community to overcome the ‎terrible scourge of narco-terrorism, no matter which name it bears,” he added.‎ According to Colombian authorities, both the leftist guerrillas of the Revolutionary ‎Armed Forces (FARC, Marxist) and the National Liberation Army (ELN, Guevarist) and ‎armed right-wing groups are partially financed by resources from illicit drug trafficking.‎ ‎ According to press reports which cite information from the Colombian intelligence ‎agency, nine FARC commanders are hiding in Venezuela and two in Ecuador.‎ In his statement, Uribe offered a reward of up to 5,000 million pesos (USD 2 million) for ‎these drug bosses: Daniel Rendón Herrera (alias ‘Don Diego’), Daniel Barrera Barrera ‎‎(‘El loco Barrere’), Pedro Guerrero Castillo (‘Cuchillo’), and Luis Enrique Calle Serna ‎‎(‘Comba’).‎ The reward for other, less important drug traffickers is up to 3,000 million pesos (USD ‎‎1.2 million).‎last_img read more