On the Blogs: ‘The Emergence of a Class of Fossil Fuel Assets That May Never Again Be Economic’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享David Fickling for Bloomberg News:As the planet’s climate shifts, lots of things we never expected to happen so quickly have started to occur. Each one of the last 11 months through March, for example, has been the hottest on record for that time of year, according to the U.S.’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Here’s another thing many didn’t expect to see so soon: the emergence of a class of fossil fuel assets that may never again be economic.More than half the assets in the global coal industry are now held by companies that are either in bankruptcy proceedings or don’t earn enough money to pay their interest bills, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the U.S., only three of 12 large coal miners traded on public markets escape that ignominious club, separate data show. It’s not true to say no one saw this coming. What’s remarkable is how quickly the forecasts of analysts have come round to match those of activists. Coal “has undergone a long-term structural decline, with little prospect for near-term recovery,” Moody’s analysts led by Anna Zubets-Anderson wrote in a note last week. Of the four major U.S. coal regions, only the Illinois basin has good long-term prospects, they said. Central Appalachia will “cease to be a major coal producing region,” while the Northern Appalachian and Powder River basins will decline too because of competition from gas.To be sure, there are some significant differences between what’s happening and the stranded-assets road map forecast by most climate campaigners. Coal isn’t dying off because of truly coordinated global action on carbon emissions, but because of a more ad hoc collection of regulations and incentives, and because of the rapid fall in natural gas and renewable energy prices.In addition, that $412 billion in assets held by publicly traded coal companies contains barely a ton of unmined rock – the “assets” focused on by climate activists. Mining companies generally don’t factor mineral reserves into their balance sheets, so the assets in Gadfly’s analysis are mostly inventories, cash and invoices, and the machinery used to wash, process and load coal onto trains. If anything, they’re the tip of the iceberg.What could improve coal’s prospects? Chapter 11 is often regarded as a blessing in disguise if it leads to the elimination of debt and the consolidation of unprofitable industries. Just look at North American airlines, which posted more profit last year than in the previous 10 combined after decades spent lurching from bankruptcy to bankruptcy.Companies that could be shuttered are numerous, but the question is whether any restructuring of obligations will be enough to restore profits. Of the $162 billion of assets owned by non-bankrupt coal companies with interest cover below 1, just $35 billion was held by firms that posted Ebit margins above 5 percent in the most recent year. Because those margins are before interest, these companies are barely profitable even ahead of debt questions coming into play. Should any of them fall into bankruptcy, their best hope of restructuring will require sloughing off environmental, employee and supply-chain liabilities, as well as cutting borrowings.Rebuilding North America’s airline industry was also made easier by the fact that demand for air travel keeps rising. That’s not the case with coal. Indeed, consumption by the two biggest consumers – China and the U.S. – is in long-term decline (it’s already fallen close to zero at times in the U.K., the country whose deposits helped ignite the industrial revolution). If supply is to chase that fall in demand, the only route back to profitability will surely pass through a huge number of pit closures. Coal’s season in hell has barely begun.Full item: Coal’s Stranded Assets On the Blogs: ‘The Emergence of a Class of Fossil Fuel Assets That May Never Again Be Economic’last_img read more

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update for Sept. 11-17

first_imgPennsylvania COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring Dashboard Update for Sept. 11-17 Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today released a weekly status update detailing the state’s mitigation efforts based on the COVID-19 Early Warning Monitoring System Dashboard. Updates are released each Monday.The update includes the following:Level of community transmission as a basis for the recommendations for Pre-K to 12 schools to determine instructional models.Data on cases among 5-18-year-olds.Cases that reported visiting a business among potential locations where exposures may have occurred.Updated travel recommendations.The dashboard is designed to provide early warning signs of factors that affect the state’s mitigation efforts. The data available on the early warning monitoring dashboard includes week-over-week case differences, incidence rates, test percent-positivity, and rates of hospitalizations, ventilations and emergency room visits tied to COVID-19. This week’s update compares the period of September 11 – September 17 to the previous seven days, September 4 – September 10.“Our percent positivity decreased significantly this week, showing that we continue to offer COVID-19 testing across the state to everyone who needs it,” Gov. Wolf said. “At the same time, the incidence rate increased, showing that the virus continues to affect Pennsylvanians. We must continue our focus on taking actions to protect ourselves and others, such as wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands and avoiding large gatherings. Together, Pennsylvanians can be united to work to prevent the spread of the virus.”As of Thursday, September 17, the state has seen a seven-day case increase of 5,519; the previous seven-day increase was 4.993, indicating a 526-case increase across the state over the past week.The statewide percent-positivity went down to 3.8% from 4.2% last week. Counties with concerning percent-positivity include Centre (12.1%), Indiana (11.6%), York (7.8%), Juniata (7.7%), Mercer (6.7%), Lebanon (6.1%), Berks (6.0%), Chester (5.5%), Crawford (5.5%), and Bedford (5.3%). Each of these counties bears watching as the state continues to monitor all available data.Community TransmissionAs of Friday’s data, Centre and Indiana counties were in the substantial level with known sources of outbreaks contributing to community transmission. The departments of Education and Health will speak with school district representatives in both counties to discuss the implications of this level of transmission.For the week ending September 17, 19 counties were in the low level of transmission, 46 counties in the moderate level, with two with substantial transmission:Low –Cameron, Carbon, Clarion, Elk, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Jefferson, McKean, Montour, Potter, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Venango, Warren, WyomingModerate – Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Butler, Cambria, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Union, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, YorkSubstantial – Centre, IndianaCases Among 5-18-Year-OldsThe Department of Health is providing weekly data on the number of statewide cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.Throughout the pandemic, there have been 8,928 total cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds. Of that total, 753 occurred between September 11 – September 17. For the week of September 4 – September 10, there were 387 cases of COVID-19 among 5 to 18-year-olds.Cases by demographic group is available on the DOH website.Business VisitsThe Department of Health is providing weekly data on the number of individuals who responded to case investigators that they spent time at business establishments (restaurants, bars, gym/fitness centers, salon/barbershops) and at mass gatherings 14 days prior to the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.Of the 5,188 confirmed cases reported between September 6 and September 12, 38 percent (1,992) provided an answer to the question as to whether they spent time at a business establishment.Of those who did provide an answer, 14 percent, or 272, answered yes, they visited a business establishment 14 days prior to onset of symptoms:50 percent (136) of those who said yes reported going to a restaurant;21 percent (57) of those who said yes reported going to some other business establishment;15 percent (40) of those who said yes reported going to a gym/fitness center;13 percent (36) of those who said yes reported going to a bar; and8 percent (23) of those who said yes reported going to a salon/barbershop.Of the 5,188 confirmed cases, 39 percent (2,007) answered the question as to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event. Of the 38 percent, close to 12 percent (232) answered yes to whether they attended a mass gathering or other large event 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.Compared to data reported on September 14, this week’s data saw an increase in people going to a gym/fitness center (15 percent vs. 14 percent). Numbers went down for this week’s data for people who reported going to some other business (21 percent vs. 23 percent), going to a restaurant (50 percent vs. 51.5 percent), and going to a bar (13 percent vs. 14 percent). Numbers stayed the same for those who reported going to a salon or barbershop (8 percent vs. 8 percent. The number of those who attended a mass gathering or other large event went down slightly from 12 percent to close to 12 percent.On July 13 contact tracers began asking more specific questions on the types of businesses visited and if individuals attended a mass gathering, defined as more than 250 people in attendance outdoors or more than 25 indoors.The numbers above highlight business settings and mass gatherings as possible sites for transmission. With less than half of those asked about what types of businesses they visited or if they attended a mass gathering responding to the question, the department is reminding Pennsylvanians that it is essential that people answer the phone when case investigators call and to provide full and complete information to these clinical professionals.Travel RecommendationsAlso today, the Department of Health updated its travel recommendations, originally announced on July 2, to add Nebraska and Wisconsin and remove Nevada from the list of states recommended for domestic travelers returning from to quarantine for 14 days upon return to Pennsylvania.It is important that people understand that this recommendation is in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. A concerning number of recent cases have been linked to travel, and if people are going to travel, we need them to take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community, and that involves quarantining.Gov. Wolf continues to prioritize the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pennsylvanians should continue to take actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, regardless of in what county they live. This includes wearing a mask or face covering anytime they are in public. COVID-19 has been shown to spread easily in the air and contagious carriers can be asymptomatic. September 21, 2020center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

No pokie machines in rebuild, Mission says

first_imgChristchurch Press 11 April 2012A complete pokie ban should be introduced in rebuilt central Christchurch, including the removal of 500 gaming machines from the casino, the Methodist Mission says. Mission executive director Mary Richardson said pokies caused significant harm and their effects were felt mostly by low-income people. “It not only impacts on individuals, but their families and communities as well,” she said. “One in four regular pokie players has a gambling problem. Let’s put people before pokies and build a city that benefits us all, instead of causing harm to a significant portion of the population.” There are 1414 pokies legally operating in 104 approved venues in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, the Department of Internal Affairs says. Richardson said the recent anti-gambling stance by the Christchurch City Council, which bans quake-hit bars from transferring gaming machines to new premises, was the first step towards a pokie-free city. Problem Gambling Foundation national public health manager Tony Milne also called for rebuilt Christchurch to be pokie-free.http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/6719768/No-pokie-machines-in-rebuild-Missionlast_img read more

Teachers got more under PPP Govt – GTU

first_img…accuses coalition of playing with teachers’ emotionsThe teachers’ strike continues, and the Guyana Teachers’ Union (GTU) has said the nation’s educators had received more under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Administration than what they currently get under this coalition Administration.GTU General Secretary Coretta McDonald addressing teachers on MondayGTU General Secretary Coretta McDonald, who has been at the helm of the leadership of that union and would have sat in several negotiations with both the previous and current administrations, made this statement to teachers on Monday.McDonald told scores of teachers assembled in the GTU auditorium at Woolford Avenue, Georgetown that it was under the PPP that teachers, for the first time, received additional benefits apart from a salary increase.“If we look at what transpired under the PPP Government when they were in power and what is transpiring now…remember we didn’t want the five percent. We made noise about it. But with the five percent we got a whole lot of non-salary benefits,” she said, to loud applause from the large gathering of teachers.She continued, “For the first time in the history of this country, our teachers were able to get clothing allowance, duty free concessions, and allowances for additional qualifications. While the PPP Government was in power — and you know I don’t want to sound political, but we have to make the comparison because of all the untruths they peddling out there…”The GTU official went as far as to say that the current David Granger-led administration is playing with teachers’ emotions “to say to us that this thing is just three-and-something years since they in the Government. And this is the party that most of the teachers supported. So is our party. ‘Our party’ don’t work when you go in the market; ‘our party’ ain’t working when you have to pay rent; ‘our party’ don’t work when you have to face the bank to repay your mortgage; so ‘our party’ dead,” she declared.Meanwhile, GTU President Mark Lyte debunked claims that he has political ties to any one party, much less the PPP. He said at one time he was accused of being associated with the People’s National Congress (PNC), and now he is being accused of being a supporter of the Opposition PPP.“It seems as though every time you stand up for a just cause people put a political spin to it! I don’t have party card from either party or any third party; I represent teachers, and that is what I will continue to do,” he asserted.Last week, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo looked into Government’s spending, listing several areas where it can cut back and use that money instead to pay teachers a better living wage.Although Government and the GTU are still at loggerheads over increases for teachers, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary feels the matter could be resolved.The former President said that if Government is to cut back on its wasteful spending, it would manage to cover a reasonable increase for the country’s teachers.“I believe that there is money to fund a lot of which the teachers have been asking for without increasing overall expenditure in the budget…” Jadgeo reasoned.Jagdeo pointed to a few examples of where Government’s bill has increased since 2015, in many cases double what it used to be before.During the meeting with President David Granger, Jagdeo said he pointed out to him that the Government has a corrupt contract, where an individual is paid $14 million a month for a house at Sussex Street, Albouystown.“If you terminate that contract alone, that could fund the annual clothing allowance for all…of the teachers; you just have to terminate that one project for that,” Jagdeo said.The Opposition Leader has debunked claims that the teachers and their union are acting unreasonably. He said they have been waiting for three years to meet with Government.In providing a further breakdown of how the demands of the teachers could be met, Jagdeo said he has even taken a look at the budget estimates, to come up with how spending could be curtailed to facilitate the request.In comparing seven items from the current expenditure column between 2014 and 2018, Jagdeo said there are enough monies that are being wasted that could be reduced and used to meet the demands.He pointed to the celebration of national and other events which in 2014 had been budgeted at $477 million now in 2018 being budgeted at $911 million. For dietary (food) items, $3.6 billion had been budgeted then, but in 2018 it is now $5.2 billion. The other category (operating expenses) showed that $1.8 billion had been budgeted in 2014, but in 2018 it costs $2.6 billion.“If you add those three, that’s $2.8 billion increase alone,” Jagdeo pointed out.Further, for travel, in 2014 it was $1.4 billion, and it is now $2.1 billion. This indicates a growth of $732 million per annum. As for vehicle spares and service, in 2014 it was budgeted at $853 million, but in 2018 it has moved up to $1.34 billion. ‘Other transport and travel’ was $874 million in 2014, but has now gone to $1.3 billion. Rental of buildings in 2014 was $795 million, but has now gone to $1.39 billion. This totals $2.2 billion, he explained.“In these seven heads alone, we have increased expenditure of $5.1 billion. We could easily cut these and find money to pay the teachers’ wages and restore the one month allowance to the Discipline Forces, pay the debunching for the teachers, housing allowance, all of these things… just here,” he explained.last_img read more