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

Shame on districts that thwarted protests

first_imgThis is a watershed moment in American history, rife with civic engagement and an opportunity to affect change many Americans thought could never happen. As educators, we have a duty to engage students in civic education that promotes an understanding of our democratic republic.The events of Feb. 14, though tragic, have created an opportunity for social and political change. The brave and relentless student leaders from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have shown American students the path to success. In fact, 12th grade Civics class requires this type of learning and engagement. The NYS SS Framework (curriculum) has three standards (12. G2, 12.G3, and 12.G4) that address First Amendment protections, civic duties and responsibilities. Districts that would punish students for participating in protests are doing the exact opposite of what is called for, and critical to the survival of our system of government. Grass roots policy change is very rare, and most movements amount to little more than a few loud protests.We have engaged our youth in political participation and debate like never before. I’m glad the Schenectady City School District Board of Education, high school Principal Diane Wilkinson and Superintendent Larry Spring support our students’ rights. Shame on districts who don’t.CHRISTOPHER OGNIBENENiskayunaThe writer is chairman of the Schenectady High School Social Studies DepartmentMore from The Daily Gazette:Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

We didn’t want to stop – Neuer on UCL demolishing of Barcelona

first_imgThe ruthless nature of German champions, Bayern Munich, has never been in question.The Bavarian giants, who have already registered emphatic wins against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea this season, added to Barcelona to their chopping board, annihilating the Catalan giants 8-2 in their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal encounter on Friday.Bayern captain, Manuel Neuer, praised his side’s attacking efficiency in the game, and says they didn’t want to stop pressurising the Barcelona defense.”I think one could see we never ceased. We continued to push towards goal,” he said after the game.“Obviously Barca is strong in attack, and goals can happen, but we kept pushing and didn’t want to let go.”We played towards goal and we were successful in the end,” he added.🗣️ Joshua #Kimmich: “You have to consider that we just beat Barcelona 8-2. It’s hard to comprehend.”Reaction to #FCBFCB 🎥#UCL #FCBayern #MissionLis6on pic.twitter.com/BEXV2f5I6v— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 14, 2020Bayern will face the winner of the game between Manchester City and Lyon in the semifinals.last_img read more