Philippines Government Steps Back From Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From ABS-CBN News Philippines:The Climate Change Commission said Thursday that President Benigno Aquino III has set into motion an urgent and comprehensive review of the government’s energy policy to cut down reliance on coal and move to a low-carbon future.Aquino, who chairs the Climate Change Commission, signed a resolution mandating the commission to facilitate “a national policy review and framework development on energy, through a whole-of-nation approach, in accordance with a low carbon development pathway and national goals and targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development” with other government agencies in the next six months.The new resolution sets a clear government position on coal-fired power plants, which comprises the biggest source of man-made carbon emissions.Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) said that the government’s clear position on its energy source will avoid the increased stranded asset risk already evident in other countries.“This move by the Philippines is entirely commercially logical, and avoids the increased stranded asset risk already evident across Europe, America and China’s electricity sectors,” Buckley said.De Guzman is hopeful that the new policy will positively impact the country’s economy.“Philippine climate ambition is predicated on changing our energy pathways that ensure we send the right policy signals to the investment community and generate jobs for the modern economy,” De Guzman said.Philippines moves to cut dependence on coal
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Bowie Resource Partners LLC could face a liquidity shortfall in the next year if it fails to extend its revolving credit facility, S&P Global Ratings said in a downgrade of the U.S. coal producer.The company’s liquidity may be insufficient to cover its revolver due in August and mandatory amortizations, a June 8 ratings action said. S&P Global Ratings dropped its corporate credit rating for Bowie from “CCC+” to “CCC,” lowered the rating on the company’s $335 million first-lien and $100 million second-lien term loans to “B-” and “CC” from “B” and “CCC” and placed all ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.“While long-term contracts with large utility customers provide some stability to future cash flows, we view the business to be vulnerable to unexpected outages or operational disruptions given its smaller size and dependence on two anchor customers,” the rating agency wrote.More ($): Bowie Resource Partners downgraded over concerns of liquidity shortfall Ratings downgrade as U.S. coal company Bowie Resource Partners faces ‘liquidity shortfall’
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:The European Union should phase out its funding of oil, gas and coal projects, EU finance ministers said in a joint statement on Friday, in a move that could mark a major shift in the bloc’s efforts to combat climate change.It is the first time EU finance ministers have backed a declaration urging an end to fossil fuel funding altogether, having called previously only for an end to funding for coal power plants.An outright phase-out could halt multi-billion-euro financing of fossil fuel projects by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the EU’s financial arm.Last year, the EIB funded nearly 2 billion euros ($2.10 billion) of fossil fuel projects. Since 2013, such funding has amounted to 13.4 billion euros, EIB data show.However, gas projects in Ukraine, Croatia and other EU partners might still be funded after Hungary pushed for a waiver, fearing those countries would otherwise need to rely on Russia, confidential documents seen by Reuters show.Despite being a top financier of worldwide projects aimed at tackling global warming, the EU is ironically also funding fossil fuels, as many of its 28 member states back gas projects to reduce their reliance on nuclear energy or coal.But EU ministers on Friday in a joint statement called on the EIB and other global financial bodies, such as the World Bank, “to phase out financing of fossil fuel projects, in particular those using solid fossil fuels, taking into account the sustainable development, and energy needs, including energy security, of partner countries.”The political declaration needs to be backed up by a formal decision by the EIB board, which is composed by representatives of the 28 EU states.More: Worried by climate change, EU moves to end fossil fuel funding EU ministers recommend ending public funding for oil, gas and coal
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Danville Register & Bee:Dominion Power, which had hoped to invest about $200 million in a power plant at the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill, has canceled its plans at the site.“We no longer believe it is possible to build the units planned in Pittsylvania County despite the economic and reliability benefits for our customers,” Dominion spokesperson Jeremy L. Slayton wrote in an email to the Danville Register & Bee on Thursday afternoon. “We plan to conduct a further reliability study to determine how best to move forward to maintain the around-the-clock service our customers need.”The 500 megawatt, combustion turbine power plant, which would have been a total investment of more than $200 million, was projected to be the first business at the mega site, located in Pittsylvania County a few miles west of Danville.The power plant — announced in November 2019 — would have been connected to the existing Transco natural gas pipeline that runs through the Berry Hill Megasite. It was to be a peaking station, only to be used during peak times where the renewable energy options can’t keep up with demand.At full power, the plant would have provided enough power for 125,000 homes.[John Crane]More: Dominion pulls plug on power plant plans for Southern Virginia Megasite Dominion cancels plans for $200 million, 500MW gas peaking plant in Virginia
BEST CLIMBING CRAGNew River GorgeThe New River Gorge has more than 2,000 developed routes and more are being sent every year. The gorge is famous for hard, heavily featured sandstone and routes with killer views.“I moved all over the U.S. checking out different climbing areas, but I kept coming back to the New. What makes it unique is the diversity. The Red has good sport climbing, North Carolina has good trad climbing, but the New has it all. It’s the best diversity of climbing in the country. On any given crag inside the gorge, you’ll have great sport and trad climbs, crack, corners. And the difficulty is just as varied, from 5.7 to 5.14.”—Mike Williams, guide at New River Mountain Guides NEXT BEST2. Red River Gorge, Ky.3. Tennessee Wall, Tenn.4. Linville Gorge, N.C.5. Looking Glass, N.C.6. Tallulah Gorge, Ga.7. Sunset Rock, Tenn.8. Seneca Rocks, W.Va.9. Potomac River Gorge, D.C./Md.10. Whitesides Mountain, N.C.FAVORITE CLIMBING ORGANIZATIONSoutheastern Climbers CoalitionThe Southeastern Climbers Coalition fights for climber’s rights in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, securing access to some of the Southeast’s most cherished crags.“Whenever possible, we purchase climbing spots across the region, but the other side of the equation is making sure we take care of the climbing areas that we do not own—on both private and public lands. To ensure access, climbers have to continue to be good stewards of the land. One of our greatest achievements is energizing climbers to preserve their local crags. Seeing people step up to keep their crags clean and open has been really powerful.” —Paul Morley, climber and board member of Southeastern Climbers CoalitionCLIMBING HERORick WeberMuir Valley Nature Preserve, Ky. Muir Valley Nature Preserve is a privately owned tract of land within the Red River Gorge of Kentucky. Lifelong climber Rick Weber and his wife opened their property specifically to climbers, leading the way for a new realm of private stewardship.What made you decide to open a climbing preserve? We bought it in 2003 with the specific purpose of opening it up as a nature preserve and climbing area. We’re at that point in our lives where we’ve been successful and want to start giving something back.How many climbers visit Muir Valley?It’s growing fast. We got 10,600 visitors last year—almost one-third of all climbers in the Red River Gorge. People come from all over the world, making it the most popular private preserve in the East.You’re retired now—do you still climb?I try to get out a couple of days a week. I’m also a certified guide, so I do some instruction and guiding as well as climbing for fun. It’s a great way to spend our retirement. But it’s a lot of work too. I don’t think some climbers understand that [Muir Valley] is privately owned. They think it’s state owned or something. But I know they appreciate it as a good place to climb.BEST BOULDERING SPOT Rocktown, Ga. Sitting atop Pigeon Mountain, halfway between Chattanooga and Atlanta, Rocktown is full of house-sized sandstone boulders, some of which top out at 40 feet high. Climbs range from sweet beginner’s routes to classic advanced problems.“Rocktown has an underground reputation that’s spreading fast. The variety is incredible. It’s got great problems for everyone from novices to sick climbers. The Orb section alone has everything from 5.0 up to 5.8, and it’s all incredibly classic stuff. —Trey Johanson-Smith, owner of Adrenaline Climbing Gym in Sewanee, Ga. NEXT BEST2. Grandmother Boulders, N.C.3. Horse Pens, Ala.4. Rumbling Bald, N.C.5. Little Rock City, Tenn.6. Beauty Mountain, W.Va.7. Sandrock, Ala.8. Coopers Rock State Forest, W.Va.9. Blowing Rock Boulders, N.C.10. Little River Canyon, Ala.BEST CLIMBING EVENTTriple CrownBouldering SeriesThe series combines three of the most popular bouldering competitions in the Southeast—Hound Ears, Stone Fort, Horse Pens 40—into a single series that attracts the strongest climbers in the country.“The original idea was to raise money for climbing access. We didn’t think it would be this big. We have to cap Hound Ears and Stone Fort, but Horse Pens is open, so this year we’ll have over 750 people at that event. To date, we’ve raised $50,000 for access issues. Some people are into it purely for the competition, but the majority of climbers come because it’s a festival. It’s the one time of year when they get to engross themselves in the climbing community.”—Chad Wylke, co-founder of the Triple Crown Bouldering SeriesNEXT BEST 2. New River Rendezvous, W.Va.3. Red River Reunion, Ky.4. Sand Rock Hoe Down Bouldering Comp, Ala.5. Boulderween, Ala.6. Boat Rock Boulder Competition, Ga.7. Sloperfest, Ala.8. Rocktoberfest, Ky.9. Fall Flash Fest, N.C.10. Escalade Power Series, Ga.
Arnulfo Quimare Last weekend, I had the honor of running with the world’s greatest endurance athletes: the Raramuri, an indigenous tribe living in the deepest canyons on the continent.The Raramuri (also known as the Tarahumara) scratch a living out of rocky, steep soil in the Copper Canyons of the Sierra Madre Mountains in northwestern Mexico. They are subsistence farmers who grow corn and beans and who live in caves or tiny huts scattered throughout four monstrous chasms—each deeper than the Grand Canyon.The Raramuri make their own clothes—including their sandals, which are just used tire tread wrapped to their feet with leather straps. Through deep snow and blistering heat, rocky canyon trails and thorny sagebrush, the Rarmauri travel virtually barefoot, the soles of their feet thick with calluses.The Raramuri are great runners because running is part of their everyday life. They don’t run for glory or competition—although they have entered a few races and defeated some of the world’s greatest athletes. They run to get somewhere—to visit family, to sell produce in town, to gather food, or even to hunt deer. With only primitive weapons, the Raramuri have hunted deer by literally running them to exhaustion.A few gringos have lured Raramuri to top endurance races, including the Leadville 100 Miler back in 1993 and 1994. Raramuri runners won the event both years and set a course record—wearing their hand-made tire tread sandals. But the Raramuri shy away from the glitz of American competitions. They prefer to run in their canyon homelands, often in traditional running ceremonies that involve hundreds of miles and last for days.Once a year, though, the Raramuri wander down from their caves and cliffside huts to run the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, a 47-Mile footrace that has attracted not only the top Raramuri runners, but also the best athletes from around the world. Ultra legend and seven-time Western States 100 Mile champ Scott Jurek ran the Copper Canyon Ultra in 2006–and lost to Arnulfo Quimare, a 27-year-old goat herder wearing hand-made sandals.I ventured down to the Copper Canyons last week to join 225 other Raramuri runners and a dozen international running celebrities, including Hiroki Ishikura, Japan’s top trail runner. The day before the race, I tried on a pair of Raramuri sandals: I could barely make it 100 yards before my feet were screaming—the leather straps blistered the skin between my toes, and jagged rocks seemed to pierce the thin tire tread with every stride. After stepping inside in their shoes, my admiration for the Raramuri’s toughness was further magnified.Sharing the trail with the Raramuri was the most powerful running experience of my life. I learned a lot from observing their graceful stride and smooth running form, but I gained even more from seeing the pure joy on their normally stoic faces. The Raramuri understand something about running that has taken me a lifetime to learn: running is not a chore one endures to lose weight or look good; it is instead a joyful expression of the human spirit. For the Raramuri, running is a spiritual act that deepens their connection to the divine.Once again in 2009, Arnulfo was the first Raramuri to finish, covering the steep, rugged course with four river crossings in around seven hours. He wore a loincloth and worn-out sandals for 47 miles and ate only cornmeal mixed with water. Just a few days before the race, Arnulfo had trekked 40 miles across two canyons to get to the race (not exactly a taper), and the day after the ultra, he walked 40 miles back home to tend to his goats.The Raramuri run ultramarathons every day, and they do it with a pure spirit and a joyful heart—even as more logging roads rip apart their ancestral canyons and druglords murder their leaders. They are the ultimate endurance athletes.To learn more about the Raramuri, watch this 10-minute video I produced: Running for Their Lives. For more information about the Copper Canyon Ultramarathon, including photos and race reports, click here.
Your daily outdoor news bulletin for July 11, the day Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804, proving once again that Vice Presidents are above the law…that is until they hatch a plot to take over half of the country in a military style coup:Climb4Life in Washington D.C. This WeekendThe 8th Annual Climb4Life Metro DC is happening in the DC area this Saturday, July 13th. Climb4Life is a unique fundraising event put on by the HERA Women’s Cancer Foundation to raise funds for ovarian cancer research and awareness. The American Cancer Society states one in 72 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime; the disease kills 14,000 women each year. The DC event will be held at locations in Carderock, Md. and Great Falls, Va. The event includes climbing or hiking with pro guides and a Celebration Dinner that eventing. Of the funds HERA raises through Climb4Life and other initiatives, 88 percent provides for programs such as the scientific research grants and community awareness grants.More info HERA and the Climb4Life event can be found here.Man Missing in Shenandoah National ParkShenandoah National Park Rangers are searching for a missing 21-year-old thought to be in the park. Tyler Keefer of Front Royal was reported missing on Monday around noon. His bicycle was found at the Dickey Ridge Trailhead and authorities think he may have been hiking in the area. Keefer is 6’1″ tall and weighs around 175 pounds. The search is a joint effort between the Shenandoah National Park and the Front Royal Police Department. Anyone with info on Keefer is asked to call 1-800-732-0911.Mountain Biking Comes to Athens, Ga.The Athens chapter of the Southern Off-Road Bicycling Association (SORBA) has launched an ambitious plan to build 30 miles of trails within 30 miles of the city. Athens has long been known as a great college town (GO DAWGS!) and a great music town (Panic, brah, ever heard of ’em?), but SORBA-Athens wants to build on their existing trail system. There a a few trail systems in the area, but nothing as close to what is being proposed – that is trail systems you can ride to from town, or take a short car ride to, as oppose to a long car ride. The 30/30 project is already underway with nearly five miles already built at East Athens Community Park and Hard Labor Creek State Park, with another five miles flagged and ready for shovels. The East Athens Community Park trail was even the site of a Twilight Criterium event in April. There are still some use issues to sort out, but this seems like a long-term project that will have serious benefits for mountain bikers in Athens and the community at large.More info at OnlineAthens.com.
On this week’s appearance on WCAV-TV, the Charlottesville Newsplex, Online Editor Jack Murray discusses Crown Grants in Virginia, and their effect on landowners, fly fishermen, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts across the Commonwealth.You can read more about this issue as it pertains to the Hazel and Jackson rivers in the pages of Blue Ridge Outdoors and online.
Charlottesville runners have always flocked to Walnut Creek Park’s scenic, rolling singletrack. Now, Walnut Creek Park is home to a new ultra—the Thomas Jefferson 100K.Beginning at 5 a.m. on March 15, runners will complete seven 8.9-mile loops of the park. The multi-loop course provides spectators and supporters with easy access, making it ideal for first-time ultra runners. But the steep, rugged singletrack and competitive field will provide plenty of challenge for seasoned ultrarunners, too.The race is organized by elite ultrarunning star Andy Jones-Wilkins, a Western States 100 legend and nationally renowned athlete who has run more than 80 ultras and 29 100-mile races.The 62-mile race has 1,000 feet of elevation change per loop (7,000 total). There are aid stations at the start/finish and roughly the halfway point of each 8.9-mile loop, so runners never go more than 5 miles without support.Proceeds from the race go directly to the trails of Walnut Creek Park and the county park system.If you’re looking for a beautiful, breathtaking new ultra, TJ is where you want to be. Run Thomas Jefferson’s backyard this spring and test your limits at this up-and-coming ultra classic.View course maps and register at tj100k.com
Off Road Legends: A conversation with Matt MarcusMatt Marcus has been mountain biking since before they called it mountain biking. Right now, He’s is 600 miles into a bike adventure down the East Coast to the Florida Keys. He’s not counting on getting there until he’s there. After a long day’s ride, he called in to talk about his life and his favorite sport.“When Matt was really into mountain biking and early days of the scene, there was no internet. He lived it, but didn’t blog about it. His memory is really good and he has the mind of a great trial lawyer,” said fellow old-school Blue Ridge mountain bike legend Susan Haywood, of Marcus. “I would describe him as an early pioneer of East Coast mountain biking and racing. He lived in the D. C. area and worked as a bicycle messenger. He would travel every weekend to races or to ride in Canaan on the tough stuff. He was a weekend warrior that finally made the leap to move to Canaan. He eventually bought Blackwater Bikes in Davis and was the face of mountain biking in Canaan for many years.”Continued Haywood: “He was involved in WVMBA ( West Virginia Mountain Bike Association) and IMBA( International Mountain Bike Association) and was a strong advocate for trail access, especially at a time when trails were getting shut down. He wasn’t always the diplomat in these situations, but his strong passion for trails dictated his actions. And even though he was sometimes on the extreme end of the spectrum, it was what was needed to save trails.”BRO: What did you do before you discovered mountain biking?MM: I was a bike messenger in D.C. That’s when I first saw mountain bikes sold commercially—at a bike shop in Gerogetown. Another bike messenger had a Stumpjumper—one of the first mountain bikes that ever came out. My buddy was more of a BMX rider and I was a road rider at the time. We both got into it heavily. He ended up being a pro. He was really fast.I started racing up in West Virginia and ended up moving there in 1988. I bought Blackwater Bikes in 1990. Owned it for ten years. I worked there before I owned it and I’ve worked there on and off since I sold it. I might end up working there again.BRO: Coming from an urban/road biking background what attracted you to mountain biking?MM: Being able to ride in the woods on trails and up steep hills was alluring. My friend and I got into the mountain bike scene together. It was fun going to races with him because he would win a lot. Davis, West Virginia, was the first place we went to race truly gnarly off-road stuff. People would come from Georgia, New York, parts of New England, and Florida—all over the East coast.The first race I rode was in Rock Creek Park before they outlawed biking there. But it was pretty sketchy. It was an off-road bike messenger race so it was pretty funny.The first real mountain bike race I entered was 1984, The Canaan Mountain Series in Davis, WV. Laird Knight was the race promoter and started it in 1983. We were going through rivers and swamps. It was serious, hardcore, sick downhill stuff. You could probably ride it now on a downhill bike but then it was sketchy on a rigid bike. We rode everything rigid then. There was not much suspension at the time. The Canaan Mountain Series is one of the oldest continuously run mountain bike race in the world, definitely the oldest and longest still running on the east coast.BRO: If you could have an on-going theme song while you biked, what would it be?MM: “Jumping in the fire” by Harry Nilsson. That’s been running in my head all day.BRO: What was your first mountain bike?MM: Univega Alpina 1983 model.BRO: Do you have a name for your mountain bike?MM: (Laughs) no, I mean it’s named Cannondale Scalpel. Some people do though.BRO: What has been your proudest moment in the sport?MM: When my friend Nick Wait won the Junior National Championship in 2001 (fc). Another was when Sue Haywood got chose to represent the U.S. in the Olympics. It was a proud moment though it later went to court and she got it yanked from her. Watch the movie called off-road To Athens. It’s a big part of mountain bike history. It would take a whole other interview to tell you that one, buddy. Those are the two moments I’m most proud of because I was involved with both those athletes in terms of riding with them and getting them started in the sport.BRO: Is the sport worth the risk/danger?Well of course, yes, it’s worth the risk/danger. There are plenty of other things that are a hell of a lot more dangerous and people do them all the time. High School football; driving to Walmart is probably more dangerous than mountain biking.On this trip I’m on now, I left Durham, NC and hit part of the East coast greenway. It’s a 20-30 mile long rail trail and I never had to worry about my safety in terms of cars or trucks or anything. Those are the kinds of facilities that would be nice to have. If there were a cross-country rail trail, I would be on it in a heartbeat. Those are the kind of facilities that would make the sport of cycling stronger, in general.BRO: Where is your favorite place to ride a mountain bike in the U.S.?MM: West Virginia is what I’m most familiar with. Davis and Canaan Valley, that area. I love one of the newer trails in the area called Splash Dam. North/Central West Virginia is rocky, rooty, muddy, plateau. Its not as friendly to beginners. It’s more hardcore technical and rocky.Other place I’ve been that I love to ride? Moab, obviously, and there are some other really cool places around there. Gooseberry and Fruita. Steamboat Springs in Colorado is really great, too. There’s some really awesome riding down in Central and South America. I want to go to Guatemala. I did the death road in Bolivia…It’s not a mountain bike ride but it’s really cool. It starts at something like 16,000 ft. and ends at something like 2,000 feet.BRO: Can you tell me about the moonshiners?MM: Back when I owned the bike shop in the 90s, I came across this story on this sheet of paper about how back in the 1920s during Prohibition moonshiners made these bicycles with gearing that they used to run the moonshine over the mountains from Dryfork, W.V., in Randolph County. That’s the story and if I ever find it again I’ll send it to you. I don’t even know where it came from.But it wasn’t one group. Hundreds of people all over the world discovered mountain biking. It was just the guys out in California that finally took it to production. They’re the ones who pulled it off. It seems like there are more bike shops in California and Florida than anywhere else in the U.S. and its because of the climate and terrain.BRO: Where do you see the future of the sport going?MM: I think mountain biking has matured to the point where the technology is not going to go as fast anymore, maybe. But who knows because there’s always new stuff the manufacturers want to build. First there were 26in wheels then 29in and 650b and now people are riding these fat bikes in snow and sand. The sports going to keep evolving and changing and people will always want new and better gear. I don’t know where the future is going. All I know is the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions that man has ever made and it’s not going away.BRO: Why do you love mountain biking more than road biking?MM: Okay, this is basically the reason why I love mountain biking: if you screw up its your fault. It’s not a car’s fault. Your not in some road race with a sprinting pack that’s going to crash. Nine times out of ten if you wreck on a mountain bike, it is your own fault. All the responsibility rests on you but you also don’t have to worry about somebody else screwing you up, usually. It’s as safe as you want it to be. Its individual…But a friend of mine—a bear hit him. So you know, shit happens. The bear got up and shook it off. My buddy may have had some cracked ribs. I can’t remember the details but he definitely got hit by a bear or they hit each other. They were both going along pretty fast.