Oklaunion joins long list of Texas coal plants to fail economic test

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Texas Observer:Chalk this one up as another loss for the White House.Last month, American Electric Power (AEP) announced that it would close its 650-megawatt power plant in Vernon, a rural community of 11,000 just south of the Texas-Oklahoma line, by September 2020. The closure of the Oklaunion Power Station is the latest in a string of shuttered coal-fired power plants across the state: Since 2011, at least six have been mothballed, scheduled for retirement or closed altogether, casualties of cheap natural gas and a booming renewables sector.While it’s not shocking that another Texas coal plant has succumbed to market headwinds, it is somewhat surprising that Oklaunion was the latest casualty. At only 31 years old, it’s more than two decades away from the typical retirement age of 54. The plant was also running relatively efficiently until 2013, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Plant efficiency has dropped in the years since, however, sapping profits and forcing AEP to pull the plug. The impending closure maps a tough road ahead for Texas’ aging fleet of coal plants, some of which also face the prospect of installing expensive new pollution controls to comply with Obama-era environmental regulations (Oklaunion itself is among the state’s top 10 emitters of nitrogen oxide, according to the Sierra Club).Not only are coal plants prone to spewing greenhouse gases and smog-producing chemical compounds, many facilities nationwide have grown inefficient and costly to operate as they’ve aged. Electric utilities are looking for cheaper, more efficient power sources such as natural gas and wind. For the state’s power generators, the writing is on the wall: There’s little room for coal in Texas’ future.Oklaunion’s shutdown bookends a series of coal-fired power plant closures in Texas. The trend began in 2011 when CPS Energy, San Antonio’s municipal electric utility, chose to mothball its 871-megawatt J.T. Deely Power Plant instead of retrofitting it with new pollution controls. In 2016, AEP retired its coal-burning units at the Welsh Power Plant for similar reasons. Then, in late 2017, Luminant announced that it would close three of its coal-fired plants in Texas: Monticello (Mt. Pleasant), Big Brown (Fairfield) and Sandow (Rockdale), representing a combined capacity of 4,600 megawatts (1 megawatt powers about 750 homes at once). The Three Oak coal mine supplying Sandow has also closed.More: Despite Trump and Rick Perry’s best efforts, another coal plant eats the dust in Texas Oklaunion joins long list of Texas coal plants to fail economic testlast_img read more

Raiders hoping Antonio Brown takes to new surroundings

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos or video on a mobile deviceALAMEDA — The press conference began 25 minutes late, which will be duly noted in Pittsburgh. It seems Antonio Brown is notorious for being less than punctual when it came to obligations with the third estate.Not that there was anything nefarious at work, given that Brown arrived with his family in tow, including three small and energetic children.The newest Raider, from his stylish suit to sparkling …last_img

Deaf Sports Day A Success

first_imgOn Wednesday, 19 June, the third annual Active Deaf Kids Sports Day took place at Belconnen Stadium, Canberra, with the event attended by Federal Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy.The day looked to raise awareness of Deaf Sports Australia and encourage children with hearing impairments to participate in sport. The day allowed the children that attended to participate in various sports clinics, including one run by Touch Football ACT.Senator Lundy gave a short speech over morning tea which recognised Touch Football ACT, along with several other sporting organisations, for their work with Deaf Sports Australia.She also implored the kids present to get involved in sport, pointing towards both the health and friendship advantages that participating brings.“[There are] wonderful benefits of playing sport. Being fit and active is part of it, but also sport is something that unites us all,” she said.The event was also the forum for an announcement that $60,000 extra funding would be put forward by the Federal Government to go towards deaf sports stars attending the Deaf Olympics.Related LinksDeaf Sports Daylast_img read more

Montreal to chop 4000 ash trees on Mount Royal sickened by emerald

first_imgMONTREAL – The City of Montreal will chop down 4,000 ash trees on picturesque Mount Royal because they have been attacked by an invasive strain of beetle from Asia.“This isn’t a decision we’re making lightly, cutting trees on Mount Royal, 4,000 is a lot,” Coun. Luc Ferrandez, the executive committee member responsible for parks, said Wednesday.“It isn’t good news, but the way we’re responding is good.”Natural Resources Canada says the emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in southwestern Ontario, Michigan and surrounding states and “poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas in both countries.”The beetle was first detected in Canada and the United States in 2002 and spread east quickly to regions where ash trees were prevalent.In Montreal, officials awarded a contract to have the trees felled in the next year as they are deemed too far gone to receive the required insecticide treatment.Ferrandez said the cutting won’t leave any visual effect on the landscape and that the city will plant 40,000 replacement trees, mainly red oaks and maples.Jim Fyles, director of the Morgan Arboretum and Molson Nature Reserve at McGill University, says 4,000 is still but a small percentage of the mountain’s entire forest canopy of more than 100,000 trees of various types.“We have the emerald ash borer that is working its way through Montreal and lots of trees have been cut in the last five years,” said Fyles.“Likely those trees (identified by the city) will die between now and five years from now or 10 years from now and, in that situation, it’s prudent to be proactive about it.”Montreal and other communities have invested in a treatment, required every two years, at a heavy cost, depending on tree size.Scientists with the Canadian Forest Service, which is part of Natural Resources Canada, have estimated that costs to Canadian communities for treatment, removal and replacement of affected trees could be $2 billion over a 30-year period. There would also be other environmental impacts.The beetle has also been identified in 21 U.S. states and Fyles said some of those jurisdictions have lost all of their ash trees.“We’re more or less at the northern edge of where the emerald ash borer is now,” he said, adding it hasn’t moved as quickly as he thought it might.It’s hard to say how long the species will survive but, without ash trees, they starve and don’t move on to other types of trees.“Eventually, the whole thing will stabilize a bit because the treated ones will be healthy and untreated ones will be dead, but that’s how it’s unfolding now,” Fyles said.last_img read more

Rep Dr Bizon meets with Flint doctors

first_img10Feb Rep. Dr. Bizon meets with Flint doctors Tags: Flint water, Medical Society, REp. Bizon Categories: Bizon News,Featured news,News ##### Rep. Dr. John Bizon visited the city of Flint on Feb. 4 to meet with the Genesee County Medical Society leadership group and discuss the city water issue.Before the GCMS’s meeting, Rep. Bizon had the opportunity to discuss the health situations facing many in the city with executive director and group chief, Dr. Peter Levine.“We were able to talk about the health crisis going on in the city,” Rep. Bizon said. “Along with getting funding and resources to the people of the city, it is important that we know what health problems need to be solved as well.”The GCMS works to connect doctors and medical personnel from across the state to help spread information and tools. The GCMS is part of the Michigan State Medical Society.“The situation in Flint needs medical leadership to help the most people,” Rep. Bizon said. “Communication between doctors and political leaders in Lansing is the key to solving this crisis. We need to continue that communication.”For more information, contact Rep. Bizon’s office by email to [email protected] or by phone to (517) 373-0555.last_img read more

The YahSat 1B satellite was successfully launched

first_imgThe YahSat 1B satellite was successfully launched from Baikonur onboard a Proton-M launcher on Monday night.The satellite, owned by UAE-based YahSat, which includes a Ka-band payload, will provide services to customers in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and south-western Asia. YahSat 1A was launched last year from French Guiana onboard an Ariane 5 rocket.last_img