U.S. Plan to Aid Coal and Nuclear Plants Gets a Bipartisan Thumbs Down From Past Regulators

first_imgU.S. Plan to Aid Coal and Nuclear Plants Gets a Bipartisan Thumbs Down From Past Regulators FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Washington Post;Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s bid to change regulations to help coal and nuclear power plants has run into unusually blunt opposition from a group of former regulators from both parties.Eight former members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — including five former chairmen — have filed a letter with the commission opposing Perry’s proposal that would give coal and nuclear plants credit for resilience so that they would have a better chance of beating solar, wind and natural gas competitors.The former commissioners said that Perry was seeking to reverse a quarter century of FERC reforms that have created a marketplace for electric power generators and that many of the coal plants he is aiming to help have no advantage when it comes to reliability.“His focus is clearly coal and there are a lot of dirty coal plants that are not competitive in today’s energy markets,” Elizabeth Moler, a former FERC chairwoman, former deputy energy secretary and former Exelon executive, said in an interview. “To me he’s effectively proposing to subsidize them and put a tax on consumers in doing so. It’s a tax in different clothing. It’s going to cost customers more money to run dirty old coal plants.”In early October, Perry made his proposal to FERC and asked for a decision within 60 days. He proposed that credit be given to power plants with 90-day fuel supplies on site so that they could operate during an emergency including extreme weather or a natural or man-made disaster.FERC is an independent agency, however, and some current members have indicated that the commission would make its own decision. Even one of President Trump’s nominees has stressed FERC’s independence. Robert F. Powelson, who was confirmed in August, said in a speech at the National Press Club on Oct. 16 that “the moment we put our thumbs on the scale is the moment we bastardize the process.”  In an earlier speech on Oct. 4, Powelson said “we will not destroy the marketplace.”Over the past quarter century, FERC has helped create regional electricity grid operators with the ability to accept bids from power plants to supply electricity to the grid. The competition has attracted tens of billions of dollars of investment in natural gas and renewable power sources.The former commissioners’ letter to FERC said Perry’s proposal “would be a significant step backward from the Commission’s long and bipartisan evolution to transparent, open, competitive wholesale markets” and that it “would instead disrupt decades of substantial investment made in the modern electric power system, raise costs for customers, and do so in a  manner directly counter to the Commission’s long experience.”The group wrote that “subsidizing resources so they do not retire would fundamentally distort markets. The subsidized resources would inevitably drive out the unsubsidized resources, and the subsidies would inevitably raise prices to customers.”It said that “investor confidence would evaporate and markets would tend to collapse. This loss of faith in markets would thereby undermine reliability.”Pat Wood III, who was chairman of FERC under President George W. Bush, said that “I understand the politics. I’m sympathetic.”But he said that the reliability Perry said he wanted to favor had more to do with transmission and distribution than it did with they type of fuel used.The group’s letter acknowledged that there are federal tax subsidies for every kind of fuel, but it said that “one step the Commission has never taken is to create or authorize on its own the kind of subsidy proposed here.”Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said Thursday that FERC should shelve the Perry proposal.“Arbitrarily propping up a dying industry goes against what the GOP has long claimed is its goal – an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” Wyden said in a statement. “This rule clearly picks winners and losers in energy resources, which robs taxpayers of the benefits of competitive markets.”More: Bipartisan group of former FERC commissioners rejects energy secretary’s bid to help coal plantslast_img read more

Agriculture Ministry recommends importing more garlic as demand surges

first_imgWith garlic prices already soaring since the start of 2020, the ministry is now seeking not only to stabilize prices but also to mitigate the impacts of disruption to the logistics sector caused by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.The average price of garlic rose roughly 30 percent to Rp 44,900 per kilogram from January to March, according to data from the Information Center for Strategic Food Prices (PIHPS), the government’s food price tracker.This is well above President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s preferred price range of between Rp 20,000 and Rp 30,000 per kilogram.Domestic garlic production is also expected to increase in the coming months as Temanggung in Central Java, the country’s center of garlic production, is now in the middle of harvest season. As of last month, the Agriculture Ministry has issued recommendations to import more than 460,000 tons of garlic to ensure sufficient supplies and stabilize soaring prices during Ramadan and Idul Fitri when food demand usually surges.Between March and May, the government actually needs to procure only around 196,000 tons from overseas to meet demand at home, said Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo. Coupled with domestic production, the ministry estimates there will be a surplus of more than 116,000 tons at the end of May.Speaking during an online hearing with House of Representatives Commission IV overseeing food and agriculture on April 16, Sharul said the garlic imports were necessary to stabilize prices during Ramadan, which will begin April 23. “With the current stock, we expect it will be under control and safe, god willing, at least until Idul Fitri,” he said. Last year, the regency’s harvest yielded more than 24,000 tons, or 27 percent of national production.With a garlic shortage at home and demand surging ahead of Ramadan, the Trade Ministry issued last month a regulation to allow companies to import garlic from overseas without having to obtain a permit.As of April 16, 34 containers carrying 29 tons of garlic each had arrived at Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta from China, the world’s largest garlic producer, said Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto.“Based on Trade Ministerial Regulation No. 27/2020, local companies can import without a permit until June 30,” Trade Ministry Domestic Trade Director General Suhanto told The Jakarta Post via text message on Thursday.With the rupiah depreciating against the United States dollar and the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting logistics, importing garlic from China is not only more expensive but also more difficult, according to the Indonesian Onions and Root Vegetables Entrepreneurs (Pusbarindo) trade association.China, where the SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged in late December, has ended its massive lockdown measures. However, business activities have not fully recovered.“Even in normal times […]  it was difficult for companies to fulfill 100 percent [of the permitted import volumes] in one or two months,” Pusbarindo chairman Valention told the Post in a phone interview on Thursday. “Moreover, financial capacity varies from one firm to another.”According to data from the Agriculture Ministry, garlic imports declined by around 20 percent to more than 465,000 tons between 2018 and 2019.Topics :last_img read more

McCarthy cool over price tag

first_imgJames McCarthy is confident the tag of being the most expensive Scottish-born footballer will not weigh heavily on his shoulders. Press Association The 22-year-old completed his move from Wigan to Everton for an initial £13million late on Monday evening, in the process eclipsing the £9.5million Spartak Moscow paid Celtic for Aiden McGeady and even the £12million Wolves collected from Sunderland in return for Steven Fletcher, although he was born in Shrewsbury. However, the former Hamilton midfielder, who is currently on international duty with Ireland, insists his fee will bring no added pressure. center_img He said: “No, not at all. I am looking forward to it. It’s a new challenge and as I say, I am really looking forward to it. “I have had a few people on my case about it, and it’s one I’m going to need to take in my stride. “Hopefully I can make the step up to a big club at Everton, and it’s one I’m looking forward to. “Obviously I am delighted to be back in the Premier League. It’s a real excitement and a new challenge for myself.” McCarthy was given permission to delay his departure for Ireland as he attempted to tie up his move, but even then he had to wait literally until the 11th hour. He said: “It was hectic. It wasn’t nice to be waiting about, especially as it took until 10.50pm when we got confirmation that it was going to happen. “It was just a relief, to be honest, and such an excitement to go to such a brilliant place like Everton.” last_img read more

Teen charged for murder of Unity man

first_imgA 17-year-old on Friday morning made an appearance before the Chief Magistrate at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, charged with killing a Unity, East Coast Demerara (ECD) man.Murder accused Marlon GarrettThe charge was read to Marlon Garrett of Campbell Street, Albouystown, Georgetown, by Magistrate Ann McLennan.It is alleged that on September 11, 2016, at Robb Street, Bourda, he murdered 34-year-old Omesh Chetram, of Unity, ECD.The matter was adjourned for October 18, 2016.According to reports, the deceased had an argument with the defendant at Board Market after the deceased was accused of stealing items from his stall. The defendant whipped out a knife and stabbed the deceased once to the lower region of his abdomen.The defendant then made good his escape. Chetram was taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.The defendant was later arrested and charged with the offence.last_img read more