Puerto Rico Debt Struggle Ties Back to Its Stunted Energy Economy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones for Bloomberg BNA:Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) demanded that Puerto Rico provide detailed financial statements by March 1 before the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs, puts together a debt-restructuring mechanism for the island.Puerto Rico is in talks with creditors over the country’s distressed debt.A major source of the country’s debt problems comes from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the island’s sole energy provider, which owes about $9 billion to bondholders and other creditors. The utility is dependent on imported oil to generate electricity, for which it sometimes pays on the order of $100 per barrel, even as global oil prices have collapsed to a level below $30 a barrel.In a 2012 presentation, PREPA proposed a switch to liquefied natural gas (LNG), which would lead to $500 million to $1 billion in savings a year and avoid fines under the U.S. Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.But those calculations were based on the construction of the Via Verde gas pipeline and the Aguirre offshore terminal, neither of which has been completed. The Via Verde project was abandoned in 2012 over environmental concerns. The Aguirre project was initially approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July 2015, but is under appeal following a request for additional details by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.In a 2015 report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) sharply criticized the commonwealth’s sole focus on LNG, which it described as transitioning from one fossil fuel to another, even though the island is “blessed with abundant wind and solar energy.”The IEEFA report notes that any savings from a switch to LNG could easily be wiped out by a spike in LNG prices. According to IEEFA Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo, for the switch to make sense “essentially, LNG prices can’t be much higher than what they are right now, which is around $2-$3/Mcf.” One Mcf equals 1,000 cubic feet.“The island could easily be focusing more on solar, wind, and energy efficiency,” Sanzillo said. “All of which would bring more jobs and fuel the local economy, whereas LNG would only bring a handful.”Puerto Rico offers no incentives for energy efficiency. In 2011, only 1 percent of its electricity came from renewable sources.Full article: Hatch Demands Audited Financials From Puerto Rico
World’s best paddlers battle for the Carolina Cup this weekend Of the 1.4 million households that began camping in 2018, 56 percent are Millennials and 51 percent are from non-white groups. Hispanic campers now represent 11 percent of all camping households while African American campers now represent 9 percent of camping households and Asian American campers make up 7 percent. African American campers are the youngest demographic of campers, with 64 percent Millennial representation. Some of the best standup paddleboarders, prone, kayak, surfski and OC endurance racers from around the world will compete this weekend in Wrightsville Beach, NC for the Carolina Cup. Competitors include Olympians and world-record holders all the way down to first-time paddlers. The event will also hold clinics and workshops about ocean racing, SUP paddling, outrigger canoe paddling and more. Kentucky biologists need the public’s help in identifying barn owl nesting sites According to the just-released 2019 North American Camping Report, more than 7.2 million American households have begun camping in the last five years, bringing the total number of U.S. camping households to a new high of 78.8 million. People are also camping more frequently, with 72 percent growth in people who report they camp three or more times each year. Barn owls are sensitive to disturbance, so researchers ask that if you do find a nest to not disturb it. Researchers are also asking the public to report any dead barn owls they find. Anyone with any information about barn owls should email Kate Slankard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-858-1549. Camping is on the rise in the U.S. and campers are more diverse than ever Biologists with Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are asking for the public’s help in identifying barn owl nesting locations in an attempt to determine why the species is so rare in the state. Barn owls were common in the Bluegrass state as late as the 1960’s. By 2016, however, there were only 75 documented nesting locations statewide. Barn owls prefer open areas like pastures and hayfields. They nest in hollow trees and manmade structures like barns, silos, haylofts and attics. One must-watch event taking place at the Carolina Cup this weekend is the grueling 21-kilometer Graveyard Race, one of the most difficult paddling races on the circuit. Australian Michael Booth and Germany’s Sonni Honscheid will both defend their titles.