Puerto Rico Debt Struggle Ties Back to Its Stunted Energy Economy

first_imgPuerto 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 Ricolast_img read more

Outdoor Updates: World’s best paddlers battle for the Carolina Cup this weekend

first_imgWorld’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 [email protected] 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.last_img read more

Children from Poor Neighborhood in Santiago Shine in Robotics World Competition

first_imgBy Dialogo May 19, 2009 Winning an international competition is always a source of pride, but for children from the poorest areas of Chile, winning the Robotics World Competition is a real feat. 17,000 laborer families live in the community of La Pintana; unemployment exceeds 15 percent and store no longer offer credit to their customers. La Pintana reported the highest rate of juvenile crime in all of Chile, and only two out of ten children complete secondary education. It is in this community south of Santiago where Franco Lillo and his colleagues from the Nocedal College created the project which won first prize at the World Robotics 2009 First Lego League, which was held in the United States last month. Franco is 16 years old and, like his friends, has lived his entire life in La Pintana. Last year his professor of Technology, Patricio Acuña, suggested that he enter the foremost robotics competition in the United States, the Lego League, a competition in which, in Chile alone, 129 schools were represented, among thousands of others from around the world. Acuña encouraged his students to devise a project to help reverse global warming. Nine young men set to work creating a green robot. When Franco found out that the professor was looking for volunteers Acuña did not hesitate a single moment. “I was the last in the group. The teacher was testing me, and I passed. That was how I managed to enter,” he recalls with pride. Not knowing what awaited them, the “Spectrum Bots” team passed all national tests and traveled to United States to represent schoolchildren. “Many can reach this level in our country, and even surpass it if the job is well done, if they work together with teachers, parents and students,” says Miguel Arce, director of the Nocedal College. But once they qualified, the problem was to obtain resources to travel to Atlanta (USA), which hosted the final stage of the tournament. It took 21 million pesos (about 3700 U.S. dollars) to pay for travel and accommodation. None of the families of the young inventors had the funds for this, but with the help of the Ministry of Education, the boys packed their bags and traveled to the United States on April 16. “The school helped us to perfect our robot before the competition. They let us miss classes to perfect the project, and we also met during holidays to adjust details,” says Franco. And that is how the little hero of this story emerged. “Spectrum,” a self-contained robot developed with Lego Mindstorms technology, was crowned world champion in the “Innovation” category for its complex system of automatic irrigation. The prototype has the task of facilitating reforestation of the planet through solar-powered water irrigation. The amount of water required for operation is regulated by a device that connects directly to the root of the tree. The robot operates autonomously and does not require a human operator, which reduces maintenance costs. It was the dedication and determination of these guys that assured their victory, the college director emphasized. “They are all kids in their teens who love sports, being with friends, and going out, but they spent a whole month working on this project,” explains Miguel Arce. Very few understand how a handful of youths from the poorest communities in Chile achieved first place in a contest that gathers representatives from the most developed countries of the world. For Professor Acuña, when there are no economic resources, the important thing is to tap into creativity. “We won for a job well done because the creativity is there, all you have to do is develop it,” he says. Franco Lillo and his companions think the same thing, and now dream of studying technology, computing, and engineering, to continue inventing. “The effort was worth it; we realized that with effort and perseverance you can achieve things.”last_img read more

Over 9 billion kuna was spent in Croatia during the World Cup in Russia

first_imgLate last night, according to the Ministry of the Interior, Vatrene was greeted by a total of about 550 people. Incredibly! Undescribable!This is the best advertisement ever for Croatia, which has been written about, published on social networks, researched in the world of the Internet like never before.Two days ago, Croatia was mentioned in the media 30% more than after the semifinals all over the world, according to Mediatoolkit data. The numbers are huge and have never been recorded in the history of Croatia – more than ever before the semifinals, said Tomislav Grubisic from Mediatoolkit, a tool that monitors what is written about anyone on the entire Internet in real time, and added: “According to these statistics, more texts about Croatia will be published on the Internet today than have been published in its entire history since its founding. ” Grubisic pointed out. How it will be today and these days after such a welcome in Zagreb and the whole of Croatia, we can only dream and find it difficult to measure everything.This is just another proof that athletes are our best ambassadors and that we need to focus much more seriously and strategically on how to connect and promote tourism, culture, economy through sports success…And as sport, and especially football as the “most important sideline in the world”, attracts the masses, they thus directly affect the increase in consumption and bring a significant impetus to the economy. Thus, according to the estimates of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, HRK 9.277.224.291,92 was spent in Croatia during the World Cup in Russia.Consumption related to major sports competitions is growing by about 10 percent, mostly in the categories of audio-visual equipment or television, sports equipment, ie fan props, travel arrangements (charter flights organized to go to matches) and in the category of food and beverages; primarily snacks, beer and other alcoholic beverages. “Consumption in retail trade compared to the same period last year was increased, especially on the day before the matches and on the day of the matches, on average between 11 and 15 percent”, She pointed out Director of the Trade Department of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Tomislav Ravlić based on fiscalization data for the period from June 15 to July 15, 2018, how long the World Cup lasted.Compared to the same period in 2017, Ravlić points out, last year in this period the turnover in retail trade, according to the data from the fiscalization system, was lower by about 5 percent (4,56%).  “In the hospitality industry, for example, on the day of the matches, the turnover grew on average by 10 percent and more. The record was set on the day of the semi-finals in the match against England when the turnover in the hospitality industry grew by 17 percent, while during the finals the increase was 13 percent.”, Ravlić points out. A total of HRK 878.824.104,83 was fiscalized in the hospitality industry, or about 3% more than in the same period last year.Croats ate more than 10 million PIK kebabs during the championshipPIK reported that during the World Cup, PIK Vrbovec sold more than 10 million kebabs, more than 2,2 million packs of cold cuts and over 2 million sausages.Although the numbers themselves sound impressive they gain even more weight when compared to sales results at Christmas time when sausages are traditionally eaten in increased quantities. Namely, during Advent in Zagreb, Croats ate more than 700.000 PIK sausages, and during the championship that number increased almost 3 times more, more than 2 million sausages were sold. When it comes to cold cuts, over 2,2 million packs of cold cuts were sold during the World Cup. Sales of durable cold cuts are growing by 30%, and the first choice of consumers are Winter and Tea. From PIK Vrbovec, they say how it is the company in this period recorded an increase in the volume of products sold by more than 10%.Related news:”CROATIA FULL OF EXCELLENT PLAYERS” CNTB CAMPAIGN ON SOCIAL NETWORKSTHIS SHORT STORY WILL BEST SHOW YOU WHAT CROATIA HAS MADE FOR TOURISM IN RUSSIACROATIA – FULL OF CHAMPIONS, A CAMPAIGN THAT SHOULD START TODAY!last_img read more