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Clean Power Plan’s legal future ‘a mess’

Clean Power Plan’s legal future ‘a mess’

first_img Death of a judicial giant So now what? The path ahead for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan went from arduous but somewhat clear to murky with the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13.The whirlwind week for the plan, a key commitment by the United States to reduce climate-changing carbon-dioxide emissions, started with the Supreme Court voting 5-4 to freeze the plan in place, halting implementation while legal issues are decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and, likely, by the Supreme Court itself. Scalia’s death and the battle over selecting his successor that quickly developed between Obama and Senate Republican leaders have raised the prospect of an extended period with a Supreme Court split 4-4 between conservative and liberal justices ― in other words “a mess” for the plan, according to environmental law expert Richard Lazarus, the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.Lazarus, who is serving as counsel in the case for two “friends of the court,” former Republican EPA administrators William Ruckelshaus and William Reilly, spoke with the Gazette about both the plan’s impending lower court hearing and its path ahead should it undergo Supreme Court review. GAZETTE: The Supreme Court on Feb. 9 issued a stay on the implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan while the courts review it. Does the Feb. 13 death of Justice Scalia affect the status of the stay, which passed 5 to 4, and how does his passing affect the legal prospects for the plan going forward?LAZARUS: No, the stay’s status remains the same. Any final decision of the Supreme Court that Justice Scalia joined before his death retains its full force of law. The Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan was in fact the last order the justice voted on and his vote was decisive because there were five votes in favor and four votes opposed. Had the justice not voted, the stay would have been denied by a 4-to-4 vote.GAZETTE: When can we expect a decision by the lower court? A year after it’s argued in June?LAZARUS: It is not unheard of for cases of this complexity to take a year to be decided. But I think the lower court is going to feel like they need to decide this one more quickly. First, because the appellate judges are going to appreciate that the longer they take, the longer the plan is stayed. Normally a case like this would take four, five, six months to decide, and, as noted, it could be decided even as much as a year later. For this one, given the stay, I would not be shocked if they try to get something out in a few months.An additional reason they might try to do that is that the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit has scheduled oral argument in the case on June 2, and the judges’ clerks change at the end of August. If the judges want the same group of clerks to be there, soup to nuts, they have to get it out by the end of summer. That’s a Herculean task in a case like this. Related Friends recall Antonin Scalia, LL.B. ’60, and his contributions both to jurisprudence and to Harvard GAZETTE: Does Justice Scalia’s death affect the prospects and timing of possible Supreme Court review?LAZARUS: Justice Scalia’s death complicates everything. Before his death, the D.C. Circuit judges had every reason to assume the Supreme Court would review this case and have the last word. After all, the five justices who voted for the stay made quite clear, by that vote, how important they believe that the legal issues presented are.But now, unless the Supreme Court has nine justices, the D.C. Circuit could, as a practical matter, have the last word. Why? Because there is reason to speculate based on the sharply divided vote from the justices on the stay order that there are currently four justices skeptical of the lawfulness of the Clean Power Plan and four justices who are not. If that alignment persists after full briefing and oral argument, the result would be a 4-to-4 tie, affirming whatever the lower court ruled.On the other hand, there is also the possibility that the justices would simply hold onto the case until the Court has a full bench of nine, on the ground that an issue so important should ultimately be decided by the full Court.But how long might that take? It is far from clear that the impasse between the president and Congress will even be broken after the next president is sworn in, unless the president and Congress are of the same political party. If the impasse continues for a year or two, at some point, will the Court give up or just keep the stay intact? In short, it’s a mess.GAZETTE: Are you yourself involved in the litigation before the D.C. Circuit?LAZARUS: Yes, both as a teacher and as a lawyer. In my advanced environmental law class this spring, the students in the class are spending four intensive weeks undertaking an in-depth study of the Clean Power Plan, which necessarily includes identifying the legal vulnerabilities as well as the strengths of the plan. In addition, I am also counsel of record filing what is called an amicus, or friend-of-the court brief. I have two terrific clients who are both HLS alums and former Republican administrators of EPA: William Ruckelshaus and William Reilly. Ruckelshaus was EPA’s first administrator, appointed by President Richard Nixon. Ruckelshaus and Reilly have enormous stature in environmental law, celebrated for their integrity, and both support the president’s Clean Power Plan.GAZETTE: What parts of the Clean Power Plan are most vulnerable in this lower court proceeding?LAZARUS: I’ll tell you where I think there’s a serious legal argument and where I think there’s not a serious legal argument. Where I think there’s not a serious legal argument is the question whether the plan is constitutional. I don’t think that is remotely plausible. I should add that my colleague, Larry Tribe, believes the opposite, but I find no merit to those arguments.Where I think there is a serious argument is whether EPA can do what’s called “beyond the fenceline regulation.”The linchpin of the Clean Power Plan is that it doesn’t just look at the coal-fired power plants, which are the target of the Clean Power Plan, in isolation. It doesn’t say, “What can you do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by burning coal more efficiently or by putting on different pollution-control devices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions out of your stack?”What the plan does instead — and I think very wisely — is it says these plants are part of a nationwide or region-wide electricity grid. And they’re connected to all kinds of other plants, some of which are fueled by natural gas, some of which are nuclear, other sources are solar, other sources are wind. We need to look to the grid as a whole and figure out how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout that grid. And looking at that grid, we think that there are several things that can be done, which EPA literally refers to in the Clean Power Plan as Building Blocks 1, 2, and 3.For Building Block 1, EPA says that what can be done is the coal-fired power plants should be more efficient and burn less coal to produce the same amount of electricity. That’s easy and relatively noncontroversial.For Building Block 2, EPA says that the natural gas power plants on the grid — which are not utilized as much as they could be — their utilization should go up and the coal-fired power plants should be used less because the natural gas plants don’t put out as much greenhouse gases.Finally, for Building Block 3, EPA maintains that more renewable sources of electricity, such as solar-power and wind-power facilities, can be added to the grid, further reducing the need for the existing coal-fired power plants to produce as much electricity and therefore emit so much greenhouse gases.In short, EPA’s approach considers the electricity grid as a whole and determines how the nation can produce the same level of electricity but with dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions. It is in many respects a brilliantly creative plan, both in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and doing so in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.GAZETTE: Does it allow the states to come up with plans on their own?LAZARUS: Yes. Based on the three building blocks, EPA determines how much greenhouse gas emissions each state can reduce, but the plan neither tells the states they have to achieve that result with the same mix of controls EPA assumed in coming up with emission targets for each state, or even that the state has to come up with a plan at all.The Clean Power Plan instead says, “States, here is what we believe can be achieved in terms of emission reductions in your state. We leave it to you to decide how best to achieve that level of reduction, but you are also free to say, ‘We would rather not come up with a plan,’ and leave it to EPA to do so.”The Clean Power Plan never requires any state to do anything, which is very important. That’s why there’s no serious constitutional argument. If EPA had instead instructed a state, “You must do X, you must pass a certain law, you have to take a certain action or be sanctioned,” that would raise serious 10th Amendment concerns. Because the Clean Power Plan does not, no such serious constitutional issues are raised. But here again, please be forewarned that my good friend and faculty colleague Larry Tribe most certainly disagrees.By contrast, what raises a serious legal issue — not a constitutional issue — is that there is a nontrivial argument that the statute does not allow EPA to look at more than the coal-fired power plant itself and to look to the grid as a whole. That depends on the meaning of one word in the statute, the word “system.” And that’s how the law works. Everybody in the ongoing litigation has their own competing dictionary definitions of the word “system.”The statute says that EPA can impose restrictions — emissions limitations — consistent with the best “system” of emission reductions. EPA says that word “system” allows us to look at the grid as a whole, because the power plants are part of that interconnected system. And the other side says, “No, ‘system’ only means what the coal plants can themselves do within the four corners of our facility.” And that’s the beginning and end of the toughest legal argument the EPA faces.GAZETTE: So the EPA is saying that they have to look at the whole system because the only way you’re going to reach the emissions goal is by taking coal out and increasing contributions from these other cleaner sources?LAZARUS: Yes, but it’s important to recognize that the Clean Power Plan actually doesn’t assume that coal goes away. There would be a significant reduction of the electricity that coal will supply. A lot of that is happening anyway, because of the price of natural gas. The coal industry feels like it is under siege. But a lot of what they’re blaming on the Clean Power Plan is in fact just the result of free-market forces responding to dramatically lower natural-gas prices.There’s one other significant legal issue in the case. I don’t view it as significant as the first one, but others might disagree.There’s this very odd issue, involving the relationship between two provisions of the Clean Air Act: section 112, which restricts hazardous air pollutants from sources such as power plants, and section 111, which generally allows for regulation of existing sources such as coal-fired power plants.In 1990, when Congress amended the Clean Air Act with hundreds of pages of new provisions, the House and the Senate each decided to change the language of section 111 to coordinate it with section 112 to make sure there wasn’t duplication between the two. To that shared end, the House passed some language and the Senate did the same, but each chamber passed different language. Normally, of course, when that happens, the House and Senate get together reconcile their differences in conference and then one version is passed by both chambers. This time, they forgot to do that. The discrepancy seems to have simply been overlooked in the hundreds of pages of the 1990 legislation.So they didn’t notice, in this big bill, that they had both addressed the same language. So both versions simultaneously passed Congress, both were signed by the president of the United States, so they both became law. The problem of course is that they can be read to say different things.The Senate language clearly says that if a pollutant is regulated under section 112 then it can’t be regulated under section 111. If that’s what it means, which is what EPA says, it’s easy because greenhouse gases aren’t regulated under section 112.The coal plants say, though, that the House version can be read to say if a source is regulated under section 112, then that same source can’t be regulated under section 111. That means that if coal-fired power plants are regulated under section 112 they can’t be regulated under section 111 at all. And 111 is our greenhouse gas provision. And coal-fired power plants are of course regulated under section 112 because they put out lots of hazardous air pollutants, including mercury.So the obvious question is what do you do with that? It’s the stuff of a bizarre law school exam. But it is not only real, the fate of the nation’s ability to address climate change under the existing Clean Air Act may well hang in the balance.GAZETTE: Can the courts pick and choose one version over another?LAZARUS: That’s the question: What are the courts supposed to do?EPA’s view is that obviously we’re right under the Senate version and we think the House version can be read in a way that’s consistent. The other side says not so fast. We think the House version is what Congress said and we think the House version can’t be read the other way and we think this is something that basically should be decided by the courts. So it’s a conundrum.I think EPA has the better argument. I think they’re entitled to deference as the expert agency, and they have some Supreme Court precedent — by analogy — on their side. But that one is really just bizarre. No way around it.GAZETTE: So, is a plan of some sort salvageable even if EPA loses the fenceline argument?LAZARUS: EPA was very careful to make their plans severable.As I described, EPA’s emission-reduction targets rest on three building blocks. Building Block 1 is what the facilities themselves can do on site. Building Block 2 is using more of the natural gas and other sources on the grid. Building Block 3 is more wind and solar on the grid. So if they lose 3 and 2, they still have Building Block 1, but a lot of the reductions are currently achieved through Building Blocks 2 and 3.Of course, if confined to just Building Block 1, EPA might well go back and sharply reduce emissions relying on only that one building block. In other words, the coal industry may need to be careful about what they wish for.last_img read more

From one, many

From one, many

first_imgWhether a worm, a human, or a blue whale, all multicellular life begins as a single-celled egg.From this solitary cell emerges the galaxy of others needed to build an organism, with each new cell developing in the right place at the right time to carry out a precise function in coordination with its neighbors.This feat is one of the most remarkable in the natural world, and despite decades of study, a complete understanding of the process has eluded biologists.Now, in three landmark studies published online today in Science, Harvard Medical School and Harvard University researchers report how they have systematically profiled every cell in developing zebrafish and frog embryos to establish a roadmap revealing how one cell builds an entire organism.Using single-cell sequencing technology, the research teams traced the fates of individual cells over the first 24 hours of the life of an embryo. Their analyses reveal the comprehensive landscape of which genes are switched on or off, and when, as embryonic cells transition into new cell states and types.Together, the findings represent a catalog of genetic “recipes” for generating different cell types in two important model species and provide an unprecedented resource for the study of developmental biology and disease.“With single-cell sequencing, we can, in a day’s work, recapitulate decades of painstaking research on the decisions cells make at the earliest stages of life,” said Allon Klein, HMS assistant professor of systems biology and co-corresponding author of two of the three Science studies.Biomedically, these baseline resources for how organisms develop are as important as having baseline resources for their genomes, the researchers said.“With the approaches that we’ve developed, we’re charting what we think the future of developmental biology will be as it transforms into a quantitative, big-data-driven science,” Klein said.In addition to shedding new light on the early stages of life, the work could open the door to a new understanding of a host of diseases, said Alexander Schier, the Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard, and a corresponding author of the third study.“We foresee that any complex biological process in which cells change gene expression over time can be reconstructed using this approach,” Schier said. “Not just the development of embryos but also the development of cancer or brain degeneration.”,One at a timeEvery cell in a developing embryo carries within it a copy of the organism’s complete genome. Like construction workers using only the relevant portion of a blueprint when laying a building’s foundation, cells must express the necessary genes at the appropriate time for the embryo to develop correctly.In their studies, Klein collaborated with co-authors Marc Kirschner, the HMS John Franklin Enders University Professor of Systems Biology, Sean Megason, HMS associate professor of systems biology, and colleagues to analyze this process in zebrafish and western claw-toed frog (Xenopus tropicalis) embryos, two of the most well-studied model species in biology.The researchers leveraged the power of InDrops, a single-cell sequencing technology developed at HMS by Klein, Kirschner, and colleagues to capture gene-expression data from each cell of the embryo, one at a time. The teams collectively profiled more than 200,000 cells at multiple time points over 24 hours from both species.To map the lineage of essentially every cell as an embryo develops, along with the precise sequence of gene-expression events that mark new cell states and types, the teams developed new experimental and computational techniques, including the introduction of artificial DNA bar codes to track the lineage relationships between cells, called TracerSeq.“Understanding how an organism is made requires knowing which genes are turned on or off as cells make fate decisions, not just the static sequence of a genome,” Megason said. “This is the first technological approach that has allowed us to systematically and quantitatively address this question.” “It is almost like going from seeing a few stars to seeing the entire universe.” — Alexander Schier, the Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology In the study co-led by Schier, the research team used Drop-Seq — a single-cell sequencing technology developed by researchers at HMS and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard — to study zebrafish embryos over 12 hours at high time resolution. Teaming with Aviv Regev, a core member at the Broad, the team reconstructed cell trajectories through a computational method they named URD, after the Norse mythological figure who decides all fates.Schier and colleagues profiled more than 38,000 cells, and developed a cellular “family tree” that revealed how gene expression in 25 cell types changed as they specialized. By combining that data with spatial inference, the team was also able to reconstruct the spatial origins of the various cells types in the early zebrafish embryo.Recipe for successIn both species, the teams’ findings mirrored much of what was previously known about the progression of embryonic development, a result that underscored the power of the new approaches. But the analyses were unprecedented in revealing in comprehensive detail the cascades of events that take cells from early progenitor or “generalist” states to more specialized states with narrowly defined functions.The teams identified otherwise difficult-to-detect details such as rare cell types and subtypes and linked new and highly specific gene-expression patterns to different cell lineages. In several cases, they found cell types emerging far earlier than previously had been thought.For scientists striving to answer questions about human disease, these data could be powerfully illuminating. In regenerative medicine, for example, researchers have for decades aimed to manipulate stem cells toward specific fates with the goal of replacing defective cells, tissues, or organs with functional ones. Newly gleaned details about the sequence of gene expression changes that precipitate the emergence of specific cell types can propel these efforts further.“With these datasets, if someone wants to make a specific cell type, they now have the recipe for the steps that those cells took as they formed in the embryo,” Klein said. “We’ve in some sense established a gold standard reference for how complex differentiation processes actually progress in embryos, and set an example for how to systematically reconstruct these types of processes.”When combined with one of the core concepts in biological inquiry — the idea of disrupting a system to study what happens — single-cell sequencing can yield insights difficult to attain before, Klein said.As a proof of principle, Klein, Megason, and colleagues used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system to create zebrafish with a mutant form of chordin, a gene involved in determining the back-to-front orientation of a developing embryo. Schier and colleagues took a similar approach by profiling zebrafish with a mutation in a different patterning gene known as one-eyed pinhead.When analyzed with single-cell sequencing, the teams confirmed previously known descriptions of chordin and one-eyed pinhead mutants, and could describe in detail or even predict the effects of these mutations on developing cells and nascent tissues across the whole embryo.Unexpectedly, the groups independently found that at the single-cell level, gene expression was the same in mutants and wild-type, despite the loss of an essential signaling pathway. The proportions of different cell types, however, changed.“This work only became possible through recent technologies that let us analyze gene expression in thousands of individual cells,” Schier said. “Now the scale is much larger, so that we can reconstruct the trajectory of almost all cells and all genes during embryogenesis. It is almost like going from seeing a few stars to seeing the entire universe.”A new view of embryonic development, showing 50,000+ cells organized by relatedness over time. The blue center is the beginning of life. Radiating outwards, specialized cell types emerge. Image: Wagner et alRethinking definitionsThe research teams also demonstrated how these data can be mined to answer long-standing fundamental questions in biology.When Klein, Kirschner, Megason, and colleagues compared cell-state landscapes between zebrafish and frog embryos, they observed mostly similarities. But their analyses revealed numerous surprises as well. One such observation was that genes marking cell states in one species were often poor markers for the same cell state in the other species.In several instances, they found that the DNA sequence of a gene — and the structure of the protein it encoded — could be nearly identical between species but have very different expression patterns.“This really shocked us, because it goes against all the intuition we had about development and biology,” Klein said. “It was a really uncomfortable observation. It directly challenges our idea of what it means to be a certain ‘cell type.’”The reason these differences were not spotted before, the researchers hypothesize, is that computational analyses “pay attention” to data in a way fundamentally different from how humans do.“I think this reflects some level of confirmation bias. When scientists find something conserved between species, they celebrate it as a marker,” Megason said. “But often, all the other nonconserved features are ignored. Quantitative data helps us move past some of these biases.”In another striking finding, the teams observed that the process of cell differentiation into distinct types — which is commonly thought to occur in a tree-like structure where different cell types branch off from a common ancestor cell — can form “loops” as well as branches.For example, the neural crest — a group of cells that give rise to diverse tissue types including smooth muscle, certain neurons, and craniofacial bone — initially emerges from neural and skin precursors, but is well-known to generate cells that appear almost identical to bone and cartilage precursors.The new results suggest that similar loops might occur in other situations. That cells in the same state can have very different developmental histories suggests that our hierarchical view of development as a “tree” is far too simplified, Klein said.All three teams also identified certain cell populations that existed in a kind of intermediate “decision-making” state. Schier and colleagues found that, at certain key developmental branch points, cells appeared to go down one developmental trajectory but then changed their fate to another.Klein, Megason, Kirschner, and colleagues made a related observation that, early in development, some cells activated two distinct developmental programs. Though those intermediate cells would eventually adopt a single identity, these discoveries add to the picture of how cells develop their fate and hint that there may be factors beyond genes involved in directing that.“With multilineage cells, we have to start wondering if their final fate is being determined by some selective force or interaction with the environment, rather than just genetic programs,” Kirschner said.Future foundationThe newly generated data sets and the new tools and technologies developed as part of these studies lay the foundation for a wide spectrum of future exploration, according to the authors.Developmental biologists can gather more and higher-quality data on many species, follow embryos further in time, and perform any number of perturbation experiments, all of which can help improve understanding of the fundamental rules of biology and disease.These resources can also serve as a focal point for collaboration and interaction since most labs do not have the depth of expertise needed to exploit all the data and information generated, the authors noted.“I think these studies are creating a real sense of community, with researchers raising questions and interacting with each other in a way that harkens back to earlier times in the study of embryology,” Kirschner said.The three studies, Schier said, are an example of how the scientific community can work on complementary questions to answer important questions in biology.“Instead of competing, our groups were in regular contact over the past two years and coordinated the publication of our studies,” he said. “And it is great how complementary the three papers are — each highlights different ways such complex data sets can be generated, analyzed and interpreted.”The next conceptual leap, the teams suggest, will be to better understand how cell-fate decisions are made.“Right now, we have a roadmap, but it doesn’t tell us what the signs are,” Megason said. “What we need to do is figure out the signals that direct cells down certain roads, and what the internal mechanisms are that allow cells to make those decisions.”Whatever the future holds, these data sets will leave their mark.“The beauty of working on an organism is that this is it,” Klein said. “Ten, 20 years from now, we can still be sure zebrafish and frogs are going to develop according to the same patterns.”All three research teams have made their data sets and tools available as interactive, browsable online resources. For Klein and colleagues: zebrafish and Xenopus. For Schier and colleagues: zebrafish and URD.Daniel Wagner is the lead author and Sean Megason and Allon Klein are co-corresponding authors of the study “Systematic mapping of cell state trajectories, cell lineage, and perturbations in the zebrafish embryo using single cell transcriptomics.” Additional authors are Caleb Weinreb, Zach Collins, and James Briggs. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (1K99GM121852, R01GM107733, R01DC015478), the Edward J. Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.James Briggs is the lead author and Marc Kirschner and Allon Klein are co-corresponding authors of the study “The dynamics of gene expression in vertebrate embryogenesis at single cell resolution.” Additional authors are Caleb Weinreb, Daniel Wagner, Sean Megason, and Leonid Peshkin. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R21HD087723), the Edward J. Mallinckrodt Foundation and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.Jeffrey Farrell and Yiqun Wang are co-lead authors and Aviv Regev and Alexander Schier are co-corresponding authors of the study “Single-cell reconstruction of developmental trajectories during zebrafish embryogenesis.” Additional authors are Samantha Riesenfeld and Karthik Shekhar. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Allen Discovery Center for Cell Lineage Tracing, the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund, the Charles A. King Trust, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Klarman Cell Observatory.last_img read more

Darren Criss Eyeing American Horror Story: Hotel

Darren Criss Eyeing American Horror Story: Hotel

first_imgIt looks like Ryan Murphy is once again tapping Glee alum Darren Criss! The two-time Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner is in negotiations to join FX’s American Horror Story: Hotel. According to E! online, the recent Hedwig headliner will check into the series in the Halloween episode, in a, wait for it, recurring role!Criss would play Justin, a Silver Lake hipster, who attempts to avoid annoying trick or treaters at the establishment. But after Justin and his girlfriend prove high maintenance guests, Kathy Bates’ character plays a trick on them they’ll never forget.Perhaps best known for playing Blaine on Murphy’s Fox series Glee, Criss made his Great White Way debut in 2012 as J. Pierpont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a role that earned him a Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Replacement (he also picked up the same trophy this year for Hedwig). His additional film and TV credits include Girl Most Likely, Eastwick and Little White Lie. In 2010, he released his first EP of original music, titled Human. Criss has recently been filming new movie Smitten! in Italy, and can occasionally be found at Marie’s Crisis belting Disney standards with Tony winner Lea Salonga.Along with Bates and perhaps Criss, a multitude of stage vets have been enlisted for the series. Sarah Paulson, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, Lady Gaga and many more will appear in the show, which is set to bow in October. Darren Criss Star Filescenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

‘Offshore wind ready to take off in the U.S.’

‘Offshore wind ready to take off in the U.S.’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):As of the end of 2017, European countries have installed a total of just under 16,000 MW of offshore wind. The United States has installed 30 MW. For a country that ranks second globally in onshore wind installations with roughly 89 GW, why is it that the US is so far behind the curve in offshore wind? There are several reasons: Land resources. Cost. The “NIMBY” phenomenon. Land resources are abundant in many areas of the US, however many smaller, more densely populated states in the northeast do not have this luxury. These states, such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware also have aggressive RPS standards that utilities have to meet. With land being relatively scarce and expensive for large onshore wind and solar farms, offshore wind is a more realistic and appealing option. Further boosting the argument for offshore wind in these Atlantic states is that geographic factors are in their favor. Water depth, even at long distances from the coast, are relatively shallow making more economical grounded foundations an option. Wind resources are also excellent mainly along the central and northern coast.In terms of cost, offshore wind remains a more expensive option than land-based wind farms, however the gap is slowly narrowing. Block Island, the only operating offshore farm in the US, is currently under a PPA for $.244/kWh which is roughly 3-4 times prices seen for comparable onshore renewables and natural gas. Two projects in Maryland, however, just recently signed deals at just over half the cost of Block Island and auctions in Europe have prices reaching almost grid parity. In 2017, winning bids for four offshore projects in Germany averaged $.054/kWh and the Netherlands currently has an auction out for 3.5 GW and is only open to bids that require no subsidies. Offshore wind giant, Ørsted which is establishing operations along the East Coast, reported a cost decrease of 63% from 2010 to 2016. Should these cost decreases translate across the pond in the US as they’re expected, offshore wind will have a much easier time making economic sense.Finally, the hurdle of the “not-in-my-backyard” opposition has a pretty easy solution: build farther from the coast. Cape Wind was sited only five miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and faced serious backlash from the local community. The average distance from shore of European offshore farms in 2017 however was roughly 25 miles, five times farther from shore than Cape Wind. Even in perfectly clear weather conditions, the tallest turbines in operation today would be almost impossible to see at this distance due to the curvature of the earth. While building an offshore farm this far from the coast has negatives including higher costs for connecting cables and electrical losses, they are not significant enough to outweigh the positives. Proposed offshore wind projects in the US have learned the lesson from Cape Wind and are planning to install turbines between 10 and 40 miles off the coast.The Atlantic Coast will by far, get the most attention for offshore wind development. Six states have an offshore wind target in some form. Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey have all set capacity targets of 1,600 MW, 2,400 MW and 3,500 MW respectively. Maine also set an offshore target of 5,000 MW back in 2009, however the state has failed to reach onshore wind targets in previous years and just recently the governor issued a moratorium on new wind development. The aggressive offshore wind target is a distant memory now with no major offshore projects planned. Connecticut and Maryland also have offshore goals in place but not in terms of capacity. Connecticut has issued an RFP to procure up to 825,000 MWh of offshore wind by 2025 and Maryland has a carve-up within its RPS for up to 2.5% of generation to come from offshore wind. These six states, along with Rhode Island and to a lesser extent, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina are the states expected to see legitimate offshore wind installations over the next decade.The United States has tried to get offshore wind going for well over a decade with a graveyard of proposed and subsequently canceled offshore projects. It’s fair to be skeptical of any planned development due to the failure rate of such projects in the US. However, with aggressive RPS standards, legislation specifically calling for offshore wind and falling costs, there now appears to be legitimate momentum in the United States for offshore wind.More: Offshore Wind Ready To Take Off In The United States ‘Offshore wind ready to take off in the U.S.’last_img read more

Harris shattered a glass ceiling, but she’ll still be held to a higher standard

Harris shattered a glass ceiling, but she’ll still be held to a higher standard

first_imgTOP COMMENTSQUOTATION“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”          ~~Franklin D Roosevelt, June 27, 1936TWEET OF THE DAY BLAST FROM THE PAST- Advertisement – At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—Republican “Permanent Majority” Lasts Less Than One Presidency:A few years ago, Republican strategists were crowing about a new “permanent Republican majority”. As of last night, Republicans are a regional party with a narrowly defined ideology and abysmal support among the next generations of voters.And all it took was, you know, Republicans sucking on every conceivable level, dragging the nation into botched war efforts, corruption in the Department of Justice, and the possible collapse of our entire financial system.So… yay us, I guess. When Barack Obama was in the White House, many on both the left and the right cited the first Black president as proof that the nation had progressed significantly on racial issues. But that notion was washed away by the election of Trump, which showed that Obama’s presidency had been an aberration, not evidence of an inclusive new norm.Likewise, commentators will be tempted to Obama-ize Harris and characterize her vice presidency as evidence that women of color have arrived in a new position of power. While the political muscle of Black women is a real thing, Harris’s victory doesn’t erase the hurdles that Black women face on a regular basis.No one should forget how much sexism and racism—the combination known as misogynoir—Harris has confronted, or the unrelenting misinformation campaigns waged against her on her path to the vice presidency. No one should forget that even though the Biden-Harris pairing was ultimately victorious, millions of people voted for a president who gleefully belittled and insulted not only Harris but other high-profile women of color. No one should forget that because of ingrained stereotypes about Black women, Harris will have to tread more carefully than Biden did in the nation’s second-highest office. […]center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

The combination of public and private is the best thing that could have happened to Zagreb

The combination of public and private is the best thing that could have happened to Zagreb

first_imgThe best Advent in Europe, the one in Zagreb, according to the data of the Zagreb Tourist Board, last year increased the number of overnight stays by as much as 50 percent, and during Advent there were 120.000 arrivals and 230.000 overnight stays.The story of Advent in Zagreb has been told many times, but I would like to point out two extremely important segments. First, the most important thing is to invest in quality content that will be the motive for coming. Only quality content can attract visitors, and thus generates consumption as well as earnings for caterers and other exhibitors, and thus we create a complete tourist product. It is the greatest power of tourism that connects other industries vertically and horizontally, encourages employment and the generated consumption is dispersed in various sectors. That is why investments in manifestations are investments, not costs. This thesis is best illustrated by the fact that last year, in accordance research by the Institute of Tourism, the total consumption generated by Advent in Zagreb is estimated in the range of HRK 390 to 438 million.Secondly, what is imperative, a combination of public and private sectors took place in Zagreb, and we got an ideal mix of diverse and quality content. The private sector woke up in Zagreb, ie it saw its interest – and that is earnings. So we have witnessed in the last few years a boom of various new restaurants, accommodation facilities, offers and facilities. So, regardless of the activities of the Zagreb Tourist Board, at the same time visitors and citizens of Advent, but also during the year, have at their disposal dozens of different content throughout the city. Unfortunately, the same content in the “off program” is not well presented by the Zagreb Tourist Board to the outside, because the foreigner does not care who the organizer is, the content is important to him. But the most important combination of private and public is the best thing that could have happened to Zagreb. Both large and medium and small manifestations, stories and contents, because they give the rhythm and soul to the city.Photo: TZZGJust one of many such positive examples is the Advent Run race. Namely, as part of this year’s Advent in Zagreb, a unique Zagreb Christmas race will be held – Zagreb Advent Run. The Christmas race will bring together all interested citizens and tourists dressed as reindeer, elves, Santa Claus and other holiday characters to run together a unique route of 5 or 10 km through the city center. ‘We are extremely glad that Zagreb with the Advent Run stands side by side with the world’s cities where the Christmas race is a tradition. At last year’s race, we hosted runners from 15 countries, which is an excellent promotion for Zagreb and a message to move as much as possible, especially during the holidays.”Points out Iva Hafner from Run Croatia, who, along with the Millennium Promotion Agency, are the main” culprits “for this great new tourist story. By the way, there are currently over 50 million runners in Europe, and the number of runners is growing day by day.”This year we are moving from Bundek to the heart of the city where participants will experience Zagreb from a racing fun perspective. We are very pleased to work with The Westin Hotel, which recognizes the growing trend of running as a lifestyle and will provide our participants with an unforgettable experience. The start and finish are in front of the hotel itself, and a ceremony with rich prizes will be held in the Crystal Hall. Says Hafner. By the way, the cooperation between the two partners is just a continuation of the success story that began this year with the race at the Westin Hotel, where runners participated in the race on the stairs of all 17 floors to the top of the Westin Hotel.Research has shown that at Christmas time we can eat three times more than the recommended daily calorie intake, and that most of us gain an additional two to five kilograms in body weight during the holiday period. Intake of fatty and sweet foods, as well as alcohol, is common for many during Advent. In order to successfully counteract these negative health effects of the holiday, it is necessary to raise awareness of the need for moderate physical activity as a counterbalance to increased food and drink intake, and this is exactly what Zagreb Advent Run wants to achieve in a direct and fun way. “Avoid the famous “holiday weight gain”, do something good for your health and thus do good for yourself and others by raising funds for a noble goal and have great fun in the beautiful atmosphere of the best European Advent – this year you can do it all at once by participating in the Zagreb Advent race Run 2017. “Pointed out Hafner from Run Croatia and added that the race will raise money for children suffering from malignant diseases who are being treated at the Children’s Hospital Zagreb.”2010 they told me it was impossible to connect 6 world marathons, so I was the 13th in the world to do so. Last year when Run Croatia proposed the Advent Run downtown I was told it was impossible to completely shut down the green wave for running. This year, Zagreb will have the most beautiful running route through the city center ever, with a closed green wave and which will be a big plus for Zagreb to be declared the best Advent capital for the third time.”Pointed out Berislav Sokač from Run Croatia. This year, too, the Zagreb Tourist Board applied for the defense of the double title of the Best Advent in Europe, and was recently presented this year’s program which begins on Saturday, December 2, and will run, along with New Year’s events, until January 7, 2018.So, whatever others think, Advent in Zagreb is a big hit, and TZGZ took advantage of the opportunity and made good money for the title of the best Christmas destination in Europe. The figures on the growth of arrivals and overnight stays show how relevant it is, and the story of the relevance of the European Best Destinations portal comes to an end. The title of the best Christmas destination is as relevant as we make it, ie in this case TZGZ makes it relevant, and TZGZ succeeded in that and excellently branded the whole story. On the other hand, Zadar, as last year’s best European destination, did not succeed in that plan, primarily because there was a lack of communication and investment in its promotion, while this year it applied for the same title. island of Hvar.The Zagreb Advent race will take place on Sunday, December 10, starting at 10 am. The start and finish of the race are in Isidora Kršnjavog Street in front of The Westin Hotel, and runners can choose between routes of 5 and 10 kilometers, which will run through the very center of Zagreb, in a special Zagreb atmosphere of Advent. More information about the Zagreb Advent Run race can be found here &amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />
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The municipality of Tisno will not increase the lump sum price for renters, and your city or municipality?

The municipality of Tisno will not increase the lump sum price for renters, and your city or municipality?

first_imgAt the 10th Session of the Parliament held on November 21, 2018, the final proposal of the Law on Amendments to the Law on Income Tax was voted.What the new Law brings is that the amount of flat tax for renters is no longer brought by the Ministry of Tourism, but by local self-government units, ie cities and municipalities independently. Also, the Law defines that the lump sum may not be less than HRK 150 or more than HRK 1.500. However, if the city or municipality does not make a decision on the amount of the flat tax within the given deadline, then according to the Act, the lump sum will be 750 kuna per bed.The Mayor of the Municipality of Tisno, Mr. Ivan Klarina informed the public that the Municipality of Tisno will not increase the lump sum price for renters per accommodation unit or bed. Thus, all landlords from the area of ​​the Municipality of Tisno (TZ Betina, TZ Jezera, TZ Tisno) will remain at the level of all these years, and will amount to 150.00 kn.How much will the lump sum in your city or municipality?Ask, fight, join…RELATED NEWS:last_img read more

MINT and CNTB launch project “Vacation weeks worth”

MINT and CNTB launch project “Vacation weeks worth”

first_imgHowever, if “Lex Agrokor” could be implemented, then the “Cro Kartica” project can certainly be launched, of course if there is a desire to implement it. The project is intended for domestic tourists in order to encourage the domestic market to tourist activities in the period before and after the season. Through this action, all citizens of Croatia will have the opportunity to get to know and visit different parts of our country with better prices for many tourist products, from accommodation, transportation, attractions to catering services and various experiences.  All entities related to tourism who are willing to offer more favorable conditions for their tourist products and services for the citizens of Croatia in that week will be invited to the action “A week of vacation worthwhile”, and their offers will be listed on the portal www.tjedanodmoravrijedan.hr , which is not yet active, and is owned by the CNTB. Although he was the Minister of Tourism in April this year, Gari Cappelli said that the “Cro card” project, in which employers would pay workers the amount they could use to pay for accommodation and other tourist services in Croatia, is not dead, but is being worked out. its realization. He also emphasized that the name of the project is not yet known, and that it is planned to start in the fall, which is a continuation of the above-mentioned action. As announced, the employers would pay the workers the amount of HRK 2500 as part of the project, which they would give to their employees as a reward. As is the current legal possibility, to pay 7.500 kuna to workers tax-free, now through this project an additional 2.500 kuna would be added, but exclusively for consumption in Croatia. What about the “Cro card” project? But, in any case, we should praise the action “Weekend worth worth” which with a good promotional campaign could get very good results, especially for continental tourism, if it is proactive and uses the opportunity to position itself as the first choice.center_img The question is whether the long-awaited and announced project “Cro card” will be implemented through the project “A week of rest worthwhile”? The Ministries of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board are launching the “Vacation Week Worthy” project, which aims to focus interest on domestic travel and raise the level of tourism activity in the period outside the summer months. According to unofficial information, the first week of vacation worthwhile would take place this year, from 17 to 27 October. So, the whole story could be connected, but according to unofficial information, as well as the description of the project (50% discount for tourist services), for now the project “Cro card” is still in the status quo. One of the obstacles to the implementation of the “Cro card” project was mentioned by the EU, which does not approve the project due to market protection. We have sent an inquiry to the Ministry of Tourism about the status of the “Cro card” project, and we are waiting for an answer about it. A week worth of vacation would be held twice a year, in October and March, and would enable all citizens of Croatia to visit and get to know various parts of our country at 50 percent lower prices on all tourist offers and services: accommodation, transport, catering, visits to national parks, theaters , adrenaline activities and the like. During July this year, a public presentation of this action will be held, where all the details of this project will be presented. last_img read more

Developers scale down Philippines tidal project

Developers scale down Philippines tidal project

first_imgThe multi-megawatt tidal energy project planned for San Bernardino Strait in the Philippines has been scaled down to 1.5MW to fit the local consumption.The project, being developed by two Philippines-based companies PNOC RC and H&WB Asia Pacific, together with French tidal energy player Sabella, will now feature three tidal turbines with 500kW rated capacity each, Jean-Christophe Allo, Project Manager at Sabella, confirmed.Originally planned as a 5MW tidal energy power plant, the project has been adapted to better suit the local consumption of Capul Island that will be benefiting from the energy produced by tides.The project will also incorporate an onshore storage facility to ensure that tidal turbines provide continuous 24/7 power supply, Allo noted.Jean-Christophe Allo said: “Right now, Capul has only 8 to 16 hours of energy per day, with several blackouts, and with an electrification rate around 60%. Our turbines coupled with onshore storage aim to provide a 24/7 reliable and renewable electricity. When the local consumption increases, we will be able to change the rated power of the turbine to follow it.”Earlier this week, Sabella was on site at Capul Island to identify the landing area and all the grid characteristics to support the engineering for the project.“We are moving forward with the detailed engineering of the tidal turbine plant, and H&WB is running the environmental impacts assessment (EIA) and permitting. We will then look to close the financing in early 2018,” added Allo.To remind, Sabella and H&WB Asia Pacific teamed up in 2015 for the Philippines project.The fully-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), PNOC RC, joined the project early in 2017.last_img read more

Lady Wildcats Volleyball Results

Lady Wildcats Volleyball Results

first_imgThe Franklin County Lady Wildcats were defeated by The Hagerstown Lady Tigers in Varsity Volleyball 25-14, 25-9, 25-20. Tonight’s game showed that this team has the mental ability to keep a positive outlook on the game! We traveled to Hagerstown tonight and came up against a team that were extremely strong hitters. We never slowed down or gave in!! Jalynn Rogers had 6 digs. Meredith Bohman and Megan Getz had 3 digs each. Megan Getz and Kelly Layton were quick tonight. The ball was up but they had to move to get to it. Meredith Bohman had 3 kills. Layne Steele had 2 kills. We are on the road again Thursday heading to conference team Greensburg.The Franklin County Lady Wildcats were winners in their season opener against The Rushville Lady Lions 15-25, 25-15, 26-24, 25-21. What a great start to the season. We traveled to Rushville tonight and were able to beat them 3-1. First game and win of the season. I just want to start with how great my back row players are working together. Jalynn Rogers, my libero, had 6 kills . Megan Getz, Rachel Bischoff, Jenna Orschell and Meredith Bohman added 4 each. Meredith Bohman had 6 kills and Jenna Orschell added 3 kills. Megan gets had 6 assists and Kelly Layton had 3 assist. We are really looking forward to a great season!!!Courtesy of Wildcats Coach Jill Mergenthal.last_img read more