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first_imgA survey conducted by Opinion Dynamics for the New England Energy Alliance found New Englanders favor market-based approaches to limit greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency by a significant margin in comparison to government regulation and mandates. There also seems to be no inclination to roll back electricity industry restructuring as a very significant 78% of survey respondents at least somewhat favor consumer choice and competition for electricity.78% say they favor competition in the electricity industryHistorically, electricity was delivered by regulated electric utility companies that acted like monopolies. They were mandated by state regulators to build and operate generating plants, as well as deliver electricity to homes and businesses. The New England states, however, were among the first in the nation to restructure electricity markets beginning in the late 1990s. In short, most electric utilities were required to sell their generating plants and allow unregulated privately-owned generation companies to compete in a deregulated wholesale marketplace. The utilities, now known as “local distribution companies”, deliver electricity and remain state regulated.A key goal of restructuring was to provide consumers with “choice” — the option to purchase electricity from competitive suppliers. All the New England states, with the exception of Vermont, introduced competition into retail markets.Ten years after restructuring, 78% of New Englanders are at least somewhat in favor of the concept of having consumer choice in the purchase of electricity — with 45% strongly in favor. This support remains unchanged over the past year.The concept of consumer choice is favored fairly equally across political party lines, but especially among independent voters — 81% favor the concept of consumer choice in the purchase of electricity compared to about 77% of Democrats and Republicans. Importantly, there were no major geographical differences of opinion among voters — with at least 74% favoring competition in each state.As is the case with many major public policy initiatives like electricity industry restructuring, once they are in place for just a few years, they become accepted “tradition” — no matter how “radical” they may have seemed at the outset.A number of independent studies (as well as one by the New England Energy Alliance in 2006) have shown that electricity industry restructuring has helped to better protect the environment through increased generating efficiency, and provided consumers with substantial savings compared to pre-restructuring trends.Almost 50% believe the marketplace will provide needed infrastructure without government interventionShortly after New England restructured its electricity industry in 1999, significant progress was made in expanding the region’s electricity infrastructure. An unprecedented 10,000 Megawatts of new generation was added, increasing the region’s electricity supply by 30%. Soon thereafter, construction of new generation slowed because the marketplace lacked appropriate financial incentives to attract long-term investment.As a result, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) charged ISO New England (the region’s independent operator of the electricity grid) with developing a market-based approach to ensuring adequate investment in infrastructure. Prior to restructuring, state government agencies played a key role in mandating an adequate supply of electricity.ISO New England, with industry stakeholder participation, created a competitive market structure — called the Forward Capacity Market (FCM) — that provides economic incentives through an auction process to attract investment in new and existing resources in New England. The region’s first FCM auction was held in February, 2008.Almost half of the survey respondents (47%) believe the competitive marketplace will provide adequate financial incentives to spur investment in new generating plants and infrastructure projects. On the other hand, a little over a third (36%) believe ensuring an adequate electricity supply is too important to be left to market forces alone — and should be the responsibility of government agencies as well.Many also favor market-based approaches to electricity efficiency and emissions reductionNew Englanders were also asked which of the following three approaches would be the best option to decrease the amount of electricity we use:Mandated government programs paid by all consumersMarkets should be allowed to workGovernment standards for appliancesGovernment mandated programs were weakly supported by just 15% of the respondents. The other two choices were even at about 34%. Interestingly, when they are added together, these two choices (which could as a practical matter be easily implemented together) come close to the super majority that favors consumer choice and competition. This suggests that consumers favor government efficiency standards (which have been in place for decades) but want them implemented by the marketplace so that they have choice and competition.In terms of the environment, less that a third favor government mandates to limit greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generating plants through the imposition of taxes and increasingly tougher mandates that a generating plant would have to comply with or face shutdown. Instead, the majority of New Englanders support a market-based approach that uses profit as a motive for companies to invent, improve, or acquire a way to cost-effectively and flexibly reduce their emissions.About New England Energy Alliance, Inc.The New England Energy Alliance is a coalition of energy providers and trade organizations concerned about future energy supplies.The annual telephone survey was conducted by Opinion Dynamics for the New England Energy Alliance in January of 600 registered voters (consumers) proportionately distributed throughout New England. The margin of error is +/- 4%.last_img read more


first_imgVersailles, In. — The Ripley County Community Foundation has awarded a Sally Morris Community Impact Grant.This year these grants are being proactively granted by the Board of Directors to allow the Community Foundation the flexibility and creativity to assist communities in times of need (when the project would fall outside of our normal grant timeline) in a thoughtful and unique way.  Each year the Board of Directors evaluates the work of the Community Foundation and selects areas of interest to target in the upcoming year.  This year, one issue the Board wanted to address was downtown revitalization.To reignite the community pride through collaboration, they recently granted $5,000 to the Versailles Main Street Program for the commission of a mural to be painted on the Lions Club building. “There are many projects taking place all over Ripley County which are aimed at bringing life back to our town squares.  Over the last several years, Versailles Main Street has made strides in making the Versailles town square a center of activity.  They have introduced a weekly farmer’s market, weekly community exercise programs, 5K events, a Christmas Parade and a Taste of Versailles.  Additionally, the Town is moving its Town Hall back onto the town square.” Stated Chris Nichols, RCCF Board Member.  2018 is Versailles’ Bicentennial which will be celebrated on July 28th with an all-day event on the square.  The Board of Directors wants to support Versailles Main Street and the Town of Versailles in its revitalizations efforts and will do so by commissioning a capstone project that will memorialize the Town’s Bicentennial while inspiring new energy.  “One necessity in downtown revitalization is to create a charming space that people want to visit.  It is the hope of the Board of Directors that a piece of community art will draw people to the town square and spark conversation among families, friends and former residents,”  Stated Amy Streator, RCCF Executive Director.The community is invited to assist in the painting of this mural on July 28 at the Versailles Bicentennial Celebration.last_img read more


first_imgThe Northern Territory State Titles will commence Friday, 1 May 2009.Men’s Open, Women’s Open, 18’s Mixed and Senior Mixed divisions will be contested  at Touch Headquarters, Inner Race Track, Darwin Turf Club.To keep an eye on results, visit the NT State Titles website – http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=920&pID=14last_img


first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is calling for nominations for suitably qualified referees to be considered for attending the 2013 X-Blades National Touch League including 2013 Elite Eight Series from Wednesday, 13 March to Saturday, 16 March at BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour New South Wales. The event will comprise of Open and Senior tournaments concurrently over the four days, including the second Elite Eight series which was introduced in 2011. This will create an exciting atmosphere with the best players, referees and referee coaches from across the country in all age divisions and potential international teams also.For more information, please click on the attached document. Related Files2013_x-blades_ntl_referee_nomination_information-pdfRelated LinksNTL Referee Informationlast_img read more


first_imgBETHEL, Alaska — Officials in a western Alaska city have been given the go-ahead to apply for a state public transit grant despite missing the deadline.The Bethel City Council voted Tuesday to apply for the $300,000 grant after residents warned that the city’s bus service would stop in June 2020 if action is not taken, KYUK-AM reported .The grant application was due to the state Department of Transportation on Dec. 17. The grant requires a city match of $80,000.The state grant would fund a new bus, a full-time transit manager, and a part-time and full-time driver.Tundra Women’s Coalition Executive Director Eileen Arnold urged the council to apply, saying the bus system is vital for people who cannot afford a cab or cannot walk long distances in subzero temperatures.“As the executive director of TWC, we are huge users of the bus system, perhaps the largest one,” Arnold said. “It’s really important for the people who are in our shelter.”Bethel resident Susan Charles said she has taken the bus since it started operating in Bethel. Continuing to fund the system makes sense, she said.“We need to get to work, and go home for lunch, and whatever we need to do — go shopping, go to the post office — and the bus system provides that for us here in Bethel,” Charles said.___Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.orgThe Associated Presslast_img read more


first_imgDawson Creek RCMP officers were already in the area on unrelated matters and arrived on scene shortly after the incident. The man was located in the Canadian Tire parking lot and apprehended. DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Dawson Creek RCMP responded to a report of a man allegedly shoplifting and threatening staff at the local Walmart with a knife.On Sunday, May 20, a staff member at Walmart reported that while attempting to retrieve what was believed to be stolen merchandise from a man walking out of Walmart, he was threatened as the man brandished a large knife at him saying he was going to kill him. A search of the man located a large kitchen knife, a machete, a small amount of a substance believed to be methamphetamine and some stolen merchandise.The man is currently in police custody, and at this point’s there’s no word on whether charges will be laid.Photos of the knives found on the suspect – D.C. RCMPlast_img read more


first_imgLucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Sunday asked the Congress where were the well-wishers of farmers during 2012-17 when they faced starvation. The chief minister posed the query shortly after Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launched a blistering attack on the UP government over alleged unpaid dues to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore to sugarcane farmers. “When our government was formed, the pending cane dues were around Rs 57,800 crore. The amount was bigger than the budgets of many states. But we paid it,” asserted Adityanath. “In the previous regimes of the SP and BSP, nothing was done for the sugarcane farmers, (and) as a result, they died of starvation (bhukhmari),” he added. Earlier during the day, Priyanka Gandhi had attacked the state government over the alleged unpaid dues of sugarcane farmers, claiming in a tweet that ‘chowkidars’ (watchmen) were only working for the rich, not for the poor. The UP chief minister struck back and asked, “Where were the so-called well-wishers of the farmers from 2012 to 2017, when the farmers were on the brink of starvation. Why have they woken up from their slumber now?” Seeking to put the records straight, he said, “The sugarcane cultivation area in the state has increased by 22 per cent to 28 lakh hectare, and a number of closed sugar mills have been restarted. The farmers are happy (khushaal) now.” Sharing a media report on Twitter, Priyanka Gandhi had claimed that dues of sugarcane farmers had crossed Rs 10,000 crore in the state. “The families of sugarcane farmers toil day and night but the Uttar Pradesh government does not even take the responsibility of paying their dues,” she had said. “Rs 10,000 crore of farmers’ dues means everything, including their children’s education, food, health, and the next produce comes to a standstill. These chowkidars only work for the rich and do not care about the poor,” she had claimed. Priyanka Gandhi was recently appointed the Congress general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh.last_img read more


first_imgNew Delhi: Private power producer Tata Power will lead the nation’s renewable energy transition with gradual withdrawal from building new coal fired power plants, a report said. The country’s largest private integrated power company has recently made it clear that it will cease to build new coal-fired power capacity, according to ‘Tata Power: Renewables to Power Growth’ report released by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) Tuesday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe report highlights the company’s long-term strategy that will see renewable energy dominate its power capacity build-out going forward. Tata Power’s focus on renewables makes sense given the major energy transformation now occurring, report author Simon Nicholas, Energy Finance Analyst at IEEFA, said in a statement. The company’s Strategic Intent 2025′ plan calls for up to 70 per cent of new capacity additions to come from solar, wind and hydro through to 2025, said Nicholas. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThis represents a significant departure from the accepted wisdom of just a few years ago that a major expansion of coal-fired power would be required to serve India’s growing electricity demand, Nicholas. According to the report, the majority of Tata Power’s thermal capacity is now centred on its Mundra coal-fired power plant – one of the biggest power plants in India – which experienced losses reaching $191 million for the first three-quarters of FY2018-19. The Mundra plant is making consistent, significant losses that are dragging back the company’s overall financial performance, said Nicholas. While a bailout of the plant is being planned, which will increase the tariff burden on consumers and realise a debt write-down for bank lenders, Tata Power has stated it will only halve the losses at Mundra,” said Nicholas Nicholas further said, “Tata Power’s experience at Mundra has helped convince the company to turn away from new coal-fired power. Tim Buckley, IEEFA’s Director of Energy Finance Studies noted that Tata Power’s shift mirrors the transition underway within the Indian power sector as a whole, driven by least cost renewable energy. The shift away from new coal-fired power is moving faster than anyone had predicted, said Buckley. With more than 40 gigawatts of existing coal-fired power plants under financial stress in India, Tata Power is seeking to only add new coal-fired power capacity via fire-sale acquisition, at 30 to 40 per cent of historical investment. It no longer plans to build new coal-fired power plants, the report said.last_img read more


first_imgNew Delhi: State-run Air India seems to be finally getting its preferential rights in allocation of traffic rights over foreign routes after losing it to private carriers in the previous UPA government. The government has decided to allot it about 5,700 weekly seats out of grounded Jet Airways’ unused quota on the lucrative India-Dubai route. The public sector airline has also been promised over 5,000 seats on India-Qatar route besides about 4,600 additional seats to and from London following the re-allocation of grounded Jet’s unused international traffic rights. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraA Civil Aviation Ministry told IANS that Air India will get preference in allocation of bilateral seat entitlements. “The allocation would be for the ongoing summer schedule and considered temporary given that efforts are on to revive Jet Airways,” said a reliable source. Amid faint possibility of grounded Jet Airway’s revival anytime soon, the ministry had on May 3 held a meeting with local carriers to discuss re-allocation of the airline’s foreign traffic rights. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysPrivate carriers SpiceJet, IndiGo, GoAir, Vistara and Air India had pitched for bigger share of the pie in the last meeting. While IndiGo co-founder Rahul Bhatia had suggested for allocating foreign traffic rights in proportion to various airlines’ fleet capacity, Vistara argued that smaller airlines be given bigger share. Jet Airways had last month withdrawn operations due to severe fund crunch and remain grounded in absence of a viable revival plan. While re-allocation of traffic rights would ensure additional capacity on various popular foreign routes thus reducing fare level, it will significantly affect the valuation of Jet Airways. Investors are already miffed over the government’s move to re-allocate its slots at various domestic airports.last_img read more


The Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams are a fascinating exercise in modern NFL team-building. While their opponents in Atlanta, the dynastic New England Patriots, seldom break the bank for anybody other than quarterback Tom Brady — who has been under center for a record nine Super Bowls with the Pats — the Rams spent aggressively after the end of last season. They opened the pocketbook for homegrown stars such as Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, who each signed massive extensions, and also made a handful of outside pickups, including Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Dante Fowler Jr.All told, the spree left L.A. with 34 percent of its 2018 salary-cap dollars committed to returning veteran players on fresh extensions (tops among playoff teams) and an additional 22 percent of the cap spent on incoming veterans (third only to the Bears and Texans among playoff teams), according to data from ESPN’s Stats & Information Group. The result was a star-studded roster that many called the dreaded D-word — “dream team” — a label that has come to symbolize a roster concept that doesn’t always work in the NFL. But unlike previous dream-team iterations, the Rams have made it work, primarily by relying less on the newcomers and more on the talent they’ve developed. And that might provide a blueprint for future champions, if not exactly future dynasties. The dream-team paradigm has gone through several permutations over the years. In the era before the salary cap, star-powered rosters could stay together for many consecutive seasons, resulting in monstrous talent collections such as the Steel Curtain-era Pittsburgh Steelers (who had an absurd nine Hall of Famers on their roster in 1978) and even more recent teams such as Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys. But the advent of free agency in 1993 — and the subsequent addition of the salary cap — made such dream teams more difficult to keep together, whether by pre-emptively forcing teams to let useful players go or penalizing for years teams that tried to skirt the cap by pushing player paydays into the future.More recent dream team attempts have been the subject of ridicule, such as when the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles signed a group of veteran free agents that included Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin and — of course — Vince Young. When Young was asked to describe Philly’s new squad, he infamously responded with a smile and two words: “dream team.” In the end, the Eagles went a disappointing 8-8, writing a cautionary tale for future free-agent spending sprees.But around the same time, the NFL’s current preferred team-building strategy began to come into focus as young, cheap (at the time) quarterbacks such as Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Seattle’s Russell Wilson won Super Bowls. With a change to the league’s collective bargaining agreement significantly lowering the price tags on incoming rookie QBs, teams realized that they could use the draft to acquire the most important asset in football — a star quarterback — for a relatively low price and then trick out the rest of their roster with the savings. The dream team concept was reborn.Take the 2017 champion Eagles, who spent a combined 4.5 percent of the cap on signal-callers Carson Wentz and Nick Foles — the former of whom vied for league MVP honors before a knee injury ended his season and the latter of whom was the Super Bowl MVP. That Philly team was laden with non-QB talent, and many of its members were productive veterans (Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, etc.) who had been plucked from other teams.This season’s Rams have taken a version of that same formula and run with it even further. They got 40 total points of Approximate Value1Pro-Football-Reference.com’s single-number measure of player value. out of veteran newcomers, which would rank 10th among Super Bowl winners, and that was with Talib, Peters, Suh and Fowler all having relative down seasons.That last part makes the Rams a bit different from other successful dream teams of the past. The 1994 49ers, for instance, were jam-packed with talented veteran newcomers — including Rickey Jackson, Ken Norton Jr. and Bart Oates, each of whom posted double-digit AV the previous season. The crown jewel, of course, was Deion Sanders, who arrived from Atlanta in free agency. They were all meaningful contributors to the Niners’ Super Bowl win that season, most notably Sanders, who won defensive player of the year honors. Similarly, the 1999 St. Louis Rams picked up Marshall Faulk from the Indianapolis Colts, along with many other newcomers, and went on to win the Super Bowl thanks to Faulk’s NFL offensive player of the year season.2An MVP turn from QB Kurt Warner didn’t hurt, either.The 2018 Rams don’t have anyone with the instant impact of a Sanders or Faulk. But one thing that makes them intriguing is how they’ve supplemented the dream-teamers they do have with younger, cheaper talent. The average age (weighted by AV) for the 10 Super Bowl champs most laden with new veteran talent3Ages are as of Dec. 31 for each season. I used a quick-and-dirty calculation that multiplies together AV from the current and previous seasons for incoming veteran players, to capture both established production and current-season value. was 27.6 years old; for L.A. this season, that number is 26.8. The Rams’ four best players by AV — Gurley, Donald, Jared Goff and Robert Woods — are all 27 or younger, and none of them were among the newcomers L.A. brought in this season. (And only Donald and Gurley were playing on contracts guaranteeing more than $30 million.) Whereas yesterday’s dream teams rose or fell more on the performances of their incoming stars, the new formula for general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay has been to use them as supplemental pieces to help support a young core.Not that the current Rams have nothing in common with their dream-team precursors, mind you. Even though teams have gotten much savvier about using contractual tricks to free up cap space and avoid the kind of “salary-cap hell” that, say, the 49ers found themselves in during the late 1990s, the Rams’ aggressive roster moves have still ratcheted up the pressure to win in a relatively short window of time. While most of the Rams’ key starters are still locked up in 2019 as well (with the exceptions of Suh, Cory Littleton and Rodger Saffold), they will begin facing tough salary constraints in the offseason before 2020 — when most of the current secondary and offensive line hits free agency — and particularly before 2021, when Goff will need to sign an extension. Compounding things, L.A. also traded away its second- and third-round draft picks this spring to snag Peters and Fowler.4On top of downgrading from the fourth round to the sixth in 2018 and losing a 2020 fifth-rounder. Even a smartly managed win-now strategy has an expiration date.But then again, so does every team-building tactic in the NFL — unless we’re talking about the Patriots. The Rams are exactly where they knew they’d need to be to justify their all-in roster strategy. They have the young stars and the veteran talent, plus the right coach to steer things in McVay. All that’s left is one more win to prove that dream teams are a viable way to build an NFL champion after all. read more