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first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Politico:One of the Trump administration’s major efforts to prop up ailing coal companies has run aground in the White House, a setback to an industry that had hoped for a major resurgence after Donald Trump won the presidency.Energy Secretary Rick Perry has spent more than a year pushing various plans that would invoke national security to force power companies to keep their economically struggling coal plants running — a goal in line with Trump’s frequent pledges to revive what he calls “beautiful, clean coal.”But the White House has shelved the plan amid opposition from the president’s own advisers on the National Security Council and National Economic Council, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions.It is unclear whether Trump himself has decided against following Perry’s proposal. Even if he has, the sources warned that Trump frequently changes his mind, and the idea could re-emerge in advance of the president’s reelection campaign.Perry’s proposals — which would also keep aging nuclear power plants operating — have riled up the oil and gas industry, which has prospered as inexpensive natural gas has increasingly eaten away at coal’s share of U.S. power markets. Other critics include consumer groups worried about rising power bills for customers, environmental organizations concerned about the threat to wind and solar power, and conservative policy organizations that oppose what they see as heavy-handed federal intervention in the economy.Industry lawyers and agency staffers say DOE leadership remains united behind a plan to keep the coal plants running, which would also help the coal-mining companies that provide fuel to the plants. But the agency has struggled to provide the White House with details on which plants would get funding and who would pay, the sources said. Without a legally justifiable methodology, White House advisers have cooled to the idea of a major intervention in power markets.More: Rick Perry’s coal rescue runs aground at White House Internal opposition puts coal bailout on holdlast_img read more


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Platts:Bridge financing fell through that was essential to keeping LNG Ltd. operating long enough to close an agreement to be taken over by a Singaporean investor, amid a further deterioration in market conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian company said.The development raised the potential for liquidation, which would imperil the company’s proposed Magnolia LNG export project in Louisiana.When the $75 million takeover offer from an energy investor with ties to floating regasification facilities in Asia and Europe was announced Feb. 28, LNG Ltd. said the deal was critical to saving Magnolia LNG. The alternative was the risk of liquidation or administration, which is akin to bankruptcy in Australia, the company said at the time. Insolvency would trigger contract clauses that could allow counterparties to terminate the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contract and its site port lease.Since then, LNG market turmoil has only increased due to the coronavirus. The market value of LNG Ltd. shares has plummeted to less than half the offer price, to $34 million. LNG Ltd. said it continues to believe the takeover offer is its best shot at preserving the company and its main project. The deal is not guaranteed to be successful, however. The terms said there could be “no material adverse change occurring in respect of” LNG Ltd. prior to closing.Magnolia LNG already has a permit certificate from U.S. regulators and a fully wrapped engineering and construction contract. What it does not have are any firm offtake deals. Last fall, the company announced a preliminary deal for 2 million tonnes per annum of supply tied to a proposed Vietnamese power project, but that transaction still must be finalized. In its announcement of the takeover offer, the company could not say for certain that additional offtake commitments would be secured.Besides Magnolia LNG, LNG Ltd. also has proposed an export terminal in Eastern Canada called Bear Head LNG. The company had previously said it continues to market capacity there, primarily to major Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin gas producers.[Harry Weber]More: Financing to keep afloat export developer LNG Ltd. falls through Australian LNG company’s planned Magnolia export terminal in Louisiana in jeopardylast_img read more


first_imgIllustration by Scott DuBarPerched amid the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge in the South Carolina upstate and steeped in a tradition of Southern hospitality, Greenville is quietly emerging as the region’s next great mountain city. With less hype than nearby neighbor Asheville, yet set among a similar and in some ways more accessible landscape, Greenville has become a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.One of them is Jay Ferguson of Half Moon Outfitters, who likes living in Greenville because of the vast variety of recreation in his backyard. With endless trail options in the network of surrounding state parks, epic cycling routes on the upcountry back roads, and paddling near downtown on the Reedy River, there’s not much you can’t do in South Carolina’s second largest city. “It’s all here,” says Ferguson. “If you enjoy biking, hiking, and paddling, you can get a taste of world-class options in Greenville.”Outdoor PicksTake a HikeTwenty-five miles north of Greenville, Jones Gap State Park and Caesars Head State Park combine to form the pristine 11,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. Bring your fly rod as you walk the Jones Gap Recreational Trail, which follows the Middle Saluda River and go trolling for trout, or take your time and do an overnight on the Ravencliff Falls Trail loop.Renewing the ReedyOnce plagued by industrial pollution, the revitalized Reedy River, which runs right through downtown, has become a popular spot for local paddlers in recent years. A favorite for an after-work dip is the three-mile, class II-III stretch between Log Shoals Road and West Georgia Road. After heavy rain, you’ll catch brave boaters running the massive class IV-V Reedy River Falls at Falls Park downtown.Ride like the ProsHome of the USA Cycling Pro Championship bike race, a high-profile qualifier for many Tour de France hopefuls, Greenville has a lot of choice routes for road riders. The hearty climb to the top of Paris Mountain is where local resident and Tour de France stalwart George Hincapie trains for his big upcoming races.Downhill ActionJust outside the city limits, Paris Mountain State Park offers some of the best downhill mountain biking trails in the southeast. Try the bomber runs down the Kanuga or Firetower Trails, and if you’re in a competitive mood head to the park on November 13 for the South Carolina Gravity Championships.last_img read more


first_imgDear Mountain Mama,What do I buy the outdoorsy people on my Christmas list? My brother-in-law has six boats, five bikes, four pairs of skis, three backpacks, two tents, and one oar raft. I don’t want to show up empty handed, but the guy has everything.Thanks,Santa’s Elf———————————————————–Dear Santa’s Elf,This holiday season, consider the gift of giving and making a donation toward a worthy cause on behalf of that special outdoorsy person in your life. The options of worthy non-profits are endless, but here four worthy causes that work to preserve our natural playgrounds.1. American Whitewater advocates for the preservation and protection of whitewater rivers throughout the U.S. To donate, go to https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Membership/donate/.2. Appalachian Trail Conservancy maintains the iconic U.S. trail for generations to come and the accept donations on their website at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/.3. Chesapeake Bay Foundation works to save the bay through education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration programs. The CBF website accepts donation; http://www.cbf.org/.4. Appalachian Voices promotes work to protect the land, air, and water of central and southern Appalachia. Appalachian Voices also accepts donations at their website http://appvoices.org/.The Christmas spirit goes deeper than hot toddies and brightly wrapped packages. Instead of buying into all the commercial hype, celebrate your ability to make the world a better place.Cheers!Mountain Mamalast_img read more


first_imgOur favorite outdoor videos from around the internet for the week that was:1. Road Bike Party 2From the man that brought you Road Bike Party, comes Road Bike Party 2! What this guy can do on a bike is pretty nutso.2. First LightFrom the extreme filmmakers that brought you Silence, 35, and Move comes First Light, exploring the very edge of what can be called climbing.3. Jackson and NOC Crew at Rock IslandShort little vid of some ballers ballin’ at Rock Island. Winter paddling looks…cold.4. Days of My Youth TrailerThis looks like a fairly epic ski movie. Not sure exactly what they are going for, but it works.5. History of FreeskiingSpeaking of epic ski movies, here is episode 1 of The North Face Rise video series (the whole series is great, check it out here) on the history of Freeskiing. It’s a bit hokey, which I actually like, but there is also a shout out to the legend Doug Coombs, and others the young guns have probably never heard of. Consider this a history lesson in extremeness.last_img read more


first_imgYou’ve got to check out this awesome kayaking video from the Smith Optics: Great Days series. Todd and Brendan Wells take on some plunging waterfalls and snowmelt fed rapids that have to be seen to be believed.GREAT DAYS 10: Kayaking in the Pacific Northwest from smith optics on Vimeo.last_img


first_img“Think it’s supposed to rain tomorrow,” I say. “40 degrees and wet.”I’m sitting at a table of Tucker County residents at the White Grass Cafe talking about the weather, a common subject especially here in the Valley and especially as of late — the lack of snow this winter has everyone a little more than restless. To be quite honest, I don’t really know if it’s supposed to rain tomorrow or not. Earlier in the day, as I was sitting at the Cafe sipping on a bowl of kale and barley soup, I overheard a guy tell his friend about pending rain, a forecast he received from someone else who was apparently well versed in the weather patterns of the Valley. Eavesdropping. Because that’s how I usually get my weather.A guy they call Chaga shakes his head at me from across the table, smiling as if he knows something I don’t.“It’s gonna snow a couple inches,” he says. “Amateur.”Sure as shit, the next day, it snowed._MG_4018That wasn’t the first (and surely won’t be the last) time I’ve felt like an amateur in the week I’ve been in Tucker County. A few days ago, I hiked up to Bald Knob with a friend to watch the sunset. A snowstorm had been blowing off and on throughout the day, but I felt certain the clouds would part in a magical display of stormy brilliance. When I arrived at the bald’s windswept plain, sure enough, the clouds had turned an iridescent blue and streaks of sunlight broke through in ethereal shafts, lighting up the valley below. To the north, dark clouds swept their way across the mountains, leaving a blanket of white powder in their wake.Later, I showed Chip the photograph I’d snapped atop the bald of the setting sun and the oncoming storm._MG_4052“It was so cool,” I told him, feeling proud that I could somewhat orient myself in the photograph. “We watched the storm blow over Davis…”“That’s not Davis. Davis is over here,” he said, pointing to some indistinguishable point off the frame of my camera. “But that’s okay, you were close.” He patted me gently on the back and walked away.Deflated, and feeling much like an amateur, I turned off the camera and packed it away. In total, I’ve only spent about three weeks in the Valley during the two years I’ve worked for the magazine. Many of the folks that call this place home have lived in these mountains for much longer that, at least a few decades if not their whole lives. It was absurd for me to think that I would ever be able to hold a conversation about the weather, skiing, anything Tucker County-related, with a resident and not make a fool of myself.Still, I try anyway. I absorb every bit of natural history and piece of trivia (that I pick up through eavesdropping) like a dry sponge. I always accept offers of nature walks with Chipper, never shy away from big ski trips despite being unable to stop or turn, and find total content in sitting quietly during Wednesday night dinners at Hellbender Burritos listening to the locals banter on about everything from weather to wildlife refuge regulations. I try, despite knowing that I really know nothing, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from the good people in Tucker County it’s this — it’s never too late._MG_4235 _MG_4148 _MG_4208 _MG_4183 _MG_4158 _MG_4113_MG_4036_MG_4286Though I’m sure that lesson in particular has been handed to me a number of times in a variety of packages, it didn’t really hit home until the ribbon cutting ceremony held yesterday at Blackwater Falls State Park for their new sledding hill and magic carpet operation. In celebration of the grand opening, everyone in attendance grabbed an orange plastic sled and hit the slopes. A heavy, wet snow fell gently on the run. Eyelashes and jackets were speckled with big white flakes. Local kids in brightly colored parkas, State Park officials in green and brown uniforms, people of every age and walk of life stood atop the sled hill breathing in the cold mountain air, sleds in hand, beaming.The snow creaked underneath as I situated myself in the sled. I wondered when I’d last done this. It had to have been over a decade ago, well back to my childhood days of building snow forts with my brother and rolling snowballs into snow barrels down our driveway.We pushed off and immediately, my sled drifted from the hill into the trees lining the run. I didn’t care. Grown men flew past me, neck-to-neck with ecstatic children. My lips cracked from the cold and perma-grin. I laughed hysterically as I slid to the bottom.“I can’t remember the last time I did that!” I said, high-fiving my friends at the bottom.“It’s been forty years for me,” said Dave, a local mechanic and snow groomer for the state park and ski areas. His eyes smiled beneath the rim of his hat, his cheeks rosy from the wind. “But hey, it’s never too late.”We sauntered into the cross-country ski center for some hot chocolate and cake. As I stood in the room among the various press reporters, state park officials, tourism directors, and ski area operators, I did what I do best — I eavesdropped. Among the small talk and media interviews and hearty bouts of laughter, I overheard Chip and his son Adam talking to some of the state park employees, many of whom Adam had grown up with. The subject was cross-country skiing, and though the state park workers had chosen fishing and four-wheeling and other such hobbies during their childhood, they now expressed interest in grabbing a pair of skis and heading to the hills.“I really want to get the kids dialed in,” one of them said. “They’d love it.”I paused mid-sip, suddenly realizing how special it was to have so many personalities in one room together — hunters, granola skiers, transplant city slickers, farmers, and media personnel. Perhaps in any other place and time in this world, we might retreat to our separate cliques and cordon off the mingling. But here, in this cozy one-room nordic center, we all were one, basking in the innocent fun we’d shared on the sledding hill just moments earlier.That’s when I knew why I felt such a strong urge to fit in here in this little West Virginia community, so much so that I’d made a point of embarrassing myself to do so. The mountains are great, yes, and the skiing, the mountain biking, the adventuring — heck, there’s more of that than you could ever hope to experience in two lifetimes even. But the people here have an air about them that speaks to their attitude toward life.Many of them may be the most talented rippers I’ll ever meet in this world, the fastest skiers, most technical riders and all-around mountain badasses, but their humble nature reflects the respect they have for the natural world and the lives they lead. They value new experiences and challenge. They honor the adventurous spirit within, no matter the level in which it comes. They welcome you with open arms, entertain your ignorance, satisfy your curiosity, and leave you inspired to embrace the notion that it’s never too late to embark on new chapters, learn different skills, and develop lifelong passions.last_img read more


first_imgPaddler Jessica Wiegandt from the BRO Athlete Team sheds some light on the warrior women of whitewater in this promo for her upcoming film “Like a Girl”. Come check out the final product at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., on April 24!last_img


first_imgI’m standing in a jungle a couple of hours outside of Bogota, Columbia praying for rain. Our guide, an older man who speaks exactly seven words of English, seems pretty confident I’ll get what I’m hoping for. He’s wearing big rain boots and a plastic, yellow poncho. Apparently, where we’re hiking, rain is pretty much guaranteed, which is exactly why we’re here.Columbia Sportswear (the company) sent several gear writers to Colombia (the country) to test their brand new Spring 2016 line of technical wear, which includes a groundbreaking waterproof/breathable technology called OutDry Extreme. So, yeah, we’re all hoping for rain, and that’s exactly what we get as we hike a muddy, black piece of singletrack into the jungle, the rain coming down in thick, heavy drops.picture 2When I say “jungle,” I mean jungle. You know that scene from Romancing the Stone, when Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are hacking their way through a thick, lush forest with a machete while the rain soaks them to the core? Picture that, but put it at 11,000 feet above sea level, and you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about. The forest floor is covered with dense, bright green moss and ferns, which creeps up the skinny trunks of the trees. Moss hangs from branches. Vines connect one piece of canopy to the next. Everything I touch is wet and soft, like a sponge. Occasionally, there’s a well-placed board bridging a creek, but mostly, we’re slogging through black mud, and climbing big roots up steep slopes like ladders. The rain is constant. Locals call this area the Water Machine. The reservoirs that supply Bogota with drinking water are filled from these high slopes.If you’re gonna test raingear, these are the kind of conditions you want.picture 3Columbia is positioning their new OutDry Extreme tech as a paradigm shift in the world of raingear, which has been dominated by Gore-Tex for the last 30 years or so. People started going out into the rain on purpose when some dude in Scotland invented the rubber rain jacket in the 1800s. It kept the rain out, but it kept your body heat in. Ever worn a rubber suit while hiking? Rubber doesn’t breath. It gets swampy on the inside of that rubber jacket. More than a century later, Gore-Tex was invented, directly addressing the breathability issue. Gore-Tex is a membrane that keeps water out, while letting heat and sweat escape. It’s a pretty good system that quickly became the industry standard. Gore-Tex is great, but the membrane itself is fragile, so you have to sandwich it with two layers of textiles—an inner layer that’s soft to the skin and protects the Gore-Tex membrane from your body, and an outer layer to protect the Gore-Tex from the world. That’s the way rain jackets have been made for decades. Even new advancements in rain tech, like eVent, have adopted the three-layer system.Columbia’s new OutDry Extreme is the first two-layer system, employing a wicking fabric on the inside and a super-durable waterproof membrane on the outside. There are a few reasons why this is actually important for you and me. First, the problem with a three-layer system is that the rain proofing wears out. It takes a while, maybe a couple of years, but eventually, that jacket doesn’t keep the rain out anymore. It’s called “wet-out,” and it sucks. That’s why if you have a favorite rain jacket, you’ll probably end up re-applying a waterproof spray at some point, which will seriously inhibit the breathability of that jacket. Traditional rain gear is fragile, too. If you scratch the surface of that three-layer jacket, that point of contact is compromised, and water can seep through (try it at home if you don’t believe me). Also, three-layer waterproof jackets are usually pretty stiff.OutDry Extreme Comparison GraphicColumbia promises that OutDry Extreme tackles these limitations head on, and you can tell the jacket is different just by looking at it. The new jackets look a bit like the rubber jackets invented in Scotland a couple hundred years ago; they’re shiny and slick and honestly, don’t look terribly breathable. The jackets definitely look waterproof, but in a swampy, “that’s gonna give me heatstroke” sort of way.After testing the jackets for a week in Colombia in a variety of different situations, I can confidently say the similarities with rubber stop at the slick exterior. Yes, this jacket is waterproof, but it’s also supremely breathable. The inner layer is soft to the skin and wicks well (I wore it over short sleeves once and was perfectly comfortable), and the outer layer seems to move that moisture out at least as well as Gore-Tex if not better. I did my best to beat this jacket up, but never “bruised” the waterproof membrane. Columbia says it will stay waterproof for the life of the garment—up to 70 washes.But here’s the best part of the new OutDry Extreme jackets—they’re stretchy as hell. Like, balloon art kind of stretchy. This stretch gives you more mobility while you’re hiking or riding bikes, and allows Columbia to give their jackets a more athletic cut. It’s easily the most comfortable rain jacket I’ve ever worn. Ditto the rain pants, which offer enough stretch and mobility to be considered cycling pants. They also have zippers all the up the side of the legs so you can put them on without having to take your muddy boots off.Columbia is making three different levels of OutDry Extreme jackets—Gold, Platinum and Diamond, running from $150 to $400 in that order. The waterproof/breathability is the same in all three levels, but you’ll get more stretchiness and a couple of cool bells and whistles if you go with the higher end Diamond jacket.I tested the Platinum jacket and the Diamond jacket in Colombia, both of which kept me dry. I stripped my rain gear after that long, wet hike in the jungle and was completely dry except for my feet and ankles, and that’s because we had to cross a river twice. There wasn’t even that clammy, swampy feeling on the inside of the jacket or pants, which means they moved moisture away from my body while keeping the rain out. And I appreciated the added stretch of the Diamond, not just while hiking, but while sitting on the bus and riding bikes in the rain too. Stretchy is better—ask any yoga instructor.The implications of this new waterproof/breathable breakthrough are pretty exciting. Eventually, by eliminating the third layer, Colombia could create a line of super light weight rain gear (this first line comes in at typical rain jacket weights). They could also apply it to their winter line, offering really breathable and stretchy ski pants and jackets. I’d be into that. Maybe even a line of waterproof backpacks in the future. The sky’s the limit.Keep an eye out for Columbia’s OutDry Extreme raingear to hit the market in time for next spring’s rain showers. I have a lot of rain jackets in my gear closet, but I can’t see myself reaching for anything but Columbia’s OutDry Extreme the next time it rains. If it can handle the jungles of Colombia, I’m pretty sure it can keep me dry during the ubiquitous afternoon thunderstorms in the Southern Appalachians.Men's OutDry EX Diamond Shelllast_img read more


first_img41 years after our founding fathers penned their signatures on a piece of paper, forever sealing our independence, a new mode of transportation entered the world that would change the way humans move: the bicycle.That’s right. The bike is celebrating its 200th birthday this year. From boneshaker to Penny Farthing, cruiser to Stumpjumper, the bike has come a long way in 200 years. To commemorate, I’ll be spending most of my Fourth of July riding one along the gravel roads near our office in Charlottesville, Va.With its tubeless 29inch tires, carbon fork, and hydraulic disc brakes, my Salsa Fargo is a far cry from the dinosaur-age bikes of yesteryear, but at its core, my bike today provides the same possibility that the 1817 velocipede hinted at all those years ago: discovery. Anyone who has ever ridden a bike, no matter the distance, knows that intoxicating sense of freedom that comes by traveling from point A to point B via human-powered movement.Ernest Hemingway was ahead of his time. He understood the beauty of a bike long before the rest of us. “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them,” he said. As of late, learning the intimacy of the land, conquering the challenge of the terrain, has been all I live for.Summit of Spruce Knob, West Virginia’s highest point. / Photo by Travis Olson MountainRides, LLCAll spring, I’ve been hammering out long hours on the bike in preparation for a race that celebrates that sense of freedom and discovery, the Gravel Race Up Spruce Knob (GRUSK). For those of you who are not familiar with the race or Spruce Knob, West Virginia’s highest point, now’s the time to change that.The summit itself offers one of the few above-the-treeline views in the Southeast. At 4,862 feet, the climate is unpredictable, capricious, and remarkably similar to that of higher elevation alpine environments. GRUSK embodies all of Spruce Knob’s attributes, for better or for worse.The untraditional adventure race takes place this weekend, July 8th, at the Spruce Knob Mountain Center, about an hour from the nearest anything. I’ll be riding the 52-mile classic course, but with non-competitive 24- and 32-mile routes, plus an epic 72-miler, anybody with a sense of adventure and a hefty dose of grit can ride.There’s nothing easy about this race, and I suppose that’s precisely what intrigues me. The setting itself is extremely remote, falling in the technology-free shadow of Green Bank. The 72-mile course gains 8,432 feet in elevation. The 52-miler ascends 5,286 feet. But all of that suffering is not without reward: the endless car-less gravel roads, the sweeping mountain views and open meadows, the camaraderie of West Virginia’s biking community. It’s a race that celebrates life, liberty, and the pursuit of gravel. What more could you want in an event?Join us on the mountain! Online registration ends July 6th at 10pm EST, but you can still show up on the day of and register. If you’re not ready to take on the challenging terrain by bike, bring a cowbell and cheer us on!last_img read more