Environmental groups plan legal action after US methane regulations rollback

first_imgAt President Trump’s request, the US Environmental Protection Agency has significantly relaxed methane regulations for oil and gas companies The rollbacks have prompted a strong reaction from environmental groups -and even the oil industry itself (Credit: whitehouse.gov/D. Myles Cullen) Environmental groups are planning legal action against the Trump administration following a decision to roll back regulations on methane emissions in the US.The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed yesterday (13 August) that oil and gas companies will no longer have to detect and repair methane leaks at their facilities – formailising a proposal first suggested last year.It marks the repeal of the last remaining major Obama-era climate regulation – the 2016 Oil and Natural Gas New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) – and is expected to provide a financial boost to the nation’s fossil fuel companies that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a US-based climate advocacy group, said the move by Trump’s administration is “fundamentally flawed” and will eliminate “sensible methane standards” imposed by Obama’s EPA.“Like so many other administration rollbacks that have already been rejected by the courts, this one ignores the science, the public health impacts and the low-cost solutions we have at hand,” he added.“These sensible pollution controls have been working to protect Americans since 2016. Investors, states, community groups and even leading oil and gas producers have all called on the EPA to retain and strengthen methane safeguards.“The administration has no scientific or public health basis for taking this action, and EDF will forcefully oppose it in court.”It is not the only group planning legal action. The US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) also intends to appeal to the courts, claiming “three-quarters of Americans in key states strongly support updating and strengthening limits on methane pollution”. What do the EPA rules set out?The new regulations effectively release oil and gas companies from the need to monitor and control methane emissions at production and processing facilities, with the EPA saying existing limits on ozone-forming volatile organic compounds (VOCs) provide sufficient cover.“The separate regulation of methane imposed by the 2016 rule was both improper and redundant,” it said in statement.Meanwhile, oil and gas transmission and storage operators have also been freed from methane-specific controls, as well as being exempted from the wider VOC regulation.The EPA also made several “commonsense” changes it says will benefit smaller oil and gas operators in the country, including an exemption from having to install methane-monitoring equipment and allowing a more flexible timetable for making leak repairs “to respect the realities of the oil and gas industry”. Impact of relaxing US methane regulationsThe latest round of industrial deregulation in the US follows President Trump’s executive order to review and, if appropriate, revise Obama’s NSPS to ensure it “did not burden the development or use of domestically-produced oil and natural gas”.It comes despite research from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stating that methane, the largest component of natural gas, is about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth’s atmosphere, on a 100-year timescale.Speaking at the Energy Innovation Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said his organisation has been “working hard to fulfil President Trump’s promise to cut burdensome and ineffective regulations” for the US’ domestic energy industry.“Regulatory burdens put into place by the Obama-Biden administration fell heavily on small and medium-sized energy businesses,” he added.“Today’s regulatory changes remove redundant paperwork, align with the Clean Air Act, and allow companies the flexibility to satisfy leak-control requirements by complying with equivalent state rules.”The new regulations are expected to provide a boost to the nation’s fossil fuel companies that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic (Credit: Pixabay/Anita Starzycka)The EPA claims the new rules will “reduce regulatory burdens” for oil and natural gas firms while “protecting human health and the environment”.It added that the changes will yield net benefits of between $750m and $850m from 2021 to 2030 – equivalent to about $100m a year.But last year, the agency admitted that the alterations could lead to an extra 370,000 short tonnes of methane – the equivalent of about 8.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – being emitted into the atmosphere.The EPA claims Trump-era deregulation actions have saved the US an estimated $94bn in “unnecessary regulatory costs”. Reaction from the oil and gas industryThe American Petroleum Institute (API), which lobbies aggressively on behalf of US oil and gas operators, supports the revised changes and believes they are “consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act”.But multinational oil major BP remains committed to adhering to the regulations imposed by the Obama administration, according to the Financial Times. BP has recently announced a set of policies to lower its emissions footprint, including tighter controls on methane monitoring.David Lawler, chairman of BP America, said the company opposed the rollback and believes the direct federal regulation of methane emissions is a “critical step to protecting the environment and keeping the gas in our pipes in order to provide it to the market”.Elsewhere, Texas-based ExxonMobil and fellow Big Oil firm Royal Dutch Shell have also opposed the new rules.The regulations could be quickly reversed if Joe Biden, Democrat candidate for the upcoming US presidential election, is voted into office and his party takes control of the Senate. He has promised to impose “aggressive” methane pollution regulations for oil and gas companies.last_img read more

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See it, clean it, clean up!

first_imgHome » News » See it, clean it, clean up! previous nextProducts & ServicesSee it, clean it, clean up!Clean Up aims to ensure faster rental deposit repaymentsThe Negotiator14th January 20160531 Views Clean Up, the new handy video guide for cleaning rental property to professional rental standards, has been widely welcomed by the lettings industry. It is seen as a breakthrough in addressing the biggest problem in the way of repaying deposits quickly and in full: what is clean and by whose standards? The film guides the way to saving significant amounts of money for tenants and landlords and will help the deposit dispute schemes where up to 60% of their workload is caused by cleaning disputes.A large proportion of tenants have said they would willing clean to the right standard and save themselves money if they knew the standards required and the best way to achieve them.Launched today by Joanna White (left), Managing Director of Property Principles Ltd, Clean Up provides the benchmarks for cleaning to lettings industry standards. It is not a lesson in how to clean but a series of practical, clear explanations of the standards of cleaning expected in the rental market. These are generally higher and more comprehensive than those of even the most house proud.Clean Up comes at a time when rents are rising and therefore the potential cost of a  disputed amount on deposit is higher. It has, says Joanna, been welcomed by the front line professional organisations involved at the beginning and end of tenancies: the Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, and the Association of Professional Inventory Providers, APIP.“Time and time again large sums of money are deducted – correctly – from deposits only because a property has not been cleaned to the professional standards that will have applied when a tenancy started,” said Joanna White, who was, for many years, a disputes adjudicator for the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.She says that there is a world of difference between a good daily domestic clean and the full professional standard of cleaning required for professional properties. “Industry bodies constantly point out that the number of deposit disputes caused by not understanding what is clean? is far too high. It is generally believed that up to 60% of all disputes are over the standards of cleaning while the vast majority of tenants have said they would willingly clean to the right standard and save themselves money if they knew and understood the standards required,” Joanna White added.The Clean Up video guide and booklet is available on propertyprinciplesltd.com at an introductory launch price for rental of £1.50 or £5.99 to buy outright.  It is the first in a series of guides to be published for the benefit of landlords and tenants.Clean Up video guide cleaning cleaning film cleaning rental properties to professional rental standards tenants’ deposits January 14, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

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DIY retouch with HouseWiz: simply brilliant!

first_imgSometimes it’s the small things that darken your day. Things like getting instructed on a great property and then noticing that your photos are too dark, too light, too dull. Grumble no more. Now, the one-stop-shop property marketing company Houseviz has launched a clever new DIY photo enhancing app, ‘HouseWiz’ – giving agents instant quality photo retouching from 1p per image.The tool can make your property images brighter, sharper and more vibrant in seconds. It’s easy to use – no training needed.Houseviz director, Amanda Lindsay said, “It takes seconds for prospective buyers to make up their minds about a home. First impressions count – you need exceptional photos.”With Housewiz, agents can retouch up to 2,000 images a month for £20pm. Alternatively, they can retouch up to 500 images a month for just £10pm (2p per photo).“It’s vital that agents reduce the cost per listing but standards must be upheld. We see dire photographs on portals, they do no justice to the property or the agent selling it.”Houseviz makes it easy to maintain agency standards while keeping costs low.”www.houseviz.comHouseWiz photo retouching DIY phot enhancing app April 22, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » DIY retouch with HouseWiz: simply brilliant! previous nextProptechDIY retouch with HouseWiz: simply brilliant!The Negotiator22nd April 20190343 Viewslast_img read more

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India’s GSL to build Russian-designed Project 11356 frigates

first_img Share this article View post tag: Project 11356 India’s GSL to build Russian-designed P11356 frigates in transfer of technology agreement January 30, 2019, by The Indian defense ministry has signed a contract with M/S Goa Shipyard Limited for the construction of two additional Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy.The contract for the two locally-built frigates follows an agreement between India and Russia from October 2018 under which two Project 11356 frigates will be delivered directly from Russia.The ships are referred to as Krivak-class in Russia and Talwar-class in India.The first two frigates are to be delivered within four years, while the locally-built ones are scheduled for delivery in June 2026 and December 2026 respectively.According to the defense ministry, the ships would be equipped to operate in littoral and blue waters; both as a single unit and as part of a naval task force. They would be equipped with indigenous sonar and combat management systems and the Brahmos missile system.The newly-ordered ships will be an improved version of the six Project 11356 (Talwar-class) frigates already in service with the Indian Navy. View post tag: Indian Navycenter_img View post tag: GSL Authorities Back to overview,Home naval-today India’s GSL to build Russian-designed P11356 frigates in transfer of technology agreement navaltodaylast_img read more

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Basic biscuits losing out to premium varieties

first_imgConsumers are spurning basic biscuits for premium varieties, according to new research.The trend for American-style cookies has caused sales of old favourites, such as Rich Tea and Custard Creams, to fall by 4.5% in the last year, says market researcher Nielsen, while Italian biscotti, Viennese Whirls and cookie sales have risen by 20%.This follows a new poll by Marks & Spencer which found that shortbread was the country’s favourite biscuit and supports recent Kantar Worldpanel data showing that packaged and in-store cookies were up 15.6% in value and 22.8% in pack sales in the year to June.The trend for premium biscuits is borne out by the success of upmarket companies such as Biscuiteers, a premium online biscuit retailer which sells 1,000 boxes of 16 hand-iced biscuits worth £36, a month. Said founder Harriet Hastings: “People are always prepared to pay for beautifully made premium products, especially as a gift.”Frances Kitson, Fox’s category activation manager, reported that ’grown-up indulgence’ lines were performing well, up 20% (Nielsen, 12 w/e 7 August). “The biscuit barrel category is seeing a decline (-1%) over the latest 12 weeks, driven predominantly by own-label. Premium lines in supermarkets are benefiting from shoppers shifting towards indulging themselves at home.”However, a McVitie’s spokeswoman said: “Latest Nielsen data reveals that sales of McVitie’s core range of everyday biscuits are now worth £237.5m and are growing by 5.7% in value terms.”>>Caithness bakery signs valuable export dealslast_img read more

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Notre Dame puts football practice on hold due to virtual class change

first_img Google+ Facebook Twitter Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ By Know1one1 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons The University of Notre Dame was hit for a third consecutive day with a big increase in positive COVID-19 cases.Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick made the decision to “pause football practice” on Wednesday, Aug. 19, for at least the day.Swarbrick said the school needed time to address team questions related to the decision to move all classes to online instruction for two weeks.Thursday’s practice might be cancelled, as well. The school announced another 73 positive tests on the campus Wednesday afternoon. CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Twitter By Tommie Lee – August 19, 2020 0 241 WhatsApp Notre Dame puts football practice on hold due to virtual class change Previous articleBristol man killed in motorcycle crash at S.R. 15 and U.S. 20Next articleStudy: Indiana fails at early education systems Tommie Leelast_img read more

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Vermont Chamber of Commerce Hires Event Specialist

first_imgThe Vermont Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Antonia Opitz, a long time Vermont resident, to fill the Director of Events position.Opitz has years of experience in the event management field, and was most recently a Conference Services Manager at both the Stoweflake Resort and the New England Culinary Institute. She was also the Program Manager for South End Arts and Business Association where she planned the annual Art Hop celebration.As the Director of Events, Antonia will be working on the busy Vermont Chamber annual event schedule including the Vermont Business EXPO, Vermont Hospitality Council Annual Gala, Citizen of the Year Award, Vermont Centennial Awards, the Vermont Chamber Annual Meeting, and more. Antonia can be reached at (802) 223-0603, or [email protected](link sends e-mail)).last_img read more

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eCorp English to move global headquarters and IT to Middlebury

first_imgIt is the mission of eCorp English to become the global leader in corporate English language training over the next five years. eCorp English has announced it will be relocating its global headquarters and IT development center to Middlebury, Vermont in January, creating a projected 35 jobs by the end of 2011 and over 100 by 2013. The company provides online English-language training to the personnel of global corporations including Google, Alcatel Lucent, UPS, HSBC and AXA. The move was made possible in large part due to a coordinated effort involving a wide spectrum of public and private entities in Vermont including Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), VT Dept. of Economic, Housing and Community Development, Addison County Economic Development Corporation and Middlebury College. The company received approval of an Initial Application under the Vermont Economic Progress Council’s Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) program in August 2010. Based on its highly successful software, eCorp English offers ‘blended’ courses from its distance training platforms (leaning via the software, practice via telephone or online virtual class). The success rate of eCorp English learners is 2.3 times that of its competitors. eCorp English was created in 2006 in Malta and is currently present in the francophone and China markets. The company expects to expand into 5 other linguistic zones over the next five years (Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish).About VCETLaunched in May 2010 to offer early stage, higher risk capital to high opportunity Vermont based employers, the Vermont Seed Capital Fund, LP is managed by the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET).  For more information visit:  www.VermontTechnologies.com/capital(link is external) or contact David Bradbury at [email protected](link sends e-mail)About VEDAVEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises.  Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.7 billion.  For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org(link is external) or call 802-828-5627.center_img Source: eCorp English. Middlebury, VT’December 9, 2010 Photo: (L-r) Governor James Douglas, VEDA CEO Jo Bradley, Middlebury Selectboard Chair John Tenny, eCorp English Founder and President Deborah Schwarz, Governor-elect Peter Shumlin and Middlebury College Dean of Faculty James Ralph.Governor Douglas said, ‘I am very pleased to welcome e-Corp English to Vermont. They are just the kind of high quality employer we are looking to attract to the Green Mountain State. By working collaboratively with VEDA, our regional partners and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, and utilizing tools like the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive, we are competing for jobs here in Vermont and succeeding.’‘I am thrilled to welcome eCorp English to Vermont,’ said Governor-elect Peter Shumlin.  ‘eCorp English’s move to Vermont is a great example of what happens when you make capital available to potential businesses.  My Administration will be focused on continuing to provide capital so that we can bring more good paying jobs, like these, to Vermont.’‘VEDA is very pleased to provide working capital financing to help eCorp English establish its first subsidiary in the United States.  This growing and profitable multinational business will create well-paying jobs in Vermont over the next three years, and that’s good news for all Vermonters,’ said Jo Bradley, Chief Executive Officer of the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). “The English as a Second Language (ESL) market is a very large, fast growing global market and one that the Fund determined a high potential employment and investment opportunity for Vermont,” said Fund Manager and VCET President David Bradbury.  “eCorp English pairs well with our workforce, College partners and offers potential for significant wealth creation within Vermont and for those Vermonters who are employed.” ‘We are grateful for the warm welcome we have received in Vermont, said eCorp English founder and president, Deborah Schwarz. ‘We looked seriously at a number of states, but found it was ultimately Vermont that offered the best combination of high tech infrastructure, an educated workforce with linguistic skills and easy access to European and Asian markets via air. We are looking forward to growing our company here’.eCorp English was provider of choice for over 50 global corporations in 2010 in the francophone market (France, Switzerland, and Belgium), a number which is expanding rapidly in this market to include Luxembourg, Monaco, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Canada.  In 2010 operations began in China.The company has leased 6,500 square feet at 1197 Exchange Street in Middlebury and will begin occupying temporary space in Middlebury starting January 1st and until its Exchange Street center is ready in March. The company will be looking to fill seven positions immediately with an additional 30 to be filled in 2011.Job offerings will be posted at noon on December 9th, 2010, and are updated each Friday at noon.About eCorp EnglishAccording to United Nations figures, 2 billion people will be study studying English worldwide by 2015, with the market estimated at $5 trillion between 2010 and 2015. eCorp English is an emerging leader in one of the most desirable sectors of this expanding global market, the market for English language training for the professional. www.e-corpenglish.com(link is external)last_img read more

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Research finds fossil fuel divestment not a drag on investment returns

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Quartz:Norway built a $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund on oil and gas revenues. Last year, however, the country’s central bank recommended that the fund divest the $35 billion worth of stocks it held in oil and gas companies like Shell, Total, BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil. The move would make “the government’s wealth less vulnerable to a permanent drop in oil and gas prices,” the bank said.Norway’s government, by contrast, has other ideas. Last week, a government-appointed commission dismissed the advice on divestment. “A sale of energy stocks would challenge the current investment strategy of the fund, with broad diversification of the investments and a high threshold for exclusion,” the commission said in a report. The fund’s existing investment strategy, it noted, is “simple, well founded and has served the fund well.”So, what effect would divesting from oil companies have on the fund? Research by Jeremy Grantham, founder of Grantham, Mayo, and van Otterloo (GMO), a Boston-based fund manager that manages more than $100 billion in assets, suggests not much. “If investors take out fossil fuel companies from their portfolios, their starting assumption should not be that you have destroyed the value,” he wrote in June. “Their starting assumption should that it will have very little effect.”Grantham based that conclusion on an experiment. He took the performance of the S&P 500 and separated its components into 10 sectors. He then systematically removed one sector and calculated the annualized rate of return over long periods of time. Removing energy stocks meant little to overall returns over the past 20 years. And the results hold over even longer periods, too.Beyond not making much of a difference to long-term returns, Grantham has another argument in favor of divesting from fossil fuels. In an essay titled The Race of Our Lives, published earlier this month, he wrote: “The energy sector will be the first example of much more significant mispricing than any sector in the past due to oil companies not bending with the economic winds but fighting them all the way.”Norway’s finance minister says that the fund will take into consideration the conflicting advice of the central bank and the government-appointed commission before making a decision on fossil-fuel divestment this autumn.More: Divesting from fossil fuels doesn’t hurt long-term returns Research finds fossil fuel divestment not a drag on investment returnslast_img read more

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Ronald Korotaj left the Blue Lagoon

first_imgRonald Korotaj has not been a member of the Blue Lagoon Management since the first day of the year, he writes Lider. “For me, next year will be the first outside of large organized systems. After almost 20 years of work in a corporate environment, most of which within the Blue Lagoon system, from 01.01.2019. I am opening a new page, and at the same time my own law office ” he told the Leader, Korotaj leaving the Blue Lagoon. He spent a little over a year in the Management Board of the tourist company that is part of the Lukšić Group, after which he decided to change his career. According to the announcements, Korotaj is coming out of ‘large organized systems’ and opening its own law office.center_img Plava laguna is a joint stock company within the Lukšić group registered for catering and tourism with its headquarters in Poreč. The hotel company headed by Neven Staver is a company with a total book value of assets of approximately HRK 3 billion, and annually employs over 3000 people.last_img read more

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