Op Ed: It’s Time To Prohibit Self-Bonding By Coal Companies FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Caspar Star Tribune:This past month a completely unknown and unproven company called Blackjewel, LLC “bought” two of Wyoming’s oldest and biggest coal mines. More particularly, they were given the mines in exchange for assuming their cleanup risks and some hypothetical future royalties. They acquired the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr mines near Gillette from another new and unproven company called Contura Energy, spawned just last year when Alpha Natural Resources went through bankruptcy and spun off what it called its “crown jewel” Wyoming assets. Now the crown jewels aren’t looking so shiny and Contura is unloading them at a loss because these mines are liabilities. Instead, Contura will concentrate on its metallurgical coal business in the East.Hopefully, the one thing that should not be a problem going forward is bonding to assure clean up and reclamation of the mines. Thanks to a settlement agreement with the Department of Interior during Alpha’s bankruptcy, Contura wasn’t allowed to self-bond. Instead of continuing to hide, as Alpha had done, behind the chimera of a self-guarantee – really nothing more than an uncollectible IOU — Contura was forced to back Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr’s reclamation work with surety bonds and letters of credit from third-party financial institutions. Blackjewel should be required to do the same as a condition of the sale before the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lets them take over the mine permits. This would insure there will be money available for reclamation jobs if Blackjewel were to walk away from its cleanup obligations while these bonds are still in effect.The recent history of the Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr coal mines demonstrates one thing: their cleanup liabilities are nearly as high as (and possibly higher than) their value as operating mines. This loudly underscores that Wyoming regulators must not continue to allow self-bonding.If uncertainties and a down market continue to plague the coal industry as economists nearly unanimously predict, self-bonds will remain worthless promises and Wyoming will pay the price. Unless Wyoming prohibits them now, the next time mines change hands and weaker and weaker mine owners go bankrupt, we will not be so lucky.Self-bonding has no place in a regulatory scheme that was created to ensure the worst-case never happens. Taxpayers were never meant to be left holding the bag for hundreds of millions of dollars in reclamation work. America’s coal mining regulations were born in the late 1970s when abandoned and un-reclaimed mines were strewn across the country. Congress created an abandoned mine land fee to clean up past messes and required reclamation bonds to prevent future mines from being abandoned without reclamation. But the law also contained a loophole allowing states to accept self-bonds in the place of reliable third-party guarantees. Although Montana and other states showed the foresight to prohibit self-bonding, Wyoming became the No. 1 user in the country of self-bonding IOUs. Three years ago when Alpha, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal all declared bankruptcy, there was more than $2.4 billion of reclamation work in our state not covered by collectible insurance.With the lessons of these bankruptcies fresh in our memory, DEQ is considering an important step to update Wyoming’s reclamation bond rules. The update proposes to remove loopholes that allow companies to qualify for self-bonds when they really shouldn’t. DEQ’s proposed rules are an important change that would reduce risk to our citizens and our state treasury. Unfortunately, there will always be some risk from self-bonding until Wyoming totally eliminates the practice. As DEQ moves forward with their new rules, the agency needs to eliminate ALL self-bonding for ALL new coalmine permits and ALL permit renewals. Colorado has recently taken steps to limit self-bonding after the Peabody and Arch bankruptcies, and Wyoming should follow their example.–Bob LeResche is vice chair of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and a board member of the Western Organization of Resource Councils. He is a former commissioner of Natural Resources for the state of Alaska and executive director of the Alaska Energy Authority.More: Contura Sale Underscores Need to End Self Bonding
Join the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia to cycle for a cause! On Sunday, September 14, riders of all levels will meet at the Old Trail Village Swim Club in Crozet, Virginia, to bike in the shadow of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.The event offers a variety of different options, even one for the whole family. Choose between 25, 50, 75, and 100 mile courses, or take the kids on an 8 mile family ride.25 Mile RouteThe 25 mile route includes rolling terrain in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountians passing historic homes and estates. It doesn’t include the steep climb up Afton mountain. This route is perfect if you have limited time on the day of the event or want to join your family for the 8 mile ride to Chiles Peach Orchard. There is one fully stocked rest stop at Greenwood Community Center. Like all of our routes it has full support from our staff, volunteers and police officers at major intersections.50 Mile RouteThe 50 mile route showcases the beauty of Albemarle County. The terrain is ever changing with some hills and curves, but doesn’t include the Afton Mountain climb. This “half century” is ideal for those who prefer a challenging but shorter route option. You will be welcomed by friendly volunteers at three rest stops.75 Mile RouteThe 75 mile route is a challenging course for the dedicated cyclist. Test your climbing ability on Afton Mountain. The scenery includes rolling countryside, mountains views and wineries. You will be treated to three fully stocked rest stops, including freshly made sandwiches.100 Mile RouteThe 100 mile route features the climb up Afton Mountain and the thrilling decent! The route is the ultimate challenge and features nearly 7,000 feet of climbing over three counties. The views of the mountains, estate homes and countryside are breath taking. There are many volunteers to cheer you on and police to guide you at major intersections. The route is suitable for fit and well trained cycling enthusiasts. We encourage any rider doing the Century route to set a steady pace and take advantage of the five (yes 5!) rest stops with many food and hydration options.8 Mile Family Fun RideThe 8 mile family fun ride is ideal for families and children who like to enjoy a special day together. The route leaves Old Trail and follows Jarman’s Gap Road to Chiles Peach Orchard where riders are treated to freshly made donuts. There is a fully stocked rest stop with plenty of snacks and drinks. The route returns to Old Trail via Jarman’s Gap Road. The course is mostly flat with no steep hills and low traffic.Bikers meet at 8 a.m., and following the race are invited to attend a pool party at the Swim Club with a catered lunch and refreshments as well as live music.All proceeds from the race benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Virginia. Register to support local youth and spend a great day in the mountains!
Djokovic had an equally tough time against impressive fifth-ranked Medvedev, coming through a top-draw contest 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 on the back of Dusan Lajovic beating Karen Khachanov 7-5, 7-6 (7⁄1). Novak Djokovic battled hard in his win against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev to send Serbia into the final of the ATP Cup Read Also: Serena drops set before reaching Auckland quarters “Alex was playing at a very high level and for me my energy was a little bit lower than usual. But it has been a very emotional evening and a pleasure playing here,” said Nadal. “We know it’s going to be a super tough final (against Serbia),” he added. “Novak likes a lot to play here, he’s had a lot of great results. So let’s see. We have a good team too.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… World number one Nadal ground down pumped-up Australian Alex de Minaur to guide the Davis Cup champions through their semi-final while Djokovic battled past Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. World number one Rafael Nadal indicated he would be one of the players taking part in a fund-raising exhibition match for fire victims ahead of the Australian Open Under the format of the innovative team event in Sydney, the top-ranked singles players from each country play each other, ensuring the two legends clash for a 55th time since their first showdown in 2006. World number two Djokovic leads the head-to-heads 28-26, including beating his arch-rival in the Australian Open final last year. Nadal outlasted De Minaur 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 after unflappable teammate Roberto Bautista Agut tamed Nick Kyrgios 6-1, 6-4.Advertisement Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will face each other in the final of the inaugural ATP Cup after winning epic three-set matches Saturday to steer Spain and Serbia into the decider. Promoted Content2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?14 Hilarious Comics Made By Women You Need To Follow Right NowA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksThis Is Probably The Happiest Dog On InstagramCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneThe Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her GrandsonInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street Art
“What our national athletes achieved in the SEA Games is truly historic and should be heralded,” Angara said, lauding the Team Philippines’ overall championship in the SEA Games. MANILA – Medal-winning Filipino athletesmay receive an additional incentive of up to P100,000 after bringing pride tothe country in the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. “It was not only how they performed in their respective sports, but the way they carried themselves during the games that captured the hearts of Filipinos and our ASEAN neighbors alike,” he added./PN Photo by CNN Philippines In his Senate Bill 1225, Angara seeks to amend Republic Act 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act to increase cash incentives efor athletes by P20,000 to P100,000. For Southeast Asian Games winners: Gold medalists – P400,000 (from P300,000), Silver medalists – P200,000 (from P150,000) and Bronze medalists – P100,000 (from P60,000). For ASEAN Para Games: Gold medalists – P200,000 (from P150,000), Silver medalists – P125,000 (from P75,000) and Bronze medalists – P50,000 (from P30,000). Under the proposal, Asian Games winners will receive the following: Gold medalists – P600,000 (from P500,000),Silver medalists – P350,000 (from P250,000) and Bronze medalists – P150,000 (from P100,000). “With such a stellar performance, it is only fitting that our national athletes and their coaches receive higher incentives from the government as they go on to compete in other international competitions,” Angara said. Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara has called for an amendment of the law that gives cash rewards to national athletes who will win medals in international competitions.