New EPA proposal not likely to end disputes over new gas pipeline projects, experts say


first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Even as industry welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal aimed at preventing states from blocking infrastructure projects, experts say that the policy is unlikely to give gas pipelines the boost they want.The Aug. 9 rule-making proposal — the latest volley in a battle between states and the Trump administration over lengthy delays to gas projects — would limit state’s authority under the Clean Water Act to block pipeline construction if a project does not meet state standards. However, while the policy would likely shake up federal-state dynamics on infrastructure projects and appears destined for lengthy court battles, the proposed EPA rule is unlikely to prevent states from denying pipeline developers critical water quality permits, several lawyers and energy analysts said.“There is a plausible case to be made that this decision and that this proposed rule is more of a victory for style over substance in terms of being able to effectively rebut recalcitrant state governments that are not interested in permitting new natural gas pipeline,” said Rob Rains, an energy industry analyst at Washington Analysis LLC.The rule could make it incrementally easier for developers to sue states over unfavorable decisions on Section 401 applications, but it would not cut state politics out of the review process, said Katie Bays, an energy analyst and co-founder of research and consulting firm Sandhill Strategy.“Superficially, you would say that more favorable guidance from the EPA strengthens the legal position of pipeline projects and LNG projects that have struggled to obtain 401 certificates from states…That’s the hope and that’s what the administration is attempting to do here,” Bays said. “However, because the guidance does not remove the ability of the states to reject an application for a water quality certificate, they can still do that.”Rains, too, said the scope of what the EPA can accomplish through regulation will remain limited, particularly if Congress is unwilling to change the underlying law. “Yes, the EPA can initiate this rulemaking. They can tighten up these requirements,” he said. “But there is already this prevailing dynamic where the states get a say in this. If Massachusetts or New Jersey or New York or whomever — Virginia — don’t want a project going through, then they have tools at their disposal. It’s not too complicated.”More ($): Stalled gas pipeline projects unlikely to get relief under EPA rule, experts say New EPA proposal not likely to end disputes over new gas pipeline projects, experts saylast_img read more

Chiefs : Robinson honored 65 years after breaking color barrier


first_imgFor one day at Alliance Bank Stadium, the number 42 was encircled in the dirt behind home plate, taking the spot where an interlocking ‘SC’ would normally be. The tradeoff, though, was well worth it.The Syracuse Chiefs celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday before and during their game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, marking the 65th anniversary of Robinson becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball to break the color barrier. The Chiefs wore commemorative Negro League-themed jerseys and hats during the game, and The National Baseball Hall of Fame brought Robinson’s Hall of Fame plaque to the stadium and displayed it in the concourse for fans to view.Bradford Horn, the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of communications and education, said programs are held in the museum every year on April 15, but the Hall of Fame wanted to bring the plaque to enhance fans’ ability to understand Robinson’s legacy.‘Our presence here today is designed to give all of the Syracuse community, those who are out here today, the opportunity to see an original piece of baseball history,’ Horn said. ‘… This plaque, by bringing it to Syracuse today, we hope that it helps this community understand the importance of Jackie Robinson.’The Chiefs’ wore light blue jersey tops with navy blue sleeves featuring two light blue stripes. A white ‘S’ and ‘C’ were on the front of the jerseys, and the Chiefs wore gray pants.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTyler Moore, who honored the day further by drilling a pitch from Yankees starter Ramon Ortiz over the right-field wall in the second inning, said it’s a privilege to devote a day to the baseball pioneer.‘It was great,’ Moore said. ‘Jackie, the things he did for this game was unbelievable, and it’s always good to pay him tribute.’Robinson’s plaque on display Sunday is not the one that hangs in the Hall of Fame, as the museum chose to re-cast his plaque in 2008. Horn said the original plaque did not say Robinson was the first to break the color barrier because the humble Robinson was adamant about not calling attention to his accomplishment.In 2008, more than 40 years after his induction in 1962, the museum hung a new plaque that listed Robinson’s achievement because the Hall of Fame felt it was important to educate future generations, Horn said.Robinson’s No. 42 has been retired throughout baseball since 1997.Yankees closer Mariano Rivera will be the last to wear the number. He was already wearing it when MLB made the decision to honor Robinson in that regard, and the number was grandfathered in.John Melnick, 57, of Syracuse, said he was glad to see the Chiefs recognize Robinson and that it’s important to remember the sacrifices he and the African-Americans who followed him into baseball made.‘I think it’s great. I think it’s important,’ Melnick said. ‘I think Jackie Robinson is a legend beyond belief and anyone that has stopped to look at baseball and its history and sacrifices African-Americans have made for his country and their perseverance. I don’t know how to describe something like that.’cjiseman@syr.edu Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on April 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemanlast_img read more

Barrow experiences earliest snowmelt on record


first_imgSnow in the northern most town in the nation is melting earlier than everbefore on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’sObservatory in Barrow reported a snowmelt starting on May 13. That’s 10 daysearlier than the previous record set in 2002. NOAA has been recordingsnowmelt from its Barrow Observatory for over 70 years.Download AudioNOAA’s Barrow Observatory recorded the earliest snowmelt (Photo courtesy of NOAA)The record melt follows a winter of record-setting temperatures. Alaska wasmore than 11 degrees warmer that normal this winter. And this winter didn’tjust see an early melt on land. According to the National Snow and Ice DataCenter, 2016 also saw the lowest winter sea ice extent in satellitehistory.This winter didn’t just see an early melt on land. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, 2016 also saw the lowest winter sea ice extent in satellite history.David Douglas, a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said in a NOAA press release that conditions in the Arctic are looking more like they would in late June or early July right now.An intensely warm winter and spring are melting climate records across Alaska. The January-April 2016 period was an incredible 11 degrees above normal, setting the stage for a potentially unprecedented summer. (Graphic courtesy of NOAA)The early thaw is already taking a toll on wildlife in the far north.“Polar bears are having to make their decisions about how to move and where to go on thinner ice pack that’s mostly first-year ice,” Douglas said. Douglas also expects walrus to struggle this summer with the thinner sea ice and warmer temperatures.last_img read more