Groups urge Shumlin to work with Legislature to allow PSB to act on Vermont Yankee’s continued operation

first_imgIn an open letter to Governor Shumlin, leading organizations representing industry, labor, and energy stakeholders today expressed concern about the closing window of opportunity to allow the Public Service Board to complete its docket on Vermont Yankee’s continued operation beyond 2012, and the serious economic consequences for Vermont if the plant is not allowed to operate under a renewed license.Absent realistic and viable alternatives for more affordable and reliable power, Associated Industries of Vermont, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Vermont Energy Partnership urged Governor Shumlin to work with the Legislature and allow the Public Service Board to complete its outstanding docket on relicensing and determine whether continued operation of Vermont Yankee is it the best interest of the state.The text of the open letter follows:An Open Letter to Governor ShumlinFebruary 3, 2011Dear Governor Shumlin:We are writing out of serious concern about the impact Vermont Yankee’s shutdown in 2012 would have on our electric rates and the resulting costincreases for Vermont employers and risks for the welfare of workingVermonters and their families.If Vermont cannot secure sufficiently reliable alternative sources of powerat a lower price than a new power purchase agreement with Vermont Yankee,the responsible action now is for the Legislature and your Administration toallow the Public Service Board to make a decision in its docket on whetherYankee’s continued operation is in the best interest of Vermont.Realistic, viable alternatives to Vermont Yankee that are more affordableand reliable are not apparent. If your Administration can identify suchalternatives, however, we urge you to do so now, because time is runningvery short for the Board to act soon enough for Yankee to continue tooperate past 2012.The new contracts with Hydro-Quebec appear competitive, but we cannot expectHQ would replace their own expiring contracts and Vermont Yankee, nor wouldit be prudent to have a single company supply such a large portion of ourelectric portfolio. Even the last public offer made by Yankee in December2009 would be highly competitive against realistic alternatives today. Withthe continued negotiations between Yankee and Vermont’s utilities sincethen, it is reasonable to expect any final agreement will be morecompetitive than the HQ deal.We cannot relegate the replacement of Vermont Yankee to the vagaries of theNew England market. Although relatively competitive with Yankee at themoment, market prices cannot be expected to remain so for 20 years, and justthe risk alone of high and unstable prices makes this an unacceptablealternative. It is also worth noting that relying on the regional marketwould undermine Vermont’s extremely low-carbon electric portfolio — a highpriority for many Vermonters.Finally, we cannot rely on Vermont Yankee operating under some form offederal preemption or related legal action — it would appear likely thatsuch a scenario could put at risk any advantageous power contracts or otherspecial benefits for Vermont.Without more affordable and reliable alternatives at hand, the consequencesof Vermont Yankee shutting down in March 2012 will be extremely grave.Vermont will face 1) increased electric rates from more expensivereplacement power than Yankee would offer, 2) increased rates from the costof projects required to shore up the electric grid’s reliability, 3)possible periods of reduced reliability if such projects are not completedin time, and 4) the loss of well over 1,000 jobs from Yankee itself,companies doing business with the plant, and other businesses facing higherelectric rates.Indeed, replacing jobs lost if Vermont Yankee shuts down appears asdifficult as finding acceptable power alternatives. Decommissioning jobs donot come close to those connected with continued operation in number,average wage, or duration. Renewable energy projects have been shown tocreate comparatively few jobs, especially beyond construction, and the costand permitting obstacles to the enormous scale of development that would benecessary to attempt to replace all the long-term jobs lost from Yankee’sclosure make this solution extremely unrealistic. Moreover, development andpower costs would only exacerbate job losses owing to increased electricrates.We understand that you and legislative leaders have long opposed thecontinued operation of Vermont Yankee. But you have also put jobs and theeconomy at the forefront of your agenda, and stated publicly that Vermontbusinesses need the most affordable and reliable power that Vermont canfind. These positions are not compatible with forcing Yankee to close ifthere are not more affordable and reliable alternatives.This might be a difficult decision for opponents of Vermont Yankee, butresponsibility for Vermont’s economy and the welfare of working Vermontersand their families is at stake. Absent better alternatives, we urge you towork with the Legislature to allow the Public Service Board to make adecision on Vermont Yankee before the clock runs out and this option islost, with serious negative consequences for decades to come.We sincerely look forward to working with you and supporting you in thiseffort.Associated Industries of VermontInternational Brotherhood of Electrical WorkersVermont Energy Partnershiplast_img read more

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Why not take the necessary steps to offering a quality program?

first_imgOver the course of the past 10 years, there have been a half dozen regulations or proposed guidance on overdraft solutions initiated by regulators to build a structure for such programs. Each of these have defined what financial institutions could and could not do within the process of providing a solution for consumers who did not have the funds available to cover a purchase or cash withdrawal at the time the transaction posted to their account. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau takes the leadIn 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began collecting data relating to overdrafts from nine of the nation’s largest banks under its supervision. After analyzing the big bank data, the CFPB published two reports – CFPB Study of Overdraft Programs in June, 2013 and Data Point: Checking Account Overdrafts in July, 2014. Neither of which resulted in any overdraft ruling.In his presentation of the 2014 Report, CFPB Director Richard Cordray stated, “I want to take pains to note that nothing in this report implies that banks and credit unions should be precluded from offering overdraft coverage. But we need to determine whether current overdraft practices are causing the kind of consumer harm that the federal consumer protection laws are designed to prevent.”Core processor information requestedThe most recent request from the CFPB was for anonymized data (from core processors FIS, Fiserv and Jack Henry) in order to “capture a generic, anonymous snapshot of deposit accounts and programs, the way overdrafts are processed and identified, how their duration is measured and how fees are assessed at the system level before any discretionary intervention.”As a result of its extensive information gathering, on May 22 of this year, the CFPB updated its Rulemaking Agenda on overdraft rules. It stated, “The CFPB is also considering whether rules governing overdraft and related services are warranted, and, if so, what types of rules would be appropriate. A possible rulemaking might include disclosures or address specific acts or practices.”As a proponent of fully-disclosed, compliant overdraft services, JMFA believes that by gathering additional information, regulators will be more knowledgeable on the issues as opposed to relying only on the data they gathered from the nine original banks. As a result, they will have the information they need to make a good rule.What’s a credit union to do?In the meantime, credit unions continue to need fully compliant revenue sources in order to provide their members with the services they want and need. And many consumers continue to need overdraft services to help them maintain their finances.As the regulatory focus on consumer protection continues, credit unions must consistently inform their members of the costs of overdrafts, eligibility and the amount of fees charged per period and per year. A fully disclosed overdraft program – one that clearly defines the rules by which an account holder may access an overdraft service – gives consumers a reliable tool for maintaining control of their money. It also helps them to avoid less attractive choices for meeting their liquidity needs, such as resorting to high interest rate credit cards or relying on pay day loans.The all-new JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® program provides a solution for both situations. Especially since many existing overdraft programs are outdated and obsolete due to changing regulations. JMFA OVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® recovers lost revenue, offers a compliant program and value-added service for members. With all-new analytics, strategies, compliant communication materials and reporting and tracking, this program provides the tools to help credit unions restore the revenue and confidence in their overdraft service. Why not take the necessary steps to offering a quality program? 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Cheryl Lawson Cheryl has more than 30 years of experience in financial operations, consulting, communications, training and project management. She joined JMFA in 2001 and currently serves as the compliance liaison for … Web: www.jmfa.com Detailslast_img read more

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Achieve more by helping less…

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Folks know that I write this blog, so it isn’t uncommon to receive a nice note from someone with a link to an interesting article.This might interest you, they’ll say.A while ago, five people sent me a link to this piece by Dan Rockwell, also known as “The Leadership Freak.”That tends to get your attention.  continue reading »last_img

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Binghamton University president addresses virus-related issues at national panel

first_imgVESTAL (WBNG) — Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger joined a nationwide panel on coronavirus in higher education Wednesday. “One thing that we added though is that only the students could go into the residence hall, no one else, no parents, which was probably the biggest complaint we got all summer was that mom and dad couldn’t go in to see the son or daughter’s room and help them set it up but we kept to that,” President Stenger said. The president says six students lost their housing privileges after their parents entered the dorms. He added no student has been suspended or expelled for breaking COVID restrictions. Each student who lives on campus was tested before they could move in. President Stenger said the university went above and beyond to avoid any potential outbreaks. He tackled a variety of issues from continued testing to technology access. last_img read more

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FDA approves first H5N1 vaccine

first_imgApr 17, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved the nation’s first H5N1 influenza vaccine, made by Sanofi Pasteur, which federal officials hope will buy some time to develop a more precisely targeted vaccine if the virus evolves into a pandemic strain.The vaccine will not be sold commercially but is being produced by Sanofi for the Strategic National Stockpile of drugs and medical supplies, according to an FDA press release.”The threat of an influenza pandemic is, at present, one of the most significant public health issues our nation faces,” FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD, said in the press release. “The approval of this vaccine is an important step forward in our protection against a pandemic.”If the H5N1 flu virus gains the ability to spread efficiently from person to person, potentially triggering a pandemic, “the vaccine may provide early limited protection in the months before a vaccine tailored to the pandemic strain of the virus could be developed and produced,” the FDA statement said.The FDA said the vaccine is indicated for people aged 18 to 64 who could be at risk for exposure to the H5N1 strain targeted by the vaccine. The vaccine, to be distributed by public health officials if needed, is made at Sanofi’s facility in Swiftwater, Pa.The vaccine is based on an H5N1 virus isolated from a Vietnamese patient in 2004. Today’s approval by the FDA follows a Feb 27 recommendation by an FDA advisory panel, which found that the vaccine was safe and effective. However, some of the panel members had reservations about the immunogenicity of the vaccine, which in data submitted to the panel was somewhat lower than previously reported in a 2006 article in the New England Journal of Medicine.In a clinical trial, two 90-microgram (mcg) doses of the vaccine, administered to 103 healthy adults 28 days apart, generated a protective immune response in 45% of recipients, the FDA noted. (The researchers used a neutralizing antibody titer of 1:40, a fourfold or more increase in antibody titer, to define adequate immune response.) The 45% response rate was lower than the 54% rate reported almost a year ago in the NEJM report, which was based on interim findings. Recipients who received smaller doses of the vaccine were less likely to show a good immune response.Norman Baylor, director of FDA’s vaccine office, told the Associated Press today that though the newly approved H5N1 vaccine isn’t ideal for quickly responding to a pandemic, others that employ dose-sparing technologies are under development. “At this point, this is where we are,” he said.Disease experts have expressed concern about the large dose the vaccine requires, in the face of the world’s very limited vaccine production capacity. The two-dose course (180 mcg) used in the study is 12 times the standard 15-mcg dose used for each flu strain in the seasonal flu vaccine. If the world’s entire flu vaccine production capacity for trivalent vaccine, which currently stands at about 350 million doses annually, were devoted solely to making the new H5N1 vaccine, it would yield enough for only a tiny percentage of the world’s population, experts have said.HHS, in its most recent pandemic preparedness update, acknowledged some of the H5N1 vaccine’s limitations. “It is, for now, the best vaccine defense we have, and so we are stockpiling it,” the agency said in the Nov 2006 update.The national stockpile currently contains 13 million doses of the H5N1 vaccine, enough to vaccinate 6.5 million people, Holly Babin, an HHS spokeswoman in Washington, DC, told CIDRAP News today.HHS has a goal of acquiring enough H5N1 vaccine for 20 million people, but the agency may not necessarily need 40 million doses to achieve that, Babin said. “We’re looking at adjuvants [immune-boosting chemicals] and other ways to stretch the vaccine” so that fewer doses will be needed, she said.Pharmaceutical companies are working on various other H5N1 vaccines and vaccines targeting other flu strains considered to have pandemic potential. Some of these involve producing vaccines in cell culture, a method expected to be somewhat faster than the established practice of growing vaccines in chicken eggs. With egg-based technology it takes about 6 months to produce a vaccine in quantity.HHS has said it is moving forward with the development of a “clade 2” H5N1 vaccine, based on viruses that circulated in birds in China and Indonesia in 2003-04 and spread to the Middle East, Europe, and Africa in 2005 and 2006See also:Apr 17 FDA press releasehttp://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2007/ucm108892.htmFeb 27 CIDRAP News story “FDA panel supports H5N1 vaccine approval”Mar 30, 2006, CIDRAP News article “H5N1 vaccine trial shows limited benefit”Treanor JJ, Campbell JD, Zangwill KM, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated subvirion influenza A (H5N1) vaccine. N Engl J Med 2006 Mar 30;354(13):1343-51 [Full text]November 2006 HHS pandemic planning updatehttp://www.flu.gov/professional/pdf/panflureport3.pdflast_img read more

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In May, there was an increase in passenger traffic at airports

first_imgThe total passenger traffic at airports in May 2017 amounted to 897 thousand, which is an increase of 2016% compared to May 770, when passenger traffic amounted to 16,4 thousand. data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) speak for themselves.In May 2017, the growth of passenger traffic compared to May 2016 was recorded by Zagreb Airport (8,3%), Split Airport (25,9%), Dubrovnik Airport (19,5%), Zadar Airport (1,0, 37,4%), Pula Airport (1,9%), Osijek Airport (58,3%) and Brač Airport (11,9%), and a decrease was recorded in Rijeka Airport (40,6%) and the airport Mali Lošinj (XNUMX%).Half of the passengers in international traffic were realized in the traffic with the airports of Germany, the United Kingdom and France, and they show an increase compared to the previous year. The total number of aircraft landings and take-offs at airports in May 2017 was 11, which is an increase of 471% compared to 10 landings and take-offs in May 734.last_img read more

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Martina Nimac Kalcina: The introduction of rental restrictions would lead to a number of consequences

first_imgIf the reason is really the overload of infrastructure, then it cannot be solved by bans, but by various projects that would improve infrastructure in cities, says Nimac Kalcina, adding that if it is really an issue of infrastructure, then those facilities used today to accommodate tourists cannot be used. nor for other purposes such as renting to tenants or for catering, because even in these cases the infrastructure is burdened. “For example, most private accommodation is rented only during the season, while tenants rent it all year round, and they, like everyone else, need infrastructure even more. In addition, renters’ benefits are constantly increasing precisely to solve these problems, and now they want to limit them to bans. Eventually, one could think about limiting the opening of private accommodation in the construction of new facilities, and not in the case of existing real estate. ” Immediately in the first sentence, Nimac Kalcina emphasizes that this is only a “possible proposal in a future law”, and once in the future the decision on the number of categorized facilities would be left to local authorities, proposals for such a restriction should be voted on and approved by city councils. “However, before such and similar proposals at all, “in some so-called future law “, I believe that the overall situation and possible consequences for all will be considered in detail, because it is not enough to just leave such authority to local authorities and expect everyone to act with equal attention of good businessmen, hosts and experts.”Warns Nimac Kalcina. Yesterday, the statement of the Minister of Tourism that he is considering a temporary ban or restriction on the opening of new apartments in a way that will allow cities and counties to restrict the opening of new apartments, raised a lot of media dust. When that would really happen, the question arises, what is the real intent and ultimate goal that such restrictions are intended to achieve? Cover photo: Pixabay.com Photo: Pixabay.com / illustration: HrTurizam.hr If private accommodation is banned from existing real estate, people should be told what to do with them then or will it simply be banned so what? What if, for example, you inherited a property you would like to rent to tourists and you can’t? Due to poor infrastructure, you can then neither rent it to tenants nor open a restaurant in the same What with such real estate? Will it be possible to issue such a ban on the “use” of certain real estate only for a certain period or permanently?center_img Thinking about bans these days raises a number of questions. Nimac Kalcina lists only some of the questions that are immediately asked without deeper reflection and analysis: What is the period, maybe winter, when there are no guests anyway, or the season when you can only rent and earn something? If the prohibition is limited to a certain period of time, is it necessary to justify itdeadlines for the construction of appropriate infrastructure for that prohibited area, with possible penalties by local authorities in case of non-compliance with their obligations to upgrade the infrastructure ??? “I believe that the introduction of rental restrictions would lead to a number of consequences, including a significant decline in property values, which in turn opens the door to many possible gray areas of embezzlement.”Pointed out Nimac Kalcina and concluded that she believes that this is really only a possible proposal. RELATED NEWS: THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM IS CONSIDERING RESTRICTING THE OPENING OF NEW APARTMENTS? Among the first reactions for opinion on the topic of restricting the opening of new apartments for opinion I asked Martin Nimac Kalcina, president of the Family Tourism Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, practically the only institution that represents landlords and an unofficial spokesperson for the family sector.last_img read more

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SME Gets New Tidal Licence in Canada

first_imgNova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines has issued a licence to Sustainable Marine Energy (SME) Canada for a tidal electricity project.The 1.26-megawatt marine renewable energy licence allows the company to continue to develop its project in a berth at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE).“Tidal energy is about more than clean, renewable electricity,” said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. “This developing industry has the potential to create green jobs in rural areas of the province and it’s good to see one of our developers taking its project to the next level.”Sustainable Marine Energy also has an unconnected marine renewable energy permit for a 280-kilowatt floating platform in Grand Passage, Digby Co.Under the licence, the company must meet performance standards, environmental requirements and community engagement conditions.The project is required to obtain all other necessary approvals, permits and authorizations.This licence allows the company to sell electricity generated at a rate set by the Utility and Review Board of 53 cents per kilowatt hour.last_img read more

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Triton Knoll foundations and export cables in place

first_imgAccording to project developer RWE, the installation of the 90 monopile foundations and two lengths of 50km export cable was completed this week. Seaway 7’s Seaway Strashnov and DEME’s Innovation were in charge of installing the foundations. Triton Knoll will comprise 90 MHI Vestas 9.5 MW turbines located 32 kilometers off the Lincolnshire coast. Commissioning is planned in 2021. Boskalis’ vessel Ndurance laid and buried both lengths of the 220kV cables, which link the two offshore substation platforms to the onshore electrical network. “We are delighted to have completed this phase of construction within the summer delivery window despite the impacts of Covid19. This is a great credit to all of our supply chain partners and everyone working in the Triton Knoll team,” said Project Director for Triton Knoll and RWE Renewables Julian Garnsey.center_img “We have made excellent progress on the project to date, and look forward to installation of the first offshore turbines in early 2021.” All turbine foundations and export cables have been installed at the Triton Knoll offshore wind farm in the UK. The project is jointly owned by RWE (59%), J-Power (25%) and Kansai Electric Power (16%).last_img read more

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Arsenal whip Charlton Athletic in friendly

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Runarsson joins Arsenal on four-year deal Arsenal returned to action for the first time on Saturday since the 2019/2020 English Premier League was stopped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.They beat Charlton Athletic 6-0 in a friendly at an empty Emirates Stadium. Premier League clubs were this week given the all-clear to play friendlies ahead of the scheduled restart on June 17, following a three-month stoppage.Arsenal hosted second tier Charlton Athletic behind closed doors and with officiating roles carried out by club staff.Alex Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored before halftime while academy graduate Eddie Nketiah grabbed a second half hat-trick.Joe Willock was also on target.Arsenal, who are ninth in the league standings, are away to Manchester City on June 17. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Alex LacazetteArsenalCharlton AthleticCOVID-19English Premier LeagueJoe WillockPierre-Emerick Aubameyanglast_img read more

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