Op-Ed: Interior Has Essentially Allowed the Industry to Perpetrate a Fraud on the U.S. Treasury FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Casper Star Tribune:This week in Washington, D.C., the Department of the Interior convened a select group of industry executives and state government officials to serve on a Royalty Policy Committee.The committee will advise the Trump administration on the need for new polices on mineral royalties and other key mechanisms for assuring that American taxpayers get the full value for the minerals sold from our public lands. Recent reports from both government and private organizations suggest that the public has forsaken millions and perhaps billions of dollars in revenue that would have been generated had the government demanded fair value for these minerals as the law requires. Reform is long overdue.Lagging federal policies are a big problem for the oil and gas program. The 12.5 percent royalty paid for oil and gas leases is well below market rates. Texas commands a whopping 25 percent for its oil and gas resources and federal offshore leases receive 18.75 percent. But the problems with the federal mineral revenue program are especially acute for our federal coal resources. For far too long, the Interior Department has allowed the coal industry to dictate the terms of federal coal leasing, and the industry has used its power to acquire vast tracts of federal coal at rock-bottom prices and virtually without competition. By the government’s own estimates the coal industry has locked up enough federal coal reserves to last 20 years at current production rates. And if coal production continues to decline, as seems likely, then federal coal reserves might last well beyond the current 20-year projection.Coal leasing is carried out through what is supposed to be a competitive bidding process. But the government allows the industry to design the tracts that are put up for lease and, not surprisingly, they design tracts adjacent to their existing coal properties and not big enough to attract another bidder. They rarely fail to scare off the competition. Leases in the coal rich Powder River Basin rarely sell for more than $1/ton. Often they sell for a tiny fraction of that. The government insists that it receives fair market value, but it refuses to release the details of its analyses, and how can anyone possibly know the fair market value of their coal properties when time and again they receive only one bid. And it is frankly hard to believe when coal can be produced at the mine mouth for less than $10/ton but sold on the open market for several times that amount.Royalty rates for coal raise another issue under the federal coal leasing program. These rates are nominally set at 12.5 percent for surface coal and 8 percent for underground coal. The Interior Department has the discretion to raise those rates but has never done so. Moreover, Interior can actually reduce royalties if particular companies persuade the agency that they need royalty relief to maintain a viable coal mining operation. Since 1990, Interior has used this provision to reduce the royalty on more than a third of all federal leases. The standard royalty for federal coal leases in North Dakota leases is a whopping 2 percent! Headwaters Economics has estimated that these royalty reductions have cost taxpayers $294 million over a 24-year period. To make matters worse, Interior has essentially allowed the industry to perpetrate a fraud on the U.S. Treasury by allowing the companies to pay royalties on the first sale of coal to a wholly owned subsidiary. No one seriously believes that these sales are made for the true market value. So, it is fair to ask why is Interior leasing coal for mere pennies per ton, reducing royalty rates, and then allowing royalties to be paid on the first non-arms-length sale? The Royalty Policy Committee should demand answers.More: Taxpayers deserve a fair return from our public coal resources
Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis is undergoing a medical after agreeing terms with Swansea. Press Association There has been speculation that Bony could leave the Liberty Stadium this summer with several clubs said to be monitoring his situation after a hugely successful first campaign in English football. However, reports from South Wales have suggested that Swans boss Garry Monk wants Gomis to play alongside the Ivorian, rather than in place of him. Gomis has been a long-term target too for Swansea’s Barclays Premier League rivals Newcastle, but talks between the Magpies and the player’s representatives failed to broker a deal and the Welshmen appear to have made a decisive breakthrough. Press Association Sport understands the 28-year-old French frontman is close to completing a move to South Wales following the successful conclusion of talks over personal terms. Gomis, who is out of contract, was a target for the Swans last summer, but they could not get the deal across the line and turned instead to Wilfried Bony.
Community Employment (CE) supervisors nationwide have suspended five days of strike action which they had planned to begin this Monday 13th May.Some 48 CE Supervisors/Assistants were due to strike in Donegal and hold a picket outside Minister Joe McHugh’s Constituency Office in Letterkenny.The suspension of the industrial action follows an agreement with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) to enter into a talks process aimed at resolving a long-running pension dispute. Union representatives have met directly with the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty twice in the last week on the issue.They agreed to establish a working group, which will include DEASP officials and union representatives, with input from the minister where necessary.The working group is to commence a time-bound process of meaningful engagement aimed at resolving the issues of concern for CE supervisors. SIPTU Organiser, Eddie Mullins, said: “As a result of our engagement with the minister a meeting of the Joint Disputes Committee, comprising of both SIPTU and Fórsa representatives, was convened this morning to consider the proposal from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.“After careful consideration the committee determined that the proposed engagement provides a genuine platform to resolve the outstanding issues. In order to allow this process to commence the committee voted unanimously to suspend the scheduled industrial action.” Fórsa head of division Angela Kirk said: “This development has only arisen as a result of the decision of trade union members to take a stand in pursuit of their legitimate claim and demonstrates what can be achieved when we act collectively.”CE supervisors put strike on hold was last modified: May 13th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:community employmentCommunity Employment (CE) supervisorsstrike
A Donegal branch of the Extinction Rebellion activist group has been launched this week.The group, known as XR, is part of an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to highlight the climate change crisis. The aim of XR is to get governments to “tell the truth” about the environmental emergency and to take action against climate change.In cities such as London and Dublin, the group has engaged in protests by blocking traffic and staging ‘die-ins’, where they pretend to be dead. Young and old attended the launch of the Donegal XR branch on Wednesday at the Letterkenny Town Park.Caroline Kuyper at the launch of Extinction Rebellion DonegalThe audience heard Clare Thompson read from the Extinction Rebellion Declaration stating that “Humanity finds itself embroiled in an event unprecedented in its history. One which, unless immediately addressed, will catapult us further into the destruction of all we hold dear: this nation, its peoples, our ecosystems and the future of generations to come.”The group is part of a Derry-Strabane /Donegal collective and will support the development of autonomous local groups across the county. An information evening will take place on 21st August at 7pm in the Community Centre, Letterkenny. A further meeting to formalise the group will take place on 2nd September at 7 pm.Claire Thompson at the launch of Extinction Rebellion DonegalNora Newell at the launch of Extinction Rebellion DonegalVoicing her frustration at the poor response of government to the climate crisis Caroline Kuyper said, “I felt, with many others, that direct acts of disruption of ‘business as usual’ is the only option left at this point to force the issue onto the forefront of governments and corporations’ agenda.” Natural beekeeper Aoife Valley pointed out that “when we act, we feel better. When we set intentions and follow through, we can relax a bit. This is not something we will fix individually. Joining XR is part of me doing my bit. I am hopeful we can sort this out.”The meeting closed with a quote from broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough who has said, “I feel an obligation; the only way we can get up in the morning is believe that, actually, we can do something about it. And I suppose we can”Climate activist group launches in Donegal with rebellious intentions was last modified: August 8th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:climateExtinction Rebellion
The Basha Uhuru Youth Festival, Constitution Hill’s flagship arts festival, is nowin its fourth year. Held to coincide with Youth Month, the festival takes place from 2 to 25 June 2016. It is a celebration of the artistic freedom of the youth of South Africa, showcasing some of the best in emerging creative talent in film, theatre, music, literature and contemporary art.Begun in 2012 as a week-long collaboration between Constitution Hill and the Johannesburg gallery, Kalashnikovv, the 2016 event is the first time the festival will be held throughout the month of June in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising. It’s also celebrating 20 years of the country’s Constitution.The Basha Uhuru theme this year is empowering the youth through the creative industry by affording them platforms for freedom of artistic expression.Embracing both history and the future, the festival will include a number of panel discussions addressing some of the challenges the youth of South Africa face today – issues of artistic freedom in the 21st century, free education and evolving movements such as the #FeesMustFall drive – and find ways to use the lessons of the past to find solutions to these contemporary concerns.Student leaders and other relevant key stakeholders will lead the discussions, encouraging all attendees to get involved and have their say in determining a positive way forward.The festival will feature a vast array of art exhibitions, film screenings, creative network exchanges and other discussions on the nature of art in modern South Africa as seen through the eyes of its emerging young creative talent.BashaUhuru Youth Festival is here,commemorating 40 yrs of the 1976 Soweto StudentUprisings. The festival is FREE! pic.twitter.com/E5M6QL7ZVN—Constitution Hill SA (@VisitConHill) May 31,2016Other, more unique exhibitions include a real-time tour that will re-enact the events of June 16th 1976. It follows the unfolding events on that fateful day from Orlando where students first gathered to the infamous Number 4 prison (where Constitutional Hill now stands) where students were incarcerated.There will also be a heritage cycling tour between the Hector Pieterson Museum and Constitutional Hill held throughout the festival.Constitution Hill is also offering complimentary tours to all young people between the ages of 18 and 22, including new additions to the year-round programme, the Walk With Madiba, Night and Time Travel tours.As Youth Month also coincides with Environmental Month, there will also be a focus on environmental awareness, including multi-media art exhibitions by young emerging contemporary artists incorporating the themes of conservation and ecological responsibility.The programme will climax with an all-star music concert at Constitution Square on 25 June, funded by the Department of Arts and Culture. The concert will feature a blend of contemporary South African musicians and DJs, names to be confirmed closer to the date.For the latest updates and additional information on exhibitions at the festival, follow the Constitution Hill social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter (@VisitConHill) and Instagram (@visitconhill).South Africa.info reporter
11 November 2015South Africa is among 13 countries that form the executive committee of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol), elected on a three-year mandate.The executive committee consists of the president, three vice-presidents and nine delegates representing the organisation’s four regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.The committee is an elective body responsible for complying with the resolutions of the general assembly, by which it supervises the execution of the decisions of the assembly.Voting took place during Interpol’s general assembly, held last week in Kigali, Rwanda.The South African delegation on the executive committee will be headed by Brigadier Anbuen Naidoo, who is also the head of Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB), situated in Pretoria.#sapsHQ South Africa elected to INTERPOL Executive Committee. @INTERPOL_HQ ME https://t.co/OEjJa9FChd pic.twitter.com/itL3tTGUEt— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) November 6, 2015The NCB was recently incorporated into the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks, and will report directly to its national head, Lieutenant-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza. The bureau is set to be staffed by highly trained police under the command and control of the Hawks, which links the South African Police Service (SAPS) to global law enforcement agencies.Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said they were humbled by the vote of confidence shown by fellow members of Interpol on the continent and vowed to continue playing a leading role in international policing.“We commit to using this position to promote the interests of the continent in the global fight against international organised crime. We appreciate that this fight must have a global face and Interpol is that face.“The Hawks’ leading role will strengthen South Africa’s footprint in building criminal databases and co-operating with other international policing agencies on cross-border investigations, operations and arrests,” said Nhleko.InterpolInterpol is the world’s biggest international police organisation, with 190 member countries.“Our role is to enable police around the world to work together to make the world a safer place,” reads the official website. “Our high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support helps meet the growing challenges of fighting crime in the 21st century.”Source: South African Government News Agency
Plagued by allegations of financial irregularities and many other controversies, the Indian Premier League is all set for a fresh start on Saturday with a high-profile two-day auction of 350 cricketers for the cash-rich Twenty20 event’s fourth edition.The highly successful tournament, which has been a money spinner for the BCCI, is set to feature 10 teams and a whopping 74 matches this season starting April 8 — just six days after the ODI World Cup in the sub-continent.Although the event has been mired in controversies ever since its inception in 2008, it was hit by some major furors last year.Its brash but dynamic commissioner Lalit Modi was sacked after a string of allegations of financial irregularities and two of the franchises — Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals– are locked in a court battle with the BCCI to stay in the league after being suspended for, what the Board called, ownership issues.Modi, who has taken refuge in the UK citing security fears, has been accused of favouring his kith and kin in the award of franchises and taking kickbacks in various deals related to the IPL. However, he has vehemently denied the allegations.Add to this, the ownership row involving one of the two new franchises — Kochi and Pune. The Kerala team’s stakeholders kept squabbling over the ownership pattern and the matter could be resolved only after the BCCI asked them to either work out a solution or risk being booted out of event. Such was the state of affairs till the end of last year that the league looked in complete disarray. In fact, the players’ auction, which was originally scheduled to be held in November last year, had to be postponed due to the never-ending furores.advertisementHaving weathered the storm to some extent, the IPL is set to roll with the first round of bidding and buying taking place in Bangalore on Saturday.Former West Indies captain Brian Lara and England’s Ashes hero pacer James Anderson are among the top cricketers who will go under the hammer and are among the 21 with the highest reserve price of $400,000 for a three-year contract.Other top international cricketers in the hunt include Australians Adam Gilchrist and Brett Lee, England’s Kevin Pietersen, South Africans Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, and New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori — all of whom were released by their respective franchises.Auction live on SET MaxSET Max will telecast live the auction in Bangalore on Saturday and Sunday. The auction will take place between 10am to 7pm.Two new teams — Sahara Pune Warriors and IPL Kochi — will take part in the auction for the first time after successfully winning the bids for the fourth edition.Twelve players, who have been retained by the IPL franchise for the upcoming season four, are as follows: Sachin Tendulkar (Mumbai Indians); Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians); Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians); Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians), M.S. Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings); Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings); Murali Vijay (Chennai Super Kings); Albie Morkel (Chennai Super Kings); Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore); Virendra Sehwag (Delhi Daredevils); Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals) and Shane Warne (Rajasthan Royals).D-Day for IPL oldies like Lara, Jayasuriya and GangulyThey have all captured the imagination of the fans with their on-field exploits. For the quartet of Brian Lara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Adam Gilchrist and Sourav Ganguly — the oldest players in the IPL auctions, it will be an anxious wait as to what is the verdict of the franchises.It will be interesting to see whether the franchises still consider them to be good enough for the shortest version or have they passed their sell by date.It’s of mere coincidence that the four senior-most players are all left-handers and have opened for the respective countries in shorter version with lot of success. Also three of them apart from Jayasuriya are in the highest base price bracket of $400,000. At 41 years and 8 months, Brian Lara will be the oldest player at the IPL auctions followed by Sanath Jayasuriya (41 years and six months). Gilchrist, one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen world has ever seen, is third at 39 years and two months. Former India captain Ganguly is the oldest Indian player up for auction at 38 years and six months.Among the four, the curiosity value will be the most for which franchises bid for Lara and Ganguly.The West Indian legend, who had quit active cricket three years back, has been priced at $ 400,000 but it will be interesting to find out whether his mind and body is ready to take the rigour of T20. However, franchises might just think about cashing in on ‘Brand Lara’.advertisementFor somebody like Ganguly, who can never be kept out of any discussion, this IPL will certainly be an indication whether he is still good enough to sustain in competitive cricket. Three franchises Mumbai Indians, Sahara Pune Warriors and Kolkata Knight Riders may be bidding for Ganguly.However, home is where the heart lies for Kolkata’s favourite son. It will be interesting how KKR copes up with public pressure if they don’t take Ganguly from auctions.For Jayasuriya, who is priced at $200,000, getting a franchise will be an achievement in itself. Having got a look-in in the Sri lanka’s provisional 30-man squad may just help the dashing Lankan get a contract having plied his trade for Mumbai Indians. Adam Gilchrist may be the safest bet to be picked up from the auctions. No doubt Deccan Chargers and a few others will bid for Gilchrist who has had more than a decent run in the three IPLs as he catapulted Deccan Chargers from wooden-spooners to championship title with his leadership skills.Oldest Players Up for auctions (Countrywise)Australia: Adam Gilchrist (39 years 2 months)Bangladesh: Abdur Razzaq (38 years 6 months)England: Anthony McGrath (35 years 3 months)India: Sourav Ganguly (38 years 6 months)New Zealand: Scott Styris (35 years 6 months)South Africa: Herschelle Gibbs (36 years 11 months)Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya (41 years 6 months)West Indies: Brian Lara (41 years and 8 months).With inputs from PTI
zoom Oil and gas major Total has joined SEA\LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition created to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.Total is involved across the entire LNG chain, from extracting natural gas onshore and offshore to processing plants where it is liquefied, stored and shipped in a fleet of specially designed carriers to regasification terminals for delivery to business customers.In 2015, the company’s LNG production was of 10.2 million tons. Total’s objective is to double its liquefaction capacity to around 20 Mt/y and increase its LNG trading portfolio to 15 Mt/y by 2020.“Our mission, as an integrated oil company, is to offer global and compliant solutions to our customers to meet the 2020 Global Cap requirements recently set by the International Maritime Organization,” Olivier Jouny, Total Marine Fuels Managing Director, said.”Total has a long historical activity in the bunker industry and is also a strong worldwide LNG player, thus providing the required conditions to position the company on this emerging LNG bunker market, with the objective to be a key player. Total’s ambition is to become the responsible energy major and the Group strongly supports the SEA\LNG drive to make LNG the preferred clean marine fuel of the future.”SEA\LNG brings together players from across the supply chain, including shipping companies, classification societies, ports, major LNG suppliers, downstream companies, infrastructure providers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to address market barriers and transform the use of LNG as a marine fuel.The coalition members include ABS, Carnival Corporation, DNV GL, Eagle LNG Partners, ENGIE, GE, GTT, Keppel Gas Technology, Lloyd’s Register, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line, Port of Rotterdam, Qatargas, Shell, Total, TOTE Inc., and Wärtsilä.
Advertisement Sharp, funny and genre-bending, Wynonna Earp was one of the most interesting things on television in 2016. Unfortunately, you might have missed the tale of hard-drinking screw-up Wynonna Earp, who comes back to town just in time to slay some demons – both literal and metaphorical.The series premiered in April 2016 on SyFy and aired on Friday nights, not exactly prime real estate for TV shows. Yet even from humble beginnings (and, let’s be honest, budgets) the little sci-fi Western developed a healthy and obsessive cult following. Known as Earpers, these fans have zero chill and they know a great show when they see one.The premise of Wynonna Earp is anything but simple, yet it’s also wholly original. Black sheep Wynonna Earp is from a line of Earps leading all the way back to great, great, great (add some more greats here) grandaddy Wyatt Earp. She comes back to her hometown of Purgatory for her uncle’s funeral just in time for her 27th birthday, which is the year when the Earp curse officially kicks in..You see, every Earp since Wyatt has been cursed with putting down Revenants, demonic echos of the men Wyatt killed back in the Wild West. Wynonna is very much not a traditional gunslinging hero, but she has to step up to her newfound responsibility. Thankfully she has her brilliant little sister Waverly and help from some new friends along the way..READ MORE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook