US Miners Underscore Mining Attributes In Line w/ Biden’s Climate Change Plans

After U.S. news networks declared Joe Biden as the President-Elect, members of the National Mining Association (NMA) lost no time in acknowledging his victory. Lest the incoming POTUS is of the notion that operations of U.S. mining companies are opposed to his climate change plans, they also took the opportunity of giving the mining industry a nudge.

Even if the President-elect’s climate change plans will immediately ban coal mining toward elimination of fossil fuel use, the mining executives who spoke to the former Vice President gave reminders that they are also into mining metals.

Many of which are vital for the incoming administration’s green initiatives, such as the manufacture of purely electric vehicles (EV). They likewise underscored the fact that the country’s 600,000 miners supply products used to make bridges, cell phones, solar panels and a myriad of other consumer goods.

The NMA executives stated that metals such as copper and lithium are aligned with Biden’s goals of reducing energy consumption toward meeting the global climate goal of zero-carbon emissions. According to American Elements’ Chief Executive, Michael Silver, Biden has enormous potential in changing the spirit of mining in the country, because his climate change plans have great demands for other mineral extracts like lithium.

A Quick Overview of President-Elect Biden’s Climate Change Goals

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s election victory can be attributed in part to the $2 trillion budgeted climate plan he bared during his campaign runs. According to a Pew Research Center conducted after the Nov. 03 election, 42% of the voters responding to the survey gave indications that climate change was an important deciding factor on who they voted for as president.

The President-elect plans on adding new fuel economy standards in order to lessen the emissions of greenhouse gases coming from transport vehicles. The objective is to have only the latest light and medium duty electrically-powered vehicles running in the country. As for heavy vehicles, the process in following suit in the same direction, will take place progressively.

Additionally, the plan is for the government to include the giving of incentives in the use of electric vehicles. The funds for the incentives will form part of the spend of the yearly $500 billion purchasing power that will be allocated for the expansion of zero-emission automobiles and the use of renewable energy.

Furthermore, new appliance and building-efficiency standards will be initiated among consumers and federal government facilities as a way to ensure efficiency in energy use and in minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Stricter limits would also be implemented on methane pollution produced by the gas and oil companies operating in the country. That is something other players in the mining industry must take note of in aligning their operations with the President-elect’s climate change goals.

Trump Administration Oblivious to the Effects of Fracking on the Environment

Trump’s administration resumed selling leases on public land for oil drilling, still oblivious to the detrimental effects of fracking on the environment.

 

In fact, the U.S. government under Trump’s directive, is all set to close oil drilling deals in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) amidst resistance and legal actions taken by conservationists in Alaska. The legal suit filed against the Trump administration will at least slow down the finalization of any deals that Trump may have promised to deliver to his oil and gas political donors.

Despite a weak response from the oil industry in view of the financial setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is still carrying on the with lease sales of public lands in Oklahoma and New Mexico

Climbing Community through its Advocacy Organization, Saved the Moab Region from Being Auctioned

If there is one good news related to the Trump administration’s vigorous attempts to sell leases on acres of public land, it was the cancellation of the auction sale in Moab, Utah. Apparently, Access Fund, the national advocacy organization representing the climbing communities across the country, succeeded in getting the BLM to cancel the sale.

After all, Moab is a well-known destination for climbing adventures, which oil drilling activities could impact in ways that can hurt the environment and the economy of Moab communities in the region.

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The cancellation also highlights the importance of having advocacy organizations that can mobilize civilian movements for the protection of environments. Access Fund for one, was able to call on 6,000 climbers coming from across different parts of the country, to help convince the BLM about the importance of keeping the Moab region free from oil drilling activities

The Importance of Having an Advocacy Group for Bow Huntsmen

We, at Archery Power dot com, also recognize how oil drilling can negatively impact the public lands on which bow hunters recreate. Yet the community of bow huntsmen in the country has yet to have an advocacy group that will work with other hunters. That way, huntsmen will have a unified voice in opposing government decisions to open and offer public lands for oil drilling and fracking operations.

Archery as a sport is best enjoyed when taken outdoors, which is why bow hunting is one of the most important activities that can help the archery industry maintain and sustain growth. On that note, archery trade organizations must also lend support to advocacies for environmentalism and wildlife conservation, since their business is likewise dependent on the ecosystems that support the country’s wildlife.

As an aside, those looking to buy one of the latest crossbow kits Hero 380 by Killer Instinct reviewed and given high ratings by many who bought them, might want to know that the kit is currently unavailable. The lightweight composite bow with its 380 FPS bolt shooting speed and adjustable foregrip, received tremendous positive feedback, the Killer Instinct store quickly ran out of the Hero 380 crossbow kit.

Biden’s Stance vs. Oil Drilling Projects: Will It Affect the Oil Industry’s Chances for Recovery?

While Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden vows to push for policies that will bar new oil drilling projects, Trump resumed with his oil leasing projects.

Biden’s stance against increased oil production is in line with his plan to rejoin the global movement in addressing climate change; but, at the cost of losing support from the proponents of the oil industry. Trump on the other hand, wants to pursue ambitions of making America great again by dominating the global oil industry. After all, the incumbent U.S. president does not believe in the climate change phenomenon and has scorned scientists by calling their calls for global action as hoaxes.

Although Trump may be keeping the support of the gas and oil company, it’s quite apparent that he still does not understand the current challenges faced by the industry. The problem is not the supply but the reduced demand for crude products.

How Soon Can the Oil Industry Recover from the Collapse Caused by the Pandemic?

The reality is that the oil industry is hurting from the effects of the pandemic, when the worldwide disruptions in economic activities resulted in overflow of supply that was not met by demand. As a result, demand took a tumble, sending oil prices crashing down to even as low as $0 per barrel at the height of the coronavirus lockdown orders.

Although the price of oil has somehow recovered at a price of $40 per barrel, it still has not reached the industry domestic benchmark of $50 to $60 per barrel.

According to Enverus’ VP for Market Intelligence, Bernadette Johnson, their projection is that the crude oil market will be able to bounce bank to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, and only when the West Texas Intermediate crude oil reaches the domestic standard price per barrel.

The Oil Industry Already Negatively Affected While Yet to Face the Challenges Posed by Carbon Reduction Initiatives

What the pandemic has done was to handicap oil companies once they face the challenges posed by global initiatives for carbon reduction. While the industry estimates that it will take about at least three years to recover from the losses caused by the oversupply, countries supporting the climate change actions are also fast tracking on projects that will see to the reduction of demand for carbon-based fuel.

Regardless of what Joe Biden plans to put forward as policies in stopping oil production in the U.S., the effect if any, will likely be minimal. As it is, the country’s oil producers, particularly in New Mexico, a;ready have more than enough oil supply and acreage, to see them through during Biden’s potential 4-year tenure as new U.S. president.

COVID-19 Cripples Oil Producers as Demand Vanishes

The COVID-19 pandemic put a crippling impact on oil-producing countries, as petrol products were the least of what people needed while under lockdown

Following the basic correlation between supply and demand, low demand kept the supply in abundance causing decrease in prices. That ‘s what happened when COVID-19 had spread globally and forced countries to lockdown, whilst halting both international and local travels.

 

The global health crisis created an energy market in which there was more than enough supply of gasoline and petrol to deliver to consumers who had no use for them.

As a result, the stockpile at oil depots hardly moved since people and all petrol-fueled transport were not moving either. Oil prices started going down when countries went into lockdown mode in mid-March. As the demand for gasoline continued to vanish, the prices of crude oil dropped by as much as 90% in April, coming from a price of $2 per barrel, down to as low as 25 cents.

Oil-Producing Countries Move to Suspend Oil Production and Cut-Off Supplies

In a move to put a balance between oil supply and demand, oil-producing countries Saudi Arabia, the U.S. (Texas) and Russia came to an agreement to first, cut-off oil supply. Subsequently they suspended oil production as well. The problem was more than just demand for oil, but also the potential lack of storage if their oil fields continue pumping crude oil that no airline is buying in large bulks.

 

Energy Sarah Ladislaw, and the Vice President at the Center for Strategic and International Studies commented:

“The reality is that there’s little that suppliers can achieve by supply cuts, because the destruction caused by the pandemic in terms of demand is just so large.”

Lead analyst Per Magnus Nysveen and a Senior Partner at Rystad Energy said that in cutting half of their oil production, down to 15 million barrels a day, the oil-producing countries are now in a survival mode, awaiting possible recovery by next year.

However, Mr. Ladislaw warns that recovery can only happen if the COVID-19 gets contained and if the people receives vaccine-protection.

The Keystone Pipeline Project : Trump Ignores Pending Legal Cases Orders U.S. Depts. To Grant Permits

The Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline project of TC Energy is back, after president Donald Trump gave the go signal to Secretary David Bernhardt of the U.S. Department of Interior to allow preparations for the oil delivery system to begin this month.

This recent push for the contentious $8 billion project comes, despite pending legal challenges filed in courts by environmental activists and organized groups of Native American indigenous tribes.

Currently, miles of pipes for the Keystone Pipeline are already stacked in a public field near Ripley, Oklahoma. They will be used in building a pipeline network starting from Alberta, Canada, where tar sands will be pumped in to Steele City in Nebraska; to subsequently flow as oil into pipelines that will reach oil terminals in the Gulf of Mexico, ready for export to other countries .

The pipeline network cuts through about 1,200 miles of U.S. land including protected Native American territories; allowing TC Energy to expand the reach of its international oil exporting system. The KXL Pipeline project is all set to begin this month as preparations for construction are already underway in Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Why Many are Opposed to TC Energy’s Keystone XL Project?

TC Energy proposed the Keystone XL pipeline project back in 2010, but was blocked by multiple legal challenges filed in courts by environmental protection groups and alliances of Native American tribes. In 2011, President Obama deferred approval of the project and had asked a more thorough analysis of the potential impact and risks posed by tar sands on the environm

After all, tar sand is branded by science experts as the most dangerous component in the production of oil. Scientists call it the “dirtiest form of fossil fuel” because it yields toxic by-products, and is capable of producing greater carbon emissions when burned. Moreover, experts say tar sand is the most difficult to clean in case of spillages. Even environment activists in Alberta, Canada blame the tar sand industry for the rapid depredation of Canada’s boreal forests.

The year 2015 saw Republican legislators attempting to force the issue by approving a bill that would allow the Keystone XL’s proposed project to move ahead. President Obama vetoed the bill, which immediately prevented TC Energy from cutting trees in preparation for the pipeline project.

However, TC Energy’s federal application remained on hold, apparently waiting for a “changing of the guards,” so to speak. Finally, and after years of waiting, the Canadian oil company got the support it needed in the person of Donald Trump. Upon Trump’s assumption of office as the new president of the U.S., among his first set of executive orders he signed included the revival of all pipeline projects previously stalled by activists movements.

After emerging triumphant from the recent impeachment trial, Trump immediately ordered the State Department and other related federal agencies to grant the Keystone XL project permits that would allow the Canadian pipeline project to cross the border and build the pipeline network across U.S. lands and waterways.

Still, the alliance of Native American tribes, the Fort Belknap Indian Community, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Native American Rights Fund are ready to continue their legal fight. This time, their legal challenge includes violations of treaties to which the federal government made a commitment to care for and protect the ancestral lands of American Native tribes.

Know the Cons of Living in Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada boasts of being ranked as the 7th most livable city in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit, a leading British research company that provides data-driven forecasting and advisory services, based the ranking on economic stability, healthcare, education, environment, and infrastructure. This is why many are considering Toronto as a likely place in which to find work and settle permanently.

However, despite the free education and healthcare as well as the vastness of Toronto’s green space, the city is not perfect. One should therefore look closely at the imperfections and make comparisons before arriving at a final decision to move to Toronto,Canada.

Cons of Living in Toronto

The disadvantages of living in Toronto though are no different from the reasons why one is looking to relocate in the most livable cities in the world. Nonetheless, it would be wise to consider those disadvantages in your decision making processes.

First off, the cost of living in Toronto is quite high, which latest reports peg at CA$6,000 per annum. Since Toronto real properties are expensive, expect the cost of renting a house or an apartment to be just as costly. In Toronto, minimum wage earners (CA$14 per hour) are finding it necessary to have a side job just so they can afford to live decently.

If you are looking to escape long hours of commute in your present location, have awareness that daily commutes in Toronto, could take as long as 45 minutes at the least via public transport. Although if you are a motorist, you can cut travel time down to 24 minutes.

However, Canadians have a penchant for using big and heavy SUVs that guzzle a lot of fuel, which are hardly the vehicles that can help bring carbon emissions down to zero. SUVs enable Canadians to cover vast land areas, whilst travelling in less than ideal roads and with more protection against Canada’s cold climate.

If after weighing all the advantages and disadvantages you still see Toronto as an ideal place compared to where you are living now, start the move right by choosing a transmoving firm that provides guaranteed quality services at affordable rates. Checkout the online site Easy Moving Ca, to find out about its terms and conditions, including insurance coverage of up to CA$25,000 when moving personal items and furniture.

Democratic NY Senator Schumer Reveals His Only-Clean-Cars-in-America Proposal via NY Times Op-Ed

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (Dem-NY) announced his plans to introduce a bill that could bring America back on track to meet the mid-century global deadline to become a carbon-neutral country. Scientists have made it clear that in order to arrest the worsening effects of climate change, the entire globe must achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by the middle of the century.

 

Senator Schumer revealed his plans in an op-ed he wrote for The New York Times last October 24, 2019. He describes them as a $462 Billion program in which Americans will trade-in their carbon emitting vehicles for clean cars to rapidly achieve the zero-carbon emission throughout the next decades. His plan envisions that by 2040, all American roads will have only electrically-charged or hybrid vehicles.

In acknowledging that there is already a mix of proposals bared and outlined as programs to urgently remove gas,oil and coal emissions out of the Earth’s atmosphere, Senator Schumer says his plans are different. Mainly because they include programs that will involve the transformation of America’s vehicle manufacturing industry, and the potential to unite the country’s environmental movement, the labor organizations and large automobile manufacturers.

The Democratic Senator also said in his op-ed that his ambitious plan already has the support of the United Automobile Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker, Ford, General Motors, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Key Points of Senator Schumer’s Only-Clean Cars-in-America Proposal

The primary goal of Senator Schumer’s plan is to make electric or hybrid cars and battery-charging stations, batteries and electric car parts, available and affordable to most U.S. citizens. That is regardless of the state, city or county where they live and work, including rural, underserved and low income communities.

Federal funding therefore will be provided in building the necessary battery-charging stations in strategic locations. Senator Schumer estimates that around $45 billion would be needed to increase the availability of charging stations and other related infrastructures.

Federal grants will also be provided to retool the country’s existing vehicle makers; as well as to encourage the development of new technologies for manufacturing clean cars. Also, under this plan, Senator Schumer projects the creation of tens of thousands of new, decent-paying jobs, as well as the re-establishment of the United States as a global-leader in car manufacturing.

Most important of all is that the plan includes giving American car buyers the opportunity to replace their gas-fueled cars by trading them in, for thousands of dollar values in exchange for U.S.-manufactured electric or hydrogen-cell (hybrid) cars. Senator Schumer’s trade-in program includes giving extra credits to car buyers from lower-income American households and owners of cars built with American-made parts.

Standford U Researchers and Scientists Succeed in Developing Artificial Catalyst that can Act Like Natural Enzymes

Scientists and researchers at Stanford University and SLAC (formerly Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) National Accelerator Laboratory, were able to develop a breakthrough synthetic catalyst that can speed up chemical reactions similar to the way natural enzymes act on living organisms.

The research and development team led by Matteo Cargnello, a chemical engineering assistant professor at Stanford, drew inspiration from nature. According to Professor Cargnello, their goal was to mimic how natural enzymes functioned in a laboratory environment, by developing an artificial catalyst that can convert substances into useful compounds.

 

The researchers experimented on designing a catalyst made from palladium nanocrystals. Palladium are precious metals found embedded in layers of porous polymers, also having special catalytic properties. This is similar to how common organic protein enzymes present in nature also have trace metals embedded in their core, like iron and zinc.

Using electron microscopic imagery created by Andrew Herzing of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Stanford researchers were able to see the trace palladium in their catalysts.

Next Goal: Methanol Production

The research and development team are optimistic that their discovery could lead the way to the development of industrial catalysts capable of generating methanol at a lower cost and using less energy.

Methanol has widespread applications, and is seeing an increasing demand as alternative to conventional gasoline in light of its characteristics as a low-emissions fuel.

However, most methanol fuel is produced by way of a two-step process that involves heating natural gas to temperatures of about 1,800 F or 1,000 C. Aside from being energy-intensive, the process also emits large amounts of carbon dioxide, which as we all know, is the main greenhouse gas that has been causing climate change.

According to Professor Cargnello, their long term objective is to develop a catalyst that will behave the way microbes use a natural enzyme known as methane monooxygenase as a means for metabolizing methane. He added that

“The ability to convert methane to methanol at low temperatures is considered a holy grail of catalysis”

The Synthetic Catalyst Proves Successful as Producing the Same Reactions as Natural Enzymes

The researchers under lead author Andrew Riscoe, a Stanford PhD student, said they initially focused on determining if the artificial catalyst they created will function like natural enzymes. For this purpose, the research team used the carbon reaction model to test if it will function in the same way natural enzymes speed up the conversion of toxic carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide (CO2).

Based on the success of the carbon dioxide experiment, Professor Cargnello and his colleagues proceeded with testing their synthetic catalyst to convert methane into methanol. Aside from being regarded as a cleaner and cheaper alternative to gasoline, methanol is also widely used in the industrial sector for the production of plastic, textiles and paints, just to name a few.

Princeton U’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Finds a Way to Produce Hydrogen Efficiently

The idea of using hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuel was first put forward by the University of Michigan in 2012. A proposed hydrogen economy has since then, been considered in order to bring down carbon emissions. The contention is that hydrogen combustion will release only water. Although the concept has not flourished, its potential as a clean source of energy has not been eliminated.

As of 2016, production of hydrogen fuel received attention, as car manufacturers Toyota, Hyundai and Honda came out with models that run on hydrogen fuel. However, it later became apparent that hydrogen production was costly and resulted to inefficiency and availability issues.

When extracted through a dedicated process of water electrolysis, only small quantities of hydrogen were produced. Moreover, there is insufficient clean energy that can be used to carry out the processes on a larger scale. Although hydrogen can be produced by way of natural gas steam-reforming method, the process still results to high carbon emissions. In addition, hydrogen is essential to the chemical industry, being a critical component of the basic chemicals demanded by highly industrialized nations.

Until recently, a group of engineering and chemical researchers at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University, figured out a way to efficiently produce hydrogen from wastewater.

Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, to Make Hydrogen Economy Possible

Researchers of Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment published a report in the February 2019 issue of the Energy & Environmental Science Journal, about their breakthrough achievement.

Using a specially designed chamber outfitted with black silicon interface described as “Swiss Cheese-like, they have developed a technique that can split water as a means of isolating hydrogen. Inside the specially-designed chamber, the wastewater bacteria will contribute to the generation of electricity by consuming waste water. The electricity generated by the bacteria will in turn, help in the splitting process.

Professor Zhiyong Jason Ren of the Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE) and lead investigator, together with Lu Lu, an associate research scholar also at ACEE, and first author of the report, developed the unique anaerobic chamber.

Wastewater from breweries was used for the test run, while in place was a lamp capable of simulating the strength of sunlight.
The result was successful, because as organic compounds started breaking down, hydrogen bubbled up.

The research report concluded that the group’s breakthrough discovery will largely appeal to refineries and chemical manufacturers. Chiefly because those industries are into deriving their own hydrogen from fossil fuels, and at the same time, incur high costs for cleaning wastewater.

UK’s Shutdown of Coal-Fueled Stations Keeps Carbon Reduction Initiatives on Track

The UK government is quite proud to achieve recognition for being one of the early adopters of clean energy. The country’s goal is to totally move away from operating coal powered stations, toward zero fossil fuel-use by year 2025.

Since 1:00 pm last May 01 onward, major coal-fueled stations in the country were shut down, while additional electrical power is provided by offshore wind turbines. The number of wind turbines installed is unprecedented in any other country, as installations of 9,702 wind turbines saw completion in April 2019. All of which have the capacity to produce an enormous 20.8 gigawatts; 12,904 megawatts allocated as onshore capacity, with remaining 7,895 megawatts allotted as offshore capacity.

Currently, wind turbines account for only 24 percent of UK’s electrical power. Natural gas, a type of fossil fuel considered as cleaner by far than coal, remains as the biggest electrical power generator at 46 percent. Jonathan Marshall, Head of Energy and Climate remarked,

“Outdated warnings that cutting carbon from our power system would lead to blackouts have been comprehensively proven to be incorrect.”

Still, with the country relying mainly on low-carbon fuel, the government must ensure, the supply of natural gas does not run dry.

UK Committee on Climate Change Reports Significant Improvement in Bid to Reduce Carbon Footprint

In the lastest 2018 Progress Report to Parliament, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) gave information that UK’s carbon emissions as of 2017 went below by 43 percent from the levels recorded since 1990.

The CCD had previously mapped out carbon reduction budgets into 4 periods, starting from 2008 to 2027, whilst aiming to reduce total emissions by 80 percent from the 1990 levels. The 2018 Progress Report indicated that the UK is currently on track. The second (2013-17) and third (2018-22) carbon budgets saw out performances, although still not on track to meet the 4th (2023-27).

in order to achieve UK’s goal of reducing emissions by at least 80% by year 2050, at least 3% of overall domestic emissions must be reduced. The CCC recommends implementation of more challenging measures since the present progress is mostly attributed to carbon reduction from electricity generation. Indicating that improvements in carbon reduction from other sectors are yet to be achieved.