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Gas pipeline setbacks pushing U.S. utilities to embrace renewables, analysts say

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Legal challenges halted several major pipeline projects across the U.S. in recent days, underscoring a seismic shift facing the U.S. utility industry: the rise of renewables as a potentially less costly and risky alternative to fossil fuels.Over the weekend Dominion Energy and Duke Energy, two of the country’s biggest utilities, canceled their Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, citing costs that have ballooned to as much as $8 billion and ongoing legal challenges from landowners and environmental groups. The pipeline’s legal challenges include an April federal court decision overturning Nationwide Permit 12, a federal permit authority allowing pipelines to cross waterways and wetlands, which threatens the viability of projects including the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline.Then on Monday the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to shut down its oil shipments from the North Dakota shale fields by next month for failure to meet federal permitting requirements. The decision is a blow to the Trump administration, which reversed an Obama administration decision to deny the permits.For utilities and energy companies, the mounting challenges to pipeline projects may serve as an incentive to shift from plans to rely on natural gas as a bridge fuel, and toward a less risky role building ratepayer-financed electric infrastructure to serve an increasingly renewable-powered grid, analysts say.“If you look at the last six to seven years, electric utilities were seeking to acquire gas utilities as a hedge against anemic electric load growth,” Rob Rains, analyst at Washington Analysis, said in a Monday interview. Today, “companies like Duke, Southern Company, Dominion, are moving back to electric, in the face of sustained public policy and consumer interest in low-carbon energy.” Beyond public pressure, there may be a growing economic incentive for utilities to shift from natural gas to renewable electricity. “The costs keep dropping” for renewable energy, Rains said. And regulated utilities that earn a guaranteed rate of return on electric infrastructure investments have an interest in expanding that rate base via large-scale projects, he said. In a Sunday statement, the CEOs of Duke and Dominion expressed regret for canceling the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which they said would have brought much-needed reliable and cost-effective energy supplies to their regions. At the same time, both utilities are increasingly looking to renewable energy to supply a significant portion of their future power supplies, both because the states they operate in are increasingly demanding it and because it’s becoming an increasingly more cost-effective alternative.[Jeff St. John]More: As fossil fuel pipelines fall to opposition, utilities see renewable energy as safe bet Gas pipeline setbacks pushing U.S. utilities to embrace renewables, analysts saylast_img read more

Vigil Saturday for Ecuadorian Immigrant Killed 5 Years Ago

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Marcelo Lucero, the Ecuadorian immigrant killed in a hate crime five years ago, will be remembered Saturday during a vigil near the Long Island Rail Road tracks where he was stabbed by seven teenagers.The vigil, which begins at 2:30 p.m. at the Salvadorian church, Iglesia Evangelica Refugio, ends a weeklong series of events promoting respect and human rights in Suffolk County, organizers said.“The Culture of Hope and Peace vigil will remember Marcelo, as well as all other victims of hate crimes,” organizers said in a press release. “It will serve further to lay the foundation for the continuation of efforts to establish respect and understanding between the diverse groups of people who reside in Suffolk County, including immigrants.”Lucero’s brother, Joselo, will be in attendance, as will family, friends and leaders of different faiths. Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri is also expected to attend.The service will be followed by a candlelight procession to the spot where Lucero died, organizers said.last_img read more

Value is in the added security

first_imgby: Brandon KuehlCost concerns, delays in smoothing out technical details and hold-ups among plastic card suppliers have slowed some community financial institutions’ (FIs’) transition to EMV chip cards. However, there remains strong value in being proactive when it comes to an EMV chip card conversion. That value is in the added security offered by chip technology, making cardholders more likely to pull the card from their wallets first.Below are some factors for community FIs to remember when looking at their own EMV implementation timeline:Don’t wait — Communicate your plans to your vendors sooner rather than later. Queues are long and likely to get longer.Consider mass reissuance — Mass reissuance wasn’t common for credit programs converting to EMV. However, it will likely be more common with debit cards due to the volume of cards and the quickly approaching liability shift date.Don’t panic — Many merchants are in the same boat (it’s estimated just 34 percent of retailers will be EMV ready by October 2015). continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Bringing top business schools to your credit union team

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Look around the average college classroom and you’ll see varying levels of commitment from students. Some aren’t there; some are sleeping; some are watching YouTube videos; and some are fully engaged.Look around the classroom during a CUES institute at a top business school and you’ll see cream-of-the-crop current and emerging leaders listening, taking notes, sharing ideas, debating issues, and even laughing in the process. Notably, this kind of collaborative learning is not possible in other industries.Being able to describe such a classroom situation, plus CUES’ own track record of working with top tier business schools, is key to CUES’ ability to build new institute relationships with highly regarded universities, according to Christopher Stevenson, CIE, CUES’ SVP/chief learning officer.“We start with an idea for a program based on a need in the industry,” he explains. “Based on the concept, I check the readily available business school ratings for the topic under consideration. For example, when I was developing CUES’ new Strategic Innovation Institute, both MIT and Stanford—where the institute’s segments are now offered—stood out.” continue reading »last_img read more

What makes a great brand?

first_imgIn fact, before attempting to answer this question, it’s probably important to define what, exactly, a brand is? For me a brand is the complete experience and manifestation that a company produces, and how it is then internalized by the consumer. Candidly, that’s a little bit vapid when you consider that piles of business books and courses have been written and conducted to explain what a true brand is. Still, the brand is the experience that a consumer has when it comes to product, price, promotion and place.Now, what brand is truly “great” in your estimation? It’s not always the biggest, the most profitable or the most well known. One could argue that you would need to hit those three mountaintops to be considered “great,” and that’s fair enough. Does size make a brand great? I know many great brands that many of you would question. Some think Apple is a great brand. Many hate it. Same could be said for just about any brand. Still… let’s push on this together: What makes a great brand?Let’s make a list of what makes a brand great… continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

PSG say goodbye to ‘legend’ Thiago Silva as Chelsea move awaits

first_imgSilva, 35, underwent a medical in London on Thursday and is expected to sign a two-year deal with Chelsea, according to reports in Britain.The Brazil center-back enjoyed eight trophy-laden years with the French champions, winning the Ligue 1 title seven times and five French Cups while making 315 appearances for PSG.Silva could become the latest signing for Chelsea in a busy close season that has seen the arrivals of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Malang Sarr. The Blues are also interested in Bayer Leverkusen rising star Kai Havertz. Paris Saint-Germain paid a fond tribute to departing captain Thiago Silva on Thursday, calling him “one of the greats” ahead of a reported move to Premier League side Chelsea.”Thiago, thank you for eight years of unforgettable memories, leadership and commitment. You are one of the greats and your legendary status at PSG will live forever,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in a club statement.”My very best wishes to you and your family for your new adventures, you will always be part of our family and our history, Merci Captain.” Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal issue injury updates on Rob Holding and Dani Ceballos ahead of West Ham game

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Phil HaighSunday 8 Dec 2019 2:37 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Rob Holding is nearing a return to fitness (Picture: Getty Images)Rob Holding could return to action for Arsenal on Monday night against West Ham, but Dani Ceballos is still not ready to return from injury.Holding has not played since the 2-0 defeat to Leicester on 9 November as he has been struggling with a knee problem.However, the club have issued an update on the bruising to his left knee and the centre-back is now being assessed ahead of the clash with the Hammers, with the potential of him being involved.The 24-year-old has only played in one Premier League games this season having missed months of action with an ACL injury which he picked up a year ago.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTInterim manager Freddie Ljungberg will be delighted to have another option in the middle of defence with the likes of Sokratis and David Luiz struggling for form of late.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityCeballos has been out of action since the draw with Vitoria Guimaraes on 6 November with a hamstring tear and is not even back to full training yet.The Spain international is expected to be back to training in mid-December and Arsenal will hope to have him available again by the end of the month.The 23-year-old has made 11 Premier League appearances since arriving on loan from Real Madrid and will be desperate to return to action as he tries to win a place in Spain’s squad at Euro 2020.Otherwise the Gunners have a clean bill of health with no other first team players out injured, however, they continue to struggle for results having gone nine games without a win in all competitions.The pressure is on Ljungberg to pick up three points at the London Stadium on Monday night having sunk into the bottom half of the table.MORE: Manchester United urged to sign Bruno Fernandes and a striker in January by Danny MurphyMORE: Ryan Giggs reveals what he told Daniel James before Manchester United beat Manchester Citycenter_img Comment Arsenal issue injury updates on Rob Holding and Dani Ceballos ahead of West Ham gamelast_img read more

More UK DB schemes shut their doors to new members

first_imgThere had also been a rise in the potential for medical underwriting as a way of helping schemes derisk more cost effectively, he said.The survey included data from more than 230 private sector DB schemes in the UK with assets of over £1bn, and was based on publicly available information up to 30 September 2017.“The largest occupational schemes in the UK are an integral part of the economy and strongly influence the behaviour of smaller schemes with respect to developing innovative methods of sponsor support and risk mitigation,” Vaughan commented.The data showed that 69% of the pension schemes had a deficit on their company accounting basis – up from 57% the year before.Sponsors had also put more into the schemes to reduce deficits, with the average annual employer deficit contribution rising to around £208m from the previous year’s £60m, according to the survey.Barnet Waddingham said this increase was largely due to two employers making large one-off contributions.Regarding asset allocation, the survey showed a significant increase in the average allocation to “other” investments – a category comprising hedge funds and derivatives, or funds where it was not easy to see the allocation between different asset classes.Around 38% of scheme assets were categorised as “other” investments in the latest survey, up from 29% the year before.The median annual increase in transfer values paid out was 56%, the study showed, but the consultancy found that some schemes had seen an increase of over 200%. The number of large UK defined benefit (DB) pension schemes that are in deficit has increased, and more schemes have now closed their doors to future accrual, according to a new report.In its latest annual survey, consultancy Barnett Waddingham reported that only 4% of schemes were open to new members, and the share of schemes now closed to future accrual had climbed to 43% from 37% in the previous year’s study. Andrew Vaughan, partner at Barnett Waddingham, said: “For the sixth year running, these statistics show that year on year, schemes over £1bn [€1.1bn] continue to close for future accrual of benefits.”This still left many firms with large liabilities to manage, he said, adding that the attractiveness of bulk annuity deals had grown over the last few years.last_img read more

​Scottish Widows hands £30bn of disputed SLA mandate to BlackRock

first_imgMeanwhile, a spokesperson for Lloyds confirmed to IPE that UK-listed asset manager Schroders could be in line to gain the remaining mandates, amounting to around £80bn.The Financial Times reported last week that Schroders and Lloyds were in talks, with the asset manager reportedly offering a “joint-venture sweetener” in the form of a possible stake in its Cazenove Capital wealth management arm.Schroders subsequently confirmed the discussions in a stock exchange announcement, saying it was in talks “with a view to working closely together in parts of the wealth sector.” BlackRock increased its dominance of the European investment market today, securing a £30bn (€34bn) mandate from UK financial services company Scottish Widows.The mandate – to run a range of index strategies – forms part of a £109bn contract that Scottish Widows’ parent company, Lloyds Banking Group, is attempting to wrest from Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA).As well as the £30bn mandate, Lloyds said it was pursuing a strategic partnership with BlackRock, including collaboration in alternative asset classes, risk management and investment technology.Antonio Lorenzo, chief executive of Scottish Widows and group director of insurance and wealth at Lloyds, said: “BlackRock has been selected following a competitive tender process in which it clearly demonstrated its global market leading capabilities and deep expertise in the UK market.” Lloyds said in a statement today: “The group is also near to finalising arrangements in respect of the remaining £80bn of assets that are within the scope of the asset management review, and will provide an update in due course.”The huge contracts have been up for tender since February, when Scottish Widows launched a review of its asset management arrangements and terminated its partnership agreements with SLA.Scottish Widows and Lloyds have argued that long-term contracts signed with Aberdeen Asset Management in 2014 to run the money could be terminated if it turned into a material competitor.Aberdeen merged last year with insurance company Standard Life, which Lloyds argued was a material competitor. However, in May SLA disagreed and said Lloyds and Scottish Widows did not have the right to terminate the arrangements. SLA sold the bulk of its insurance business to Phoenix at the end of August 2018.The parties remain at odds over the issue, but Lloyds said today it was confident of its right to end the contracts, and expected the arbitration process to conclude early next year.“The management of the assets [by BlackRock] will commence upon conclusion of the current arbitration process with Standard Life Aberdeen or when the existing contract expires,” it said.last_img read more

UN and business leaders call for end to HIV travel restrictions

first_img Tweet 21 Views   no discussions Share Share Most travel restrictions were imposed by governments in the 1980s, when less was known about HIV transmission, and treatment did not exist. (Credit: rrw.nl)NEW YORK, United States, Thursday November, 29, 2012 – In a move jointly sponsored by the United Nations agency dealing with the global HIV/AIDS response, more than 40 top business leaders on Wednesday called for the repeal of laws and policies restricting freedom of movement of people living with HIV.“Every individual should have equal access to freedom of movement,” said the Executive Director of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibé.“Restrictions on entry, stay and residence for people living with HIV are discriminatory and a violation of human rights,” he added.The Caribbean is second to sub-Saharan Africa in the number of people afflicted with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.The Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are speaking out ahead of World Aids Day, which is observed globally on December 1.They represent nearly two million employees in industries from banking to mining, travel to technology, according to a release issued by UNAIDS and GBCHealth, which comprises companies addressing global health challenges.Travel and other restrictions remain in 45 countries, and threaten people with HIV with such penalties as deportation, detention or denial of entry into the country in question, the statement said.Calling HIV restrictions “bad for business,” Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., said, “Global business leaders are coming together to make sure we end these unreasonable restrictions.”Most restrictions were imposed by governments in the 1980s, when less was known about HIV transmission, and treatment did not exist. Since then, much has been learned about how to effectively prevent, manage and treat HIV, the statement said.It’s time to send HIV travel restrictions packing,” said Kenneth Cole, CEO of Kenneth Cole Productions. “Using our collective might, I believe we can use our influence to eliminate these discriminatory practices.”Other major companies whose CEOs have joined the appeal include Johnson & Johnson, The Coca-Cola Company, Pfizer, Heineken, Merck, the National Basketball Association, Kenya Airways and Thomson Reuters.While restrictions affecting HIV carriers vary from country to country, they can also include denial of work visas, disallowing short-term stays for business trips or conferences, and blocking longer-term stays, such as residence-for-work relocations and study-abroad programmes, according to UNAIDS.The United States lifted its 22-year HIV travel ban in 2010, while other countries that have removed restrictions include Armenia, China, Fiji, Moldova, Namibia and Ukraine.“These countries include major hubs for international business,” UNAIDS said.Ending discrimination against HIV carriers is part of the “Getting to Zero” theme for World AIDS Days from 2011 to 2015. The day was launched in 1988, and was the first ever global health day. caribbean360center_img Share HealthLifestyleNewsRegional UN and business leaders call for end to HIV travel restrictions by: – November 29, 2012 Sharing is caring!last_img read more