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The ‘Long-Term Problem’ Facing U.S. Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Pittsburgh City Paper:Economic experts warn that coal will continue its long-term, steady decline. Pennsylvania coal-industry advocates are optimistic about coal’s future, and say coal production will remain steady and an important part of the area’s energy portfolio. But even with these diverging views of the overall future of coal, everyone seems to be in agreement about one thing: The coal jobs are not coming back. “I suggested that [Trump] temper his expectations. Those are my exact words,” said Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, the country’s largest coal-mine owner, in a March 2017 article in The Guardian newspaper. “He can’t bring them back.”Pittsburgh City Paper analyzed U.S. Department of Labor data on jobs at coal-producing sites in Southwestern Pennsylvania, including Allegheny, Butler, Washington, Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland and Armstrong counties. (Beaver County had no coal mines, according to the data.) In 2017, the average number of workers at coal-producing sites, like underground and surface mines, in this region was 2,767, an increase of 26 workers compared to 2016, or a growth rate of less than 1 percent. Nationally, coal jobs ticked up by 771 to 54,819 jobs, an increase of 1.4 percent, according to news organization Reuters.  With the projected 370 jobs lost at the 4 West Mine, this means the region will have to add more than 344 coal jobs to have positive job growth in 2018. Seth Feaster, of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a Cleveland-based group that advocates for a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy, says this will be an extremely difficult feat. Feaster says there was a positive jolt to the coal industry with the election of Trump, but adds that enthusiasm for coal has since waned, because the demand hasn’t really recovered. He notes that the fourth quarter of 2017 saw a drop-off in coal-industry hiring compared to early in the year.Feaster also says job numbers over the last several years indicate a bleak future for coal employment. “If you take a slightly longer view of the coal industry, just to 2015, there was still a 13,000-job loss compared to 2017,” says Feaster. “Go back to 2012, you are talking about a loss of 35,000 jobs. Coal is facing a long-term problem.”The Trump administration has made many policy changes to attempt to boost coal. Trump’s administration has rolled back several environmental regulations, many of which were specially requested by Murray and his company. On Jan. 9, The New York Times reported that just weeks before the inauguration, Murray, who owns coal mines in Washington County, provided Trump with a wish-list of environmental regulations he wanted ended. Murray told PBS’s Frontline that Trump has already enacted many of his suggestions. Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, proposed a plan to subsidize struggling coal power plants, but the plan was rejected by a mostly Trump-appointed Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC cited that the current tariffs on these coal mines were not unjust or unreasonable. Feaster says that Trump’s attempt to subsidize coal and his acquiescence to a coal CEO’s request shows that coal is facing intense competition in the energy market.“It plays really well to stand up for coal, there is cultural resonance in all of Appalachia,” says Feaster. “But there is a difference in politics and economics, and that is the problem with the coal industry. There are huge coal reserves … you could burn them for the next 150 years. But if it is not [economically viable], it doesn’t matter.” Feaster says that in the Pittsburgh region, coal is getting beat out by natural gas. Drilling for natural gas, particularly through hydrofracturing, experienced huge growth from 2012-2017 in Appalachia, including areas in southwestern and northern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural-gas production in Appalachia increased by more than 14 billion cubic feet per day from 2012 to 2017. Dozens of new fracking wells have been drilled in Southwestern Pennsylvania during this time.“The coal industry has intense competition, and that is not likely to change,” says Feaster. “Its most direct competitor, natural gas, has seen a big growth in production in the Appalachian region.”  And even though many recognize that coal jobs are unlikely to return in large numbers, the coal industry is still upping its production and profits. In Southwestern Pennsylvania, mines produced more than 2.1 million tons more in 2017 compared to 2015. However, the region lost 185 coal jobs over that time span.  Feaster says even if coal companies do better in terms of production, thanks to fewer regulations and government agencies helping them, coal-mine owners are still going to focus on profits over hiring more workers. Feaster says this is typical behavior for the coal industry. “As they talk about coal mining, they are also laser-focused on efficiency and cutting jobs. People … are going to focus on the efficiency.”More: President Donald Trump said coal miners in Southwestern Pennsylvania would be put back to work. One year later, is that happening? The ‘Long-Term Problem’ Facing U.S. Coallast_img read more

Nearly 900 Bekasi factory workers have tested positive for COVID-19

first_imgThe Bekasi COVID-19 task force has reported that 869 factory workers have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak.Task force member Alamsyah said confirmed cases had been detected in 46 companies following contract-tracing in the area.The largest industrial COVID-19 infection cluster in the region emerged in a factory owned by Japan-based technology company PT Epson Indonesia. “The transmission area is between the factories and the workers’ residences. Local Puskesmas [community health centers] continue to trace those who have had contact [with people found to have the virus],” Alamsyah said.He urged companies to strictly supervise employees’ compliance with health protocols, both in and outside of the workplace.“[Transmission] needs to be controlled to prevent carriers from spreading the virus in the workplace,” Alamsyah added.Bekasi Private Hospital Association head Eko Nugroho previously said the region was running out of available intensive care facilities at its COVID-19 referral hospitals.He said 48 of the 57 ICU beds in the city were occupied as of Sept. 15 as the number of COVID-19 patients who needed intensive care, including those who required ventilators, was fluctuating.As of Tuesday, the region had reported 1,483 confirmed COVID-19 cases. (rfa)Topics : “[Epson] is the largest cluster, considering that it’s a large company with more than 13,000 employees,” Alamsyah said on Tuesday as quoted by tribunnews.com.He said 369 of the 4,000 samples taken at the factory had been COVID-19 positive.The factories of South Korea-based electronics firm PT LG Electronics Indonesia and Japan-based manufacturer PT NOK Indonesia were the sources of other significant clusters with 242 cases and 150 cases, respectively.North Cikarang, South Cikarang, West Cikarang, and Cibitung are home to the largest industrial clusters.last_img read more

P54,000 ‘shabu’ seized

first_imgThe suspect was detained in the lockup facility of the Talisay City police station, facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN Resident Andro Medel, 42, yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed. BACOLOD City – Suspected shabu weighing about eight grams valued at around P54,000 was seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Barangay E. Lopez, Silay City, Negros Occidental.center_img Medel was caught after he sold suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P4,000 around 2:05 p.m. on July 1.last_img

School of Religion to begin PhD program for next fall

first_imgThe School of Religion at USC announced that they will be offering a doctoral program for students to receive their Ph.D. in religion beginning in fall 2015.The five-year program, which begins accepting applications this fall, will allow graduate students to pursue a particular concentration within religion. There are three tracks for students to choose from: Comparative Christianities, Global Islam and Asian Pacific Religions.The application process for the program includes submitting scores from the Graduate Record Examination, an academic writing sample, a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation. Students will also be expected to be proficient in their track’s respective language. For example, students studying Global Islam should be capable of reading primary sources in Arabic.Sherman Jackson, a professor of religion and American studies and ethnicity, has been named the new Director of Graduate Studies and was part of the effort to start this Ph.D. program at USC.“There has been a very keen interest among students to have a graduate program at USC,” Jackson said. “Part of that has to do with the quality of our faculty and what they’ve achieved and what their national and international reputations are, and part of it has to do with the very diverse population we have in Southern California.”Though students will focus primarily on their respective tracks within the program, they will also have the opportunity to take classes in other departments and programs in the university. This will allow for a broader context of the issues affecting global religion, as well as to be able to put what they learn into practice.“We have a very interdisciplinary focus as well, and that’s one of the things that really enhances our students’ ability to place their training into conversation within the real-world reality,” Jackson said.Associate Professor Lori Meeks was appointed the chair of religion in August, a position through which she oversees both the undergraduate and graduate programs in religion at USC.“Even though this is a graduate program, we believe that it will add a lot of vitality to our undergraduate program, as well,” she said. “We think it will help us create even more enthusiasm around the study of religion at USC.”Along with the new doctoral program, the School of Religion will be starting a lunch series on Wednesdays where students will have the opportunity to learn about ongoing faculty research.Like many other doctoral programs throughout the country, the program at USC will be fully funded by the university. Tuition will be covered for students, and they will receive health insurance and a stipend for housing and living expenses.Several faculty members said they are excited to begin the program next fall. Their focus will be on ensuring a welcoming environment for students to share ideas and beliefs, allowing them to learn not only from faculty, but also from each other. Eventually, students will be prepared to pursue careers in fields such as academia, religious institutions and community activism.“Here at USC, our focus is on ensuring that students have mastered the textual traditions of the respective religions,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, that they’re able to place all of that erudite knowledge into conversation with the real-life comings and goings of religious communities in the world.”last_img read more

Syracuse encouraged by positive signs as Zion Williamson leads Duke past SU in ACC Tournament

first_img“Playing against a guy like (Williamson), it’s hard to stop,” Buddy said. “And no matter what you do, he’s gonna score. I think there’s a lot of good things we can take away from that. And just to fight back was huge and showed a lot about what we can do.”Syracuse has shown what players call “fight,” this season. About a month ago, Elijah Hughes said that the Orange were still searching for a basketball identity. But it had “heart.” SU often chopped into second-half deficits through short runs. Against the Blue Devils, that’s what happened.Syracuse carried over its late first-half surge with an early Howard jumper. The Orange, even without Battle for the second-straight night, were in the game. Buddy, coming off a career-night, hit a right-corner 3 to bring the Orange within one with over 13 minutes remaining. Then, Buddy curled off a screen to drain a right-wing 3 moments later and tie it at 46.Howard kept coming, making shots right down to a 3 near the final buzzer to finish with a career-high 28 points. He knew he’d have to be more aggressive without Battle, and he was.“Around this time of the year I finally got my body right to feel comfortable to attack, and that’s just what I’ve been trying to do,” Howard said.More coverage The Final Word: Beat writer’s discuss Syracuse’s ACC Tournament loss to DukeFrank Howard, Jim Boeheim insist Howard’s trip of Zion Williamson was unintentionalSyracuse’s ACC Tournament run ends, Zion Williamson’s return and more takeaways from SU’s 84-72 loss to Duke For a postseason, rubber-match game against a Duke team that Syracuse fans want to be a rival, Thursday’s game didn’t mean a whole lot. The Orange were without their star. And the game didn’t have any implications on SU’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament, either. But Syracuse’s players have never been happy after a loss.“It sucks right now, losing the game like that, knowing that you had a chance,” Buddy said. “But I think just to come back in the first half against the best team in the country, I think, was huge for us.”The Orange believe that each and every game, they can compete with anyone. That’s what they did Thursday. In the end, Williamson and the Blue Devils were too good. But that won’t stop the Orange from feeling they can play well against any opponent.“The fighting thing will never get out,” Marek Dolezaj said. “… Next game, we will fight 40 minutes. It’s really hard to beat us.” Comments CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At Duke’s postgame press conference, a media member asked Zion Williamson how badly he’s wanted to be on the floor in the last couple of weeks. Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski jumped in.“Forget about him,” Krzyzewski joked. “How badly I wanted him out there. Why is it always about you?” Krzyzewski posed to Williamson.“I don’t know, ask them,” Williamson responded.The freshman phenom made it very obvious on Thursday night. Williamson returned from injury to lead No. 3-seed Duke (27-5, 14-4 Atlantic Coast) past No. 6-seed Syracuse (20-13, 10-8) at the Spectrum Center, 84-72. Williamson finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds and five steals. He made all 13 of his field goal attempts, tying an ACC single-game record. Williamson and Duke didn’t relent, but the Orange hung around all game after an early double-digit deficit, a promising sign, players said. That meant that after the game, in the locker room, Syracuse’s players were forced to grapple with a difficult balance: A loss set in contrast with positive signs with the NCAA Tournament coming up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We knew how great we played in the second half,” Oshae Brissett said. “And if (Battle) was there, he would’ve had way more than 12 points. We look at that as a positive.”Williamson’s presence in the first two Syracuse-Duke games led to the opposite result than anticipated. His 35-point, 10-rebound performance at home wasn’t enough to prevent an SU upset. And his absence in the second meeting didn’t stop the Blue Devils from exacting revenge.In Williamson’s first game back from a knee injury suffered on Feb. 20, the ACC Player and Freshman of the Year made the difference one would expect. SU head coach Jim Boeheim has said he’s never seen a player like Williamson, and Thursday, Syracuse had no answer for such a unique talent.“I’ve seen a lot of great players, I’m not saying he’s better than those guys, but he’s a different player,” Boeheim said. “He can do things that nobody has done in this game.”Williamson dunked. He finished through contact. He even swished a 3 from the left wing in the first half. Going into the break, the potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick had 21 points and nine rebounds to go along with five steals.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerIt looked like Williamson and Duke would run away with it in the first half. But Frank Howard brought Syracuse back with 10-straight Orange points in the last four minutes. He hit a floater, an elbow jumper and two 3s.For more than nine first-half minutes, the Orange trailed by double digits. But when Buddy Boeheim drained a 3 inside of a minute to play in the first half, it brought SU within six.center_img Published on March 14, 2019 at 11:34 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more