Op-Ed: Coal Trains

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Brian L. Gunn for the Auburn (Wash.) Reporter:When I ran for state representative in 2012, I walked downtown Auburn neighborhoods with a petition calling on state leaders to deny permitting of coal export terminals.The folks who signed the petition agreed that increased coal train traffic through our city was bad for our health, bad for our economy, and bad for our quality of life.In the years since, one coal terminal proposal after another has been rejected, due in large part to the determined opposition of regular folks like the ones who signed my petition.But coal trains can still be seen on an almost daily basis in the Auburn train yard. The U.S. still gets about a third of its power (down from around half a decade ago) from coal-fired power plants, and we’re still shipping millions of tons of coal to Asia.So where does all that coal come from?Much of it (41 percent, according to a report from the Interior Department) comes from public lands, land owned by taxpayers like you and me. The coal companies pay fees and royalties, but are we getting a fair price? Taxpayers for Common Sense says no, and the National Resource Defense Council estimates we may have been cheated by over $30 billion over the last 30 years.Bring in the social cost of burning fossil fuels anywhere in the world, the damage to human health, rising food costs from unproductive fields, and property damage from extreme weather events, and the evidence is clear: the American people are getting a raw deal for allowing coal companies to extract our natural resources.That’s why I’ll be testifying at a hearing in Seattle in support of the Obama administration’s moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. Detractors of this plan claim the coal industry makes vital contributions to our economy, but, as we have seen, that argument just doesn’t add up.Job growth in the renewable energy sector is on the way up. The U.S. solar industry added some 35,000 jobs in 2015 alone. And increasingly, power generated through solar and wind costs no more than artificially “cheap” fossil fuels – as subsidized by you and me. We won’t be placing any financial burden on the household incomes of American ratepayers by accelerating the transition to cleaner ways to power our lives and homes.Full item: Supporting the moratorium on coal leases Op-Ed: Coal Trainslast_img read more

House continues deliberation of controversial family resilience bill

first_imgThe House of Representatives has started to deliberate the controversial family resilience bill as lawmakers behind the bill, which is deemed by critics to interfere in the private lives of residents, submitted the substance to the House’ Legislation Body (Baleg) on Monday.Lawmaker Netty Prasetiyani of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) highlighted in the meeting with Baleg that the government must protect families, the basis for making public policies, from “vulnerability”.“If each family is able to build ‘immunity’ and ‘antibodies’ against [life challenges], then family resilience will become a pillar of national resilience,” Netty said, as livestreamed on YouTube on Monday. Another proponent of the bill, lawmaker Ali Taher of the National Mandate Party (PAN), argued that the bill was important to address the social gap between rural and urban areas, which according to him, would cause various social issues that disrupted family resilience.“Gaps between rural and urban areas would cause six basic problems, namely unemployment, poverty, family disorganization, crime, free sex and drugs, which affect family resilience,” Ali said.“So the presence of this law is important to strengthen our national resilience.”Ali further said the family resilience bill was also necessary to protect families from the negative impact of globalization, which he said could shake the socioeconomic order and cause a shift in Indonesian cultural values. Read also: Bedroom bill: Silly in the streets, unenforceable in the sheetsThe bill was widely debated earlier this year after it was included in the House’s 2020 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) priority list, along with several other problematic bills.Members of the public and activists have heavily criticized the 98-page draft bill as it included provisions interfering in personal matters and attempts to bring back the traditional and patriarchal way of managing households.Critics pointed out some questionable provisions in the bill, such as Article 24, which stipulates that married couples must love each other, and Article 25, which states that husbands and wives must perform their individual roles in accordance with religious norms and social ethics.The bill also sought to prohibit sperm and egg donors and that parents and children, as well as brothers and sisters, should have separate bedrooms. The bill also specified that LGBT people and bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism (BDSM) practitioners must undergo rehabilitation, with their families obliged to report them to the authorities.Besides Netty and Ali, the other initiators of the family resilience bill were Ledia Hanifa of the PKS, Endang Maria Astuti of the Golkar Party and Sodik Mudjahid of the Gerindra Party.However, Golkar, Gerindra and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) have denied they are officially supporting the bill, saying any expression of support came from individual members acting on their own and not from the parties.In July, the House and the government revised the 2020 Prolegnas list, approving to drop 16 of 50 bills and adding three more. However, the family resilience bill and other controversial bills, namely the omnibus bill on job creation, as well as bills on the criminal code, correctional center and Pancasila ideology guidelines (HIP), remained on the list.Topics :last_img read more

Sixth Milo School Football tournament launched

first_img… Technical support for coaches being offeredEIGHTEEN schools in Georgetown will join six out-of-town teams in this year’s Milo School Football tournament which is set to begin next weekend.Two teams from the East Coast of Demerara along with one each from Linden, West Bank Demerara, East Bank Demerara and Berbice will make up the out-of-town sides.This was revealed yesterday by co-Director of the Petra Organisation, Troy Mendonca, at the launch of the tournament at the Beepats Sophia office.Set for a January 27 start, the tournament is expected to run via a round-robin format with six groups of four in the first stage.Following that, the top two teams from each group, along with the best four third-place finishers, will move on to the round-of-sixteen stage.According to Mendonca, the programme has grown from strength to strength.“Six years ago, we launched this programme and our aim then was to revitalise the sport, especially at the school level and I think over the years, it has served its purpose and has taken its place in the setup of football in Guyana.”He also made reference to several youngsters who have been products of the programme and who have gained places in the various national teams.Meanwhile, head of the Physical Education Department within the Ministry of Education, Nicholas Fraser, contended that the body has been adhering to the advice of his office.He continued, “It’s very heartening to see that the tournament is expanding to out-of-town schools and there are many talented youths out there who sometimes don’t get the opportunity to showcase their talents and develop themselves.”TECHNICAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE Technical Director of the Guyana Football Federation Ian Greenwood contended that the tournament continues to be one used for spotting potential and youth team prospects.In this regard, the Federation is encouraging teachers and coaches to take advantage of the technical support being offered by his office ahead of the tournament.“The GFF technical department is open for anybody who wants to come and discuss things. We have technical officers in the various regions who can come down and help with your schools and prepare things.”This, he noted, can be accessed through the Petra Organisation, the coordinators of the Milo tournament.Executive officer of Beepats, Jonathan Beepat, contended that for the period his company has been in existence, the entity has prided itself in assisting sport as its corporate social responsibility.“Being a family-owned business from my grandfather’s days and even my father’s days, we’ve always sponsored sports.” Beepat said the company has assisted many big names in the sport world.$1.1M is up for grabs with the tournament winners getting to choose for their school a developmental project worth $500 000.Second-place will have a $300 000 budget, third-place $200 000 and fourth-place $100 000.The teams will be released shortly.last_img read more