Editorial: Propping Up U.S. Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Times:The fate of this boondoggle rests with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent regulator that is not bound to do what the administration wants. Its five commissioners — three Republicans and two Democrats — ought to think carefully before casting their votes. Mr. Perry’s proposal could add around $11 billion a year to the cost of electricity, depending on how the rule is interpreted, according to four separate research reports. Yet it would do little to improve the electrical grid. That’s because less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of power failures between 2012 and 2016 were caused by fuel supply emergencies, according to the Rhodium Group, a research firm.Regrettably, facts do not seem to matter to Mr. Perry, who famously called for the elimination of the Energy Department without understanding what it does. He has used a number of disingenuous arguments to justify his cockamamie proposal, including suggesting that it would have helped the grid deal with emergencies like the 2014 polar vortex, when frigid winds slammed the Northeast. In fact, the grid worked reasonably well then thanks to wind turbines and demand response, the system where grid operators ask big electricity users to temporarily use less juice. By contrast, some coal-fired power plants were unable to generate electricity because their coal piles froze and their equipment malfunctioned in subfreezing temperatures.This proposal has been so poorly thought out that it has made odd bedfellows of groups that are often on opposing sides of big policy debates. The oil and gas industry, for instance, has teamed up with renewable energy and environmental groups to fight it. Eight former FERC commissioners from both parties have sent a letter opposing the plan, arguing that it “would be a significant step backward from the commission’s long and bipartisan evolution to transparent, open, competitive wholesale markets.”If the Trump administration were truly concerned about reliability and resilience, it would have taken time to study the issue and identify the grid’s weakest links. It would have found that many power failures are caused when hurricanes and other severe weather knock out transmission lines and other equipment. During Hurricane Harvey in Texas, where Mr. Perry was once governor, coal-fired power plants had to switch to natural gas because their fuel became too wet to be moved.There is no question the government needs to think about and prepare for more blackouts. Most scientists expect an increase in severe weather events because of climate change, which Mr. Trump has described as a “hoax.” But it is doing the country no favors by using electrical reliability as a ruse to prop up its favored fossil fuel and stick ratepayers with the bill.More: The Trump Administration’s Coal Bailout
Exxon shareholders staged a significant rebellion yesterday at the company’s annual general meeting registering 40.8% support for a proposal to separate the positions of chair and CEO.In addition, 29.8% backed calls for a board matrix to include each director’s gender and ethnicity, as well as their skills and other attributes relating to the company’s business, long-term strategy and risks.The proposal on an independent chair was filed by the Kestrel Foundation and presented by the Church Commissioners for England, which backed both proposals along with the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF).The two asset owners had previously filed a resolution asking Exxon to disclose emissions reduction targets, but this was barred by US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission at Exxon’s request. The Church Commissioners, acting as part of the engagement initiative Climate Action 100+, were joined by Scott Stringer, New York City comptroller, and four of New York City’s five pension funds, who filed the second proposal. ExxonMobil shareholders voiced their dissatisfaction with the board at its AGM yesterdayHowever, Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners, who presented both proposals, underlined the connection between governance and action on climate change.Mason said: “This has been a very difficult AGM for Exxon and a warning shot to management. The result of Exxon refusing to put our shareholder proposal to the vote is that investors have simply expressed their frustration at Exxon’s governance on other ballot items.”He added: “Today’s increased support for the separation of chair and chief executive, in the face of board opposition, is a measure of investors’ profound dissatisfaction.“We now expect the company immediately to institute the intensive, meaningful engagement on climate strategy with Climate Action 100+ investors that it has delayed for too long.”
In the first half, USC shot 21 percent from the field and did not make a single free throw out of seven attempts. Arizona led by 20 points with just seconds remaining in the first half.It did not get any prettier for the Trojans in the second half. USC shot 38 percent from the field and sophomore guard Maurice Jones was the only player to execute a 3-pointer.“We played pretty well defensively” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said. “We shot 29 percent, 6 percent at the 3-point line and that’s not going to beat anybody, anywhere, anytime. We’re just not making shots and we haven’t been for most of the year.”O’Neill isn’t the only one bewildered by the team’s lack of efficiency.“I don’t have an answer for it,” freshman guard Byron Wesley said. “We are shooting in the gym everyday but we just keep missing these shots. I think eventually we are going to come out and start making these shots.”Wesley totaled eight points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal against the Wildcats.“We know we have what it takes on defense,” Wesley said. “We know that once we get rolling on offense, we should be a better team.”USC forced 17 turnovers and allowed only nine in its duel on Sunday.Along with Wesley, Jones and freshman Alexis Moore played the bulk of the minutes for the Trojans. Jones led the team in scoring with 14 points and also added three steals. Alexis Moore posted two points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals.O’Neill said with time the team has and will continue to improve.“These guys will end up having a lot of success” O’Neill said. “Alexis, Dewayne, Byron and Maurice are all good players. They are in roles that they cannot handle right now so they’re a little overwhelmed.”O’Neill plans to utilize the extra time before their game on Sunday to work on individual improvements with the team.“We’re going to make individual improvements because we have so many young guys,”O’Neill said. “We want to make sure that guys are getting all kinds of shots every single day.”The Trojans have one week off before hosting crosstown rival UCLA on Sunday. It will be the first of a two game series this season between both schools. UCLA has won seven of its last nine games with its most recent victories over Arizona and Arizona State.USC will face UCLA on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Net. USC suffered its fifth straight loss with a 57-46 defeat by Arizona on Sunday. The Trojans were primed to take on the Wildcats at the Galen Center, hoping to upset the then 10-5 conference rival. Last season, USC upset the then-top-ranked Wildcats. History, however, did not repeat itself. The loss pushed the Trojans to a 5-12 overall record. USC has yet to win a conference game this season.Poised · Sophomore guard Maurice Jones started every game for the Trojans this season. Jones currently averages 14 points per game. – Chris Pham | Daily Trojan
French striker, Karim Benzema has scored 246 goals and contributed 135 assists in 510 games at Real Madrid since he joined the Spanish club in 2009.However, it could all have been so different, with Real’s biggest rivals Barcelona having been favourites to sign Benzema a year earlier in 2008.So how did Benzema end up in the Spanish capital instead?Before the 2008/09 after Pep Guardiola was appointed manager, the Spaniard was keen to make changes to his squad.Karim Benzema unveiled by Real MadridHis main focus was finding a striker, having deemed Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o surplus to requirements.Barcelona’s technical secretary at the time, Txiki Begiristain visited Benzema, who had been identified by the club as the perfect replacement for Eto’o, at his home to seal the deal with the forward.Samuel Eto’o was deemed by Pep Guardiola to be unsuitable for his styleBegiristain, however, was put off signing Benzema after he “failed to make eye contact with him” during the meeting.Txiki BegiristainAccording to Marca, he was also dissuaded from ensuring the transfer went through because he didn’t warm up to the people “around Benzema”Begiristain felt there was a risk Benzema would “become problematic and his adaptation would not be easy.”David Villa’s Presentation at FC BarcelonaWhile Benzema has indeed had his scandals, resulted in him being excommunicated from the French squad, he has still been a great striker for Real Madrid who signed him for €35m the following year.Barcelona signed David Villa instead from Valencia who wasn’t a bad alternative but one wonders how things would have gone if they had signed Benzema instead.