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Editorial: Federal Coal-Lease Reform Is Overdue

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From the Seattle Times:Obama administration’s decision to stop issuing new coal leases as the federal government’s entire coal program is reviewed makes good business sense.The moratorium, announced last month by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, is part of a plan for the Bureau of Land Management to undertake a detailed environmental-impact statement.The business of taking coal off public land has not had a close look in more than three decades. The leasing price is put at about a $1 per ton, with another $1.50 for royalties. Coal buyers pay 20 to 40 times that amount.Meanwhile, the expense to society for the cost of massive carbon emissions can run $70 per ton, paying the growing bill for sea-level rise issues and for health impacts like asthma and environmental effects.The coal industry slid into its economic downturn as once lucrative international markets skittered away from using vast quantities of coal. Natural gas is replacing coal in domestic markets. The subsequent bankruptcies of U.S. coal companies reveals another flaw.Companies have been allowed to self-finance for environmental restoration and cleanup. Now the companies are broke, work remains to be done and promissory notes are virtually worthless. In bankruptcy court, they have a value of 15 cents on the dollar — and get in line to collect it.Playing fast and loose with commodities on public lands goes back to the grazing and mining interests President Teddy Roosevelt went after. The topic is as fresh as the standoff on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.The executive branch has the tools it needs through past legislation, including the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.The coal industry has gamed the system for decades. Secretary Jewell has some dutiful members of Congress, including Cantwell and Washington Sen. Patty Murray, expecting a serious review of the environmental impacts and a decent return for the Treasury.Editorial: Lease moratorium: Coal industry was due some lumps Editorial: Federal Coal-Lease Reform Is Overduelast_img read more

Texans coach Bill O’Brien says he will kneel with players: ‘I’m all for it’

first_imgHe canceled virtual team activities on June 9 and instead encouraged players to attend the funeral service for Floyd. O’Brien attended the service along with star defensive end J.J. Watt, owner Cal McNair, offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver and former defensive tackle D.J. Reader. “It wasn’t a conscious effort,” O’Brien said on the team’s response to Floyd’s death. “It wasn’t like we had a conversation together and decided to do it.”I think we just said enough is enough, and we’ve got to do what’s right. As an organization, we’re part of the conversation and we want to do our part.” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said he will take a knee with players during the national anthem this NFL season to protest racial inequality and police brutality.  There have been nationwide protests in the United States after George Floyd — an African-American man — died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. A police officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck during an arrest after he was crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first player to kneel during the anthem in protest against racial injustice in 2016, before he was released the following year.MORE: How Kaepernick’s protest started a movement in NFLSaints star Drew Brees said players who knelt during the anthem were “disrespecting the flag,” comments which sparked fierce backlash and led to an apology, while President Donald Trump insisted kneeling is “disrespecting” the country.But O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle: “Yeah, I’ll take a knee. I’m all for it. The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against the flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.” The city of Houston mourns today.Rest in peace, George. pic.twitter.com/kpMwRBVjVs— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) June 9, 2020O’Brien has been a supportive presence during the recent social justice fight.last_img read more