Biden administration accelerates planning for ‘irreversible path’ to net zeroThe Biden administration has placed environmental issues high on its agenda, and the latest round of presidential directives confirm that climate change will form “an essential element of US foreign policy and national security”.In addition to the interventions in oil and gas leasing, federal government agencies are being directed to procure fleets of zero-emission vehicles – purchased from domestic suppliers – and facilitate “a carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035”.The Interior Department is set a goal of “doubling offshore wind by 2030”, while new environmental protection targets aim to conserve 30% of the country’s lands and oceans by 2030.These initiatives, along with many others issued by the US president yesterday (27 January), underscore the new administration’s desire for a “government-wide approach” to tackling climate change, which combines the “full capacity of the federal government” and every sector of the economy.All branches of government, both foreign and domestic, are tasked with building climate considerations into their activities, planning and risk assessments – and a National Climate Task Force has been established consisting of department leaders that will administer these new policies.The director of national intelligence was also asked to prepare an assessment of the national and economic security impacts of climate change.“These executive orders follow through on President Biden’s promise to take aggressive action to tackle climate change,” the White House said in a statement previewing the actions, and will “put the US on an irreversible path to a net-zero economy by 2050.” The move builds on a series of Day One executive orders issued by President Biden targeting reform of the US energy system (Credit: Michael F Hiatt/Shutterstock) President Joe Biden continues to reshape the US oil and gas industry during his early days in office, moving to introduce a temporary ban on new lease sales across federal lands and waters as part of a wider-ranging sweep of climate actions.The executive order to suspend new auctions marks the first step towards fulfilling a contentious campaign promise to end oil and gas extraction on territory controlled by the federal government.The US Interior Department has been directed to “pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters, pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices”.Industry groups have criticised the suspension, saying an outright ban would damage jobs, revenues and energy independence. But climate campaigners welcomed the decision to prioritise renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.Gina McCarthy, the US national climate advisor, said the leasing decision seeks to “make sure that we take a little pause and review the entire strategy of [how] we’re looking at public lands”.“So it will include looking at what new leases ought to be approved and sold,” she added, and “how we manage public lands — consistent with climate, but also consistent with the marriage between climate and really growing jobs of the future.”Government agencies will be further tasked with identifying “opportunities for federal funding to spur innovation, commercialisation, and deployment of clean energy technologies and infrastructure”, according to a White House statement.In an additional order likely to generate controversy within the industry, President Biden also directs federal agencies to “take steps to ensure that, to the extent consistent with applicable law, federal funding is not directly subsidising fossil fuels”.“I don’t think the federal government should give handouts to Big Oil to the tune of $40bn in fossil fuel subsidies,” Biden said ahead of signing the orders.Furthermore, the Interior Department is instructed to “consider whether to adjust royalties associated with coal, oil, and gas resources extracted from public lands and offshore waters, or take other appropriate action, to account for corresponding climate costs”. Industry groups hit out at Biden, claiming ban on oil and gas lease sales will make US more reliant on foreign importsThe announcements follow on from several climate-focused directives made last week on inauguration day, which underscored the new president’s resolve to act on climate change and deliver a transformation of America’s energy system.These included rejoining the Paris Agreement, revoking a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, placing a temporary moratorium on lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and reversing regulatory rollbacks on emissions standards introduced by his predecessor.Federal lands and waters have been identified by President Biden as areas where the footprint of US fossil fuel activity can be reduced as he targets deep energy reforms to secure emissions reduction and prioritise low-carbon, renewable industries.Bloomberg reports that 22% of US crude oil production and 12% of natural gas production came from federal lands and waters in 2019, citing US Energy Information Administration figures.The American Petroleum Institute (API) claims an outright ban on new oil and gas lease sales by the Biden team would in fact slow the transition to cleaner fuels.“With a stroke of a pen, the administration is shifting America’s bright energy future into reverse and setting us on a path toward greater reliance on foreign energy produced with lower environmental standards,” said API chief executive Mike Sommers.“Limiting domestic energy production is nothing more than an ‘import more oil’ policy that runs counter to our shared goal of emissions reductions and will make it harder for local communities to recover from the pandemic.”Anne Bradbury, chief executive of the trade group American Exploration & Production Council, added: “Penalising the oil and gas industry kills good-paying American jobs, hurts our already struggling economy, makes our country more reliant on foreign energy sources, and impacts those who rely on affordable and reliable energy.”But Josh Axelrod, senior advocate at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) welcomed the leasing review. He said: “This moratorium gives the country a chance to modernise the way we deploy our natural resources for developing energy – and to speed up a just and equitable transition to good-paying clean energy jobs of the future.”Sierra Club’s director of public lands protection Athan Manuel added: “Pausing new oil and gas leasing will improve the health of our communities, our climate and our wild places. Public lands can, and must, be part of the climate solution.“They must also be a part of a just recovery by reinvesting in communities, tapping fossil fuel workers to clean up past pollution, and bringing communities together to diversify economies in ways that allow everyone to benefit.” Among a series of sweeping climate initiatives, President Biden suspended new oil and gas lease sales on US federal lands and waters, and ordered a review of existing auction processes
There are questions surrounding the Indians and their commitment to their best players, but there’s no questioning how they feel about manager Terry Francona.Cleveland announced Wednesday that it has completed a two-year extension that will keep “Tito” with the club through the 2022 season. Cleveland’s success has come in spite of its meager payroll, which ranks 19th in MLB this season at just under $120 million. But Francona, who has the luxury of having stars like Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez on team-friendly deals, has enjoyed bringing consistent success to a mid-market club.“I knew what the landscape was when I came in. I just valued working with the people here over spending money for players,” Francona said in March (via MLB.com). “I mean, I enjoyed doing it here with who I do it with and trying to figure things out together. And I think to this point, we haven’t reached the pinnacle, but we’ve done OK. And the idea is to win a World Series. But, on top of that, it’s to compete every year. And that’s hard to do.”Prior to Cleveland, Francona spent eight seasons in Boston and won two World Series. That success came after a disappointing four-year run with the Phillies from 1997-2000 when Philadelphia had a 285-363 record. He ranks second among active managers with 1,576 career wins, behind only San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy (1,928). Oh skipper! My skipper!We have extended future Hall of Fame Manager, Terry Francona, through 2022.#RallyTogether pic.twitter.com/F4456VhjCH— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 3, 2019MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZN“Simply put, Tito has been a transformational leader, who has not only impacted our major league clubhouse, but also the entire organization,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said in a team release. “Our relationship has been truly collaborative, and we are all fortunate to have a future Hall of Fame manager guiding our team as we continue to pursue our ultimate goal of bringing a World Series to the city of Cleveland.”Francona, 59, and the Indians are an AL-best 547-427 (.562) since he joined the team in 2013 and have made the playoffs four times, including a trip to the World Series in 2016. He has been named AL Manager of the Year twice in his Cleveland tenure (2013, 2016).
Pochettino’s team selection has come under intense scrutiny this season as he tries to perform a balancing act between resting his players and fielding a strong side.But the Argentine, whose side are fourth in the Premier League, a point behind third-placed Chelsea, knows that ultimately it is the club that suffers.He said: “How do we manage that situation? We put a lot of emphasis on looking after them and…try to help them.“But in the end, when the competition arrives, the competition does not wait for you. It does not understand you’re tired and you haven’t had holidays. And then who pays? The club pays.“I understand the decision of the national teams’ coaching staff. But who looks after the players? When we rotate the players, the fans or you ask, ‘Why not play him?’“Because they need to rest. And sometimes it’s difficult to compete because it’s not only running. It’s the energy you spend in your mind and if you’re tired it affects your body.”Share on: WhatsApp Tottenham squad in trainingLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Mauricio Pochettino accepts he is pushing his Tottenham squad to the limit as he counts the cost of their World Cup exploits.Out of the 12 Spurs players that went to Russia in the summer, only Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Son Heung-min have not spent time out this season with muscle injuries.Davinson Sanchez and Kieran Trippier were the latest stars to head for the treatment room before the recent international break and neither is expected back until next month.Nine Spurs players were involved in Russia until the final weekend and did not return to Tottenham until the eve of the Premier League season.Pochettino, whose Tottenham side play Chelsea this weekend, would prefer his young squad to be relaxing in the summer rather than playing football for 12 months.“Today, we’re in a period where the technology and the knowledge of sports science and the medical staff are fantastic — they can provide the best help,” he said.“But we’re pushing players to the limit. The line between getting injured or not is so thin.“We don’t realise that we’re playing with the health of the players. They’re human. It’s so tough. They are young. They need to enjoy life, too.”
Image Courtesy: RC Celta/Getty/USA TodayAdvertisement amweudNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsfbtWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E8nk841m( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) ab3juWould you ever consider trying this?😱whlCan your students do this? 🌚9sRoller skating! Powered by Firework The year of 2019 is almost over, and looking back at last 12 months in the sport of football has given us enough eye candy. This time, its for the fans of the Spanish La Liga, where we saw numerous breathtaking screamers. Below here are the top five best La Liga goals of 2019:Advertisement Image Courtesy: RC Celta/Getty/USA TodayArthur Melo against VillarrealTalking about long distance goals, its the FC Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo that set the perfect example. In the match against Villarreal back in September, the Brazilian international produced a spectacular goal from outside the box, and made the crowd at Camp Nou awestruck. Enjoy the clip below, courtesy of YouTube channel Football World.Advertisement Antoine Griezmann against Real BetisFormer Atlético Madrid hit man Antoine Griezmann switched sides with the Catalans back in July. Despite the speculations of a lack of chemistry with teammates, and the ongoing rumours of a feud with club talisman Leo Messi, the Frenchman has been a regular contributor for Barça, with already 7 goals in 17 appearances. In the match against Real Betis back in August, the 28 year old showcased his physicality in the match opener. A beautiful lofted through from Sergi Roberto, and the French international extended his left foot in the box to perfectly set the ball into the back of the net. See the goal int he video below, courtesy of YouTube channel 433Football.Advertisement Vinícius Júnior against OsasunaThe Brazilian wonderkid Vinícius Júnior arrived at Santiago Bernabéu as a prodigy, and the teenager is proving every right to that claim. In the September La Liga game versus Osasuna, the 19 year old produced an absolute stunner in the 36th minute. Receiving a pass from Toni Kroos just outside of the box, Vinícius produced a marvellous shot, putting it into the top corner. Enjoy the goal below, courtesy of YouTube channel Goaltime24.Gabriel Fernández against ValenciaNot many people may have heard about Gabriel Fernández, but the Uruguyan attacker’s footwork will make your jaw drop. In the August fixture against Valencia, the Celta Vigo forward produced the winning goal with a strikingly amazing one touch. A back pass in the box from Denis Suárez, and the 25 year old brilliantly directed it towards the opposition net. Check out the goal here, courtesy of YouTube channel Mundo Descargas.Luis Suárez against MallorcaUndobtedly the strangest, yet the most bizarre and insane way to score a goal in 2019 goes to the one and only Luis Suárez. The FC Barcelona talisman was in brilliant form against Real Mallorca on 8th December, and his 43rd minute backheel goal is arguably th best La Liga goal of the year. A calculated through in the box from Sergi Roberto, and the Uruguyan attacker marvellously used the back of his foot to flick the ball past Manolo Reina and into the net. See for yourself in the clip below, courtesy of YouTube channel #VivaSkills. Advertisement