Forget buy-to-let! I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 stocks today to get rich and retire early

first_img I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Forget buy-to-let! I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 stocks today to get rich and retire early The recent decline of the FTSE 100 could present long-term buying opportunities. Certainly, risks such as coronavirus may increase in intensity in the short run, and market volatility could remain high. However, a number of stocks appear to have bright growth prospects in the coming years, which may not be reflected in their valuations.With that in mind, here are two FTSE 100 shares that could be worth buying today. They appear to have sound strategies and favourable operating prospects over the long run.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Reckitt BenckiserThe recent full-year results released by Reckitt Benckiser (LSE: RB) highlighted its long-term growth potential. After a mixed year, it plans to increase its focus on e-commerce and markets where it has the greatest capacity to grow. As such, it intends to ramp-up its investment in China, where wage growth could increase the size of its customer base in the coming years.Of course, China’s short-term prospects are highly uncertain. Consumer demand is likely to have weakened since the outbreak of coronavirus, which may have contributed to declining investor sentiment towards Reckitt Benckiser that could continue over the short run. This may mean new investors experience paper losses should the virus spread intensify.Following its 10% drop in the past two weeks, the stock now trades on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 18.4. While this may represent a premium to the wider FTSE 100, it’s relatively attractive, compared to the company’s past ratings. Therefore, now could be an opportune moment to buy the stock, with its range of strong brands and exposure to emerging markets likely to catalyse its financial performance.PersimmonAlso offering long-term growth potential is FTSE 100 housebuilder Persimmon (LSE: PSN). The company’s recent full-year results contained a surprising announcement that its CEO will step down once a replacement has been found.Although this could create some uncertainty surrounding the stock’s strategy, it appears to be making good progress in improving its build quality and customer satisfaction scores. For example, it’s on track to achieve a four-star Home Builders Federation (HBF) rating, an improvement on its previous three-star rating. It has also slowed completions to ensure its properties meet customer expectations more frequently.In the long run, the investment being made by Persimmon in its customer service initiatives could improve its reputation. In the meantime, it’s forecast to post earnings growth of around 2% per annum over the next two years. This is in line with many of its sector peers and suggests that the company offers good value for money while it trades on a P/E ratio of just 10.9.Clearly, the UK’s changeable economic prospects could weigh on the stock’s near-term performance. But, over the long run, it could produce improving returns which boost your financial outlook. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Peter Stephens | Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020 | More on: PSN RKT Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.center_img Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Peter Stephens Image source: Getty Images. Enter Your Email Address I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Peter Stephens owns shares of Persimmon and Reckitt Benckiser. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.last_img read more

URGENT: An appeal for clemency for Leonard Peltier

first_imgFrom John Iversen, enrolled elder of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and health activist. He lives in both Berkeley, Calif., and Two Harbors, Minn.This Thanksgiving Day there will be prayers and a rally at the White House for Anishinabe-Lakota political prisoner Leonard Peltier.  We are asking President Obama to review Peltier’s case for clemency. If the president can pardon a turkey, he can surely look at facts and free Leonard.In 1973 I participated in the Wounded Knee occupation for seven weeks. There I learned first-hand of the reign of terror being perpetrated against traditional Lakota people who were demanding a modicum of civil rights and protesting both outrageous police brutality and violations of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. From 1973 to 1976 over 66 traditionalists and American Indian Movement supporters were murdered and over 300 severely beaten on the Pine Ridge Reservation, which is also the poorest county in the United States. After attending the October 1973 funeral of Lakota civil rights leader Pedro Bissonette, I was arrested for walking Pine Ridge streets after dark. I was held overnight. All my cash was taken as a fine and I was left on an isolated road on the reservation border in the middle of a war zone, in freezing wind and rain, to hitchhike home. Thirty days of jail awaited me if I returned to the reservation. Luckily, the first car that stopped that day was filled with friendly Lakota elders. Leonard Peltier was not so lucky. Leonard has taken the rap for everyone involved. The FBI Cointelpro program was out to make someone serve prison time for the Wounded Knee occupation and its aftermath. Peltier was convicted of “aiding and abetting” the murder of two FBI agents during a shootout in the civil war zone/police state that was the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. How ironic is it that the two individuals Leonard supposedly “aided and abetted” were found innocent on grounds of self-defense? The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that the FBI coerced witnesses to perjure testimony, that evidence was fabricated, and that a ballistics test proving Peltier’s innocence was suppressed. While the Court called FBI behavior “a clear abuse of the investigative process,” it refused a new trial, being “reluctant to impute further improprieties to them” — the FBI.At a 1995 parole hearing, U.S. Prosecutor Lynn Crooks admitted again that no evidence exists against Peltier, but the parole board denied Peltier’s request. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Mother Theresa, Robert Redford, Nelson Mandela, the Green Party and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark are among over 10,000 individuals and groups who called upon President Bill Clinton to release Leonard.  I don’t think Robert Redford would put his career on the line to fund, produce and direct the 1992 film “Incident at Oglala” if he thought Peltier was guilty of anything.  Some listed above are of much higher moral authority than Obama or any lying FBI agents.I implore you to add your voice and call the White House comment line: 202-456-1111 or 1414 DAILY. Peltier has his own topic file so you only have to say a sentence or two. Be kind to the volunteer operators who brighten up when they hear the word Peltier.  Send an email to info or comments or president personally will call for BOYCOTT TURKEY if we get nothing from Obama.  Might as well sic the American Poultry Association and Turkish officials to add a bit of monetary pressure, since money is all they care about.In the words of Green vice-presidential candidate Winona LaDuke in 2000: “At this point there can be no justice for Native people until Leonard Peltier is free.” FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Open letter from 15 NGOs urging the European Union to take action for the release of Maâti Monjib

first_imgAlso known as a human rights defender, Mr. Monjib has been held in solitary confinement since 29 December 2020 and he was subsequently convicted in absentia on 27 January 2021 to one-year imprisonment on grounds of ‘undermining state security’ and ‘fraud’. No substantive handling of the lawsuit preceded this ruling, which had been postponed over 20 times since 2015. Moreover, neither the lawyers nor the convicts could attend the hearing, while it was the Moroccan state’s responsibility to allow Mr Monjib to attend his court case as he was in their custody at the time. They failed to do so — in clear violation of his right to a fair trial. Mr Monjib still faces charges of money laundering, which was the reason for his arrest on the 29th of December 2020. There has been no progress on this case since then. Middle East Studies Association RSF_en Dear High Representative Borrell,Dear EU Special Representative Gilmore, International Press Institute Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara Article 19 We, the undersigned organisations, are writing to draw your attention to the case of journalist Maâti Monjib and call for your urgent intervention. Mr Monjib has lost more than 8 kilos and as he is diabetic with heart problems, his health and life are now in danger. He is visited twice a day by a doctor because of his fragile health. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say List of signatories: March 23, 2021 Open letter from 15 NGOs urging the European Union to take action for the release of Maâti Monjib Free Press Unlimited Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sourcesInternational bodies ImprisonedImpunityInternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment In a letter addressed to the European Union, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and 14 other NGOs are calling on the High Representative of the European Union and the EU Special Representative for Human Rights to condemn the sentencing and imprisonment of Maâti Monjib and take action for his immediate release. Moroccan journalist Omar Radi, who is currently in pre-trial detention on charges of rape and espionage. Moroccan journalist and founder of the daily paper ‘Akhbar Al-Youm’  Taoufik Bouachrine, who is currently completing his 15 year prison sentence on charges of “trafficking in human beings, violent and indecent assault, rape, attempted rape and sexual harassment”. Moroccan editor in chief of the independent newspaper ‘Akhbar Al-Youm’ Soulaimane Raissouni, who is currently imprisoned awaiting for his trial on charges of “violent and indecent assault and forced detention” to be continued. Receive email alerts PAX Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists ACAT France Index on Censorship Help by sharing this information Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies International Media Support Organisation center_img We hope you will take our concerns into consideration and look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, At least five journalists are currently imprisoned for their work in Morocco, while the country ranks 133 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders 2020 World Press Freedom Index.We urge you:to  strongly condemn the sentencing  and imprisonment of Maâti Monjib and to press the Moroccan authorities for  his immediate release, in light of his rapidly deteriorating health situation; to urge the Moroccan authorities, and in particular His Majesty King Mohammed VI, for the unconditional and immediate release of all those imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, including Maâti Monjib, Omar Radi, Slimane Raissouni, Taoufik Bouachrine and Abdelkabir al Horr ; to call on the Moroccan Government to stop the harassment of human rights defenders and journalists, and to ensure the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press; to urge Morocco’s government to take concrete and measurable steps towards justice reform and respect for human rights as a key element for enhanced EU-Morocco cooperation; to call on the EU Delegation in Rabat to fully implement the EU Guidelines on Freedom of Expression and Human Rights Defenders, to provide all appropriate support to human rights defenders and journalists detained, including through arranging prison visits, trial monitoring and public statements, and to offer support to civil society and access to protection for people at risk of persecution. OMCT (in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) April 28, 2021 Find out more News News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Activities in the fieldCondemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sourcesInternational bodies ImprisonedImpunityInternetFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment The case of Maâti Monjib is illustrative of the increasing repression of independent and critical voices over the last decade in Morocco. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) The Moroccan and French journalist Maâti Monjib began a hunger strike on 4 March. PEN Club Français Eleven years after the Arab Spring, the situation for press freedom and freedom of expression in Morocco is dire. Since the end of 2013, journalists, activists and dissidents continue to face ongoing systematic targeting, harassment and detention. Repression has increasingly been used as the answer to the growing social resistance against corruption and social inequality in Morocco. IFEX to go further News RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance June 8, 2021 Find out more Project on Middle East Democracy Other prominent prisoners include: News FIDH (in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders) A pattern can be seen in recent years  with the Moroccan authorities filing trumped up criminal charges accusing journalists of rape or fraud in retaliation for their critical work. We are also seeing an increase in prosecutions based on offending public officials or insulting the monarchy.  April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Portantino’s Gun License Verification Restriction and Police Officer Education Bills Pass Senate’s Public Safety Committee

first_imgPublic Safety Portantino’s Gun License Verification Restriction and Police Officer Education Bills Pass Senate’s Public Safety Committee STAFF REPORT Published on Thursday, April 22, 2021 | 2:37 pm Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Subscribe EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Herbeauty15 things only girls who live life to the maximum understandHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWeird Types Of Massage Not Everyone Dares To TryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyInstall These Measures To Keep Your Household Safe From Covid19HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Most Startling Movie Moments We Didn’t Realize Were InsensitiveHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyBaby Boom: The Stars Are Getting Busy In QuarantineHerbeautyHerbeauty CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPasadena Water and PowerPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Community News Make a commentcenter_img More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * 19 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Business News STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community News Top of the News Senate Bills 715 and 387, authored by state Sen. Anthony J. Portantino (D-Pasadena), were approved this week by the Senate Public Safety Committee.SB 715 addresses the validity of a hunting license and independent review of gun possession disputes. SB 387 is aimed at improving community policing and public safety outcomes through an appropriate curriculum requirement for police officers.SB 715 clarifies what qualifies as an unarmed civilian to prompt investigations of officer-involved shootings by the Attorney General’s Office. It would authorize the state prosecutor to investigate and gather facts in an incident involving a shooting by a peace officer that results in the death of a civilian if there is a reasonable dispute as to whether that civilian was armed. Existing law, AB 1506, authorizes the state prosecutor to investigate only an officer-involved shooting of an unarmed civilian.In a press release, Portaintino on Thursday cited the fatal officer-involved shooting death of Anthony McClain of Pasadena.“Pasadena Police Department officer fatally and tragically shot civilian Anthony McClain. It was unclear whether McClain was armed and therefore the incident was not eligible for DOJ investigation,” according to the release.Under SB 715, incidents such as the McClain shooting would be eligible for the same review included in AB 1506.Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D –Sacramento) authored AB 1506 and is a co-author of this measure.“While training requirements for California’s officers are already among the highest in the nation, we want to continue to lead and raise the bar in terms of our educational standard,” Portantino said.“We need to rethink our approach of educating officers and provide them with the necessary tools and skills for the job today, tomorrow and the future,” he said.SB 715 also addresses concerns related to the tragic synagogue shooting in Poway. The perpetrator of the Poway shooting was able to purchase a rifle, despite being under 21 and not having a valid hunting license. The validity of the license at the time of purchase was not verified. This measure would require the Department of Justice, for sales of firearms to persons under 21 years of age who are eligible to purchase a firearm based upon their possession of a hunting license, to confirm the validity of the hunting license as part of the background check. This bill additionally defines what constitutes a valid and unexpired hunting license.“SB 715 is an important step towards combating the gun violence epidemic in our country,” stated Portantino. “I am pleased to continue to author legislation on firearm reform, which improves public safety for all Californians. I am hopeful that with sensible measures, we can prevent tragic incidents of violence and further independent investigations when warranted. I believe that if the provisions in SB 715 had been in place in 2019, the tragedy that took place in Poway could have been prevented,” he added.SB 387 would direct the state Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training to develop an expanded curriculum specifically designed to prepare officers to meet the expectations of a modern police force, including classes on mental health, social services, psychology, communication, and other related fields.last_img read more

Seamus Neely reflects on role as Donegal County Council CEO

first_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Google+ Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp Facebookcenter_img Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA AudioHomepage BannerNews By News Highland – July 21, 2020 DL Debate – 24/05/21 Previous articleMain Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday July 21stNext articleNo new Covid deaths in Ireland, 36 confirmed cases News Highland Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Seamus Neely’s tenure as Chief Executive of Donegal County Council will come to an end on Monday.He has been commended for steering Donegal through the recession and played a central role in bringing the Irish Open to Ballyliffin.Reflecting on the past 10 years, Mr Neely paid tribute to his colleagues and Councillors whom he worked alongside:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Seamus Neely reflects on role as Donegal County Council CEO Google+last_img read more

LUH bucks national trend with Covid admissions

first_img Pinterest WhatsApp LUH bucks national trend with Covid admissions By News Highland – April 9, 2021 News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterest Twitter Twitter WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Facebook Google+center_img Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Google+ The number of patients with Covid-19 in public hospitals has continued to fall, and has reached its lowest point in 111 days.However the number of infectious cases at Letterkenny University Hospital has increased slightly in recent days.There are currently 8 patients being treated at the hospital one in ICU.The latest data from the National Public Health Emergency team shows 400 more people have contracted the virus, 17 of them in Donegal.Seven more patients have died.The five-day average for new infections in the Republic is down 23 per cent since last week.Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn says previous calls by lobbyists for a faster reopening has had a direct impact on the health system:Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Facebook Previous articleImprovements to Covid rate in some parts of DonegalNext articleNo joy for Barrett and Ireland against Denmark News Highland AudioHomepage BannerNews Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows last_img read more

Church Nativity depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated in cages

first_imgRyanJLane/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — A California church has sparked widespread debate by sharing images of a Nativity scene depicting baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages in protest of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.Pastors at the Claremont United Methodist Church, located about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, shared the images on Facebook, using the display as a way to speak out against the administration’s past policy to separate families who entered the country illegally at the U.S.-Mexico border.The church’s pastor, Karen Clark Ristine, said she was “stirred to tears” when she first saw the display over the weekend.“In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family,” she said in a Facebook post on Saturday. “Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death.”Ristine also urged her followers to imagine what would have happened if the biblical family existed in modern times, saying “What if this family sought refuge in our country today?”“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years,” she wrote. “Jesus grew up to teach us kindness and mercy and a radical welcome of all people.”“Inside the church, you will see this same family reunited, the Holy Family together, in a Nativity that joins the angels in singing ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to all.’ Luke 2:14,” she added.The post had acquired more than 60,000 shares, comments comments and Facebook reactions late Monday with a majority of the people tapping the “love” button.“Thank you for this. Thank you for this poignant statement,” one user commented. “I hope it helps open peoples’ eyes. We are all people, we are all deserving of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”Many also took issue with the display and accused the church of attacking President Donald Trump and taking it easy on former President Barack Obama.“Why didn’t you put them up during Obama’s administration?” one person asked.Another added: “Didn’t Obama separate family? How is every thing Trumps fault?”The Trump administration has repeatedly pushed back against claims it intentionally sought to separate children from their parents at the southern border. Controversy about the separations hit a fever pitch last year when lawmakers accused the president of using migrant children to force Congress to pass immigration reform.Trump attributed the family separations to “crippling loopholes” in immigration law supported by Democrats and not the Justice Department’s “zero-tolerance” policy to prosecute anyone who crossed the border illegally. About 2,600 children were separated from their parents during the zero-tolerance policy.“Under current law, we have only two policy options to respond to this massive crisis. We can either release all illegal immigrant families [of] minors who show up at the border from Central America or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry,” the president during a June 2018 speech. “Those are the only two options, totally open borders for criminal prosecution for lawbreaking. And you want to be able to do that. If we don’t want people pouring into our country. We want them to come in through the process, through the legal system and we want ultimately a merit-based system where people come in based on merit.”The government has since changed the policy — with Trump signing an executive order in June 2018 — and said separations only happen when a parent has a criminal history or is unfit to care for a child.The Obama and George W. Bush administrations only separated families tied to serious crimes, such a drug trafficking.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

President Biden orders pause of oil and gas lease sales on US federal lands

first_imgBiden 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.”center_img 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 processeslast_img read more

U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet

first_img Named to honor President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, the Great Green Fleet is a U.S. Navy initiative highlighting how the Navy and Marine Corps are using energy efficiency and alternative energy/fuels to increase combat capability and operational flexibility.Stockdale became the first naval ship to use the fuel blend for regular operations when it departed for deployment from San Diego, Jan. 20. Mobile Bay and the other destroyers received the biofuel during replenishments-at-sea from Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships.The alternative fuel is made from 10 percent beef tallow provided from farmers in the Midwest and 90 percent marine diesel, and is cost competitive with traditional fuels. It is used as a drop-in alternative, meaning no modifications to engines or operational procedures are required.A centerpiece of this yearlong initiative is John C. Stennis Strike Group (JCSSG), which departed on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment in January and is scheduled to join the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise later this month.“As a whole, these energy saving measures allow us to be on station longer and to do our job better,” said Cmdr. Walter C. Mainor, commanding officer, USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110). “The Navy has been at the forefront of energy innovation [for generations]. From coal to steam to oil, this is just another measure that the Navy is taking on and leaning forward for energy innovation.”Guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and guided-missile destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93), USS Stockdale (DDG 106) and William P. Lawrence are all operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific using alternative fuel.The U.S. Navy’s carrier fleet, including USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) has operated using only an alternative fuel source, nuclear energy, since 2009. Nuclear power eliminates large-volume storage requirements for fuel, increasing capacity for other consumables and improving sustainability.There’s more to the Great Green Fleet than alternative fuel. JCSSG uses various ECMs including energy-efficient systems, and operational procedures to operate farther, stay on station longer and deliver more firepower.Chung-Hoon’s crew implemented a temperature control initiative in May, adjusting the settings of thermostats, ensuring that they are in proper working parameters, and finding and replacing faulty parts in the chill water cooling system.Sailors replaced legacy lighting fixtures aboard all JCSSG ships with solid state lighting (SSL) lamps that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The new bulbs are rated for 100,000 hours of service life, compared to the 100 hours of use of an incandescent bulb.The cruisers and destroyers of the strike group all have stern flaps installed. These modify the flow of water under the ship’s hull to reduce drag and resistance. Mobile Bay has a fouling release hull coating, which makes it harder for barnacles and other organisms to attach to the hull. Both of these ECMs reduce resistance through the water, thereby increasing fuel efficiency.In March, William P. Lawrence separated from the strike group for its Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) tasking in the Western Pacific, but continued practicing energy-efficient operational procedures as part of the Great Green Fleet.During OMSI tasking, William P. Lawrence burned an average of 20,159 gallons of fuel per day, 4.4 percent of its total fuel capacity and 40 percent less than its average fuel burn rate in 2015.When operational tasking allowed, the strike group conducted trail shaft and drift operations, which are both operational procedures U.S. Navy ships use to conserve energy use. Trail shaft means driving a ship with one of two propellers while the other remains out of use with a pitch angle set to minimize drag. Drift operations are just what they sound like, drifting with ocean currents.Great Green Fleet ships recently participated in a ‘green’ replenishment maneuver with ships from the Italian Navy which also works on developing fuel efficiency measures. June 28, 2016 U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet Authorities Share this articlecenter_img View post tag: Great Green Fleet Back to overview,Home naval-today U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet View post tag: US Navylast_img read more

New figures show rise in university admissions

first_imgAdmissions from students across the UK and the EU for the 2013 cycle were 446,000, a nine per cent rise on the lower than average 2012 figure, dispelling concerns that a hike in tuition fees would reduce the number of students applying to UK universities.This year’s rise may have taken some universities by surprise. The University of York has been fined a total of £500,000 after accepting more students than permitted for courses starting this year.Oxford have yet to release their admissions figures for this year, which are expected in November, but considering that Cambridge received its highest number of applicants for five years, the outlook appears positive.Ed Eliot, a third-year historian, commented, “Given that Oxford is seen as such a prestigious university I’d imagine higher fees, although pretty ridiculous, wouldn’t put applicants off as much, especially when fees are high across the board.”The increase in applications occurred across the UK including in Scotland, where the government voted to scrap tuition fees in 2007. However, there was a continued fall in the number of Scottish students studying at universities in England and Wales; just 1,540 – fewer than six per cent – opted to study south of the border, arguably because coming south of the border means paying the £9,000 fees.Scottish student Will Hesselmann explained the situation north of the boarder, telling Cherwell, “With the tuition fee difference, that’s going to be a major factor in making a decision about which unis to apply to for any Scottish student. They’re faced with £9,000 a year extra, long (and often costly) travel, and a higher cost of living if they want to go to an institution south of the border, so it’s no surprise that the proportion of Scots is far lower than you might expect.”Despite such considerations, the rise in applications has been widely welcomed by universities following concerns that, despite government assurances, applicants from underprivileged backgrounds would be put off applying for fear of debt.last_img read more