State Appoints New Deputy Commissioner of SecuritiesMontpelier, VT — Commissioner John P. Crowley of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration (BISHCA) has appointed Tanya A. Durkee to the post of Deputy Commissioner of the Securities Division. Former Deputy Phillips Keller, III, accepted a new position with the Department.The Deputy Commissioner of Securities serves as the functional head of the division responsible for regulation and consumer protection activities at the state level in the securities marketplace. Ms. Durkee, an attorney, has critical experience in complex disputes in commercial litigation, including securities cases. She most recently worked as a commercial litigation associate, and then partner, for a firm in Portland, Oregon. She has a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law, Portland, OR, and was co-founder of the Northwestern School of Law Business Society. She also graduated Cum Laude from the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. She is co-author of a number of legal publications and papers in her field.Ms. Durkee recently moved to Vermont to join her fiancé, who began residency training at the Fletcher Allen/UVM College of Medicine. Ms. Durkee has also competed as a professional triathlete. She assumes her new post.
More Coal Plant Retirements on the Horizon? FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Mark Watson for Platts Megawatt Daily:Even in places with abundant supply and demand, natural gas generation is trading hands at values well below the cost of a new build, attendees of the Gulf Coast Power Association’s Spring Conference in Houston learned Tuesday.In a session about oil and gas market fundamentals, Neel Mitra, Tudor Pickering Holt director for power and utilities, said his organization estimates the cost of building new natural gas combined-cycle generation at about $1,000/kW.The Ironwood combined-cycle gas turbine generator in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, sold recently for about $900/kW, Mitra said, but “that’s a very high marketer for combined-cycle gas generation,” reflecting the fact that it has ready access to fuel from the Marcellus Shale and can feed into a robust transmission system in the PJM Interconnection.In other markets, such assets sell in the range of $400 to $500/kW, he said, and in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the values range from $300 to $350/kW, he said.The reason is that in most merchant markets, natural gas-fired generation is the marginal type of generation and gas prices have been quite low, he said.“If there’s going to be incremental gas capacity added, it’s going to be in the regulated regions,” Mitra said.The nation’s coal-fired generation fleet has decreased by about 50 GW over the past few years because of low-cost gas generation and increased environmental regulation, but that fleet may shrink by another 10 GW in 2016-2017, “mostly in the state of Pennsylvania,” Mitra said.“There have been a lot of new combined-cycle plants built on top of the Marcellus, and those coal plants can’t compete with $1/MMBtu gas, with the regional basis,” he said.For the next few years, Mitra said he expects natural gas prices at the Henry Hub to range from about $2/MMBtu to about $3.25/MMBtu.“We believe $2 is where you start to see switching,” Mitra said.At current gas prices, Mitra said his organization thinks only one Texas coal-fired plant is covering its fixed costs.Some Texas-based coal fired generation has benefited by declining rail freight costs from the range of $25-$30/mt to about $15-$20/mt, he said.Full article: Natural gas generation bringing below-cost values: analyst $
An Anticompetitive Trade Case FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Daily Signal (Heritage Foundation):An expansive trade case has simmered on the back burner since April 2017 and is now finally on its way to President Donald Trump’s desk for a decision by Jan. 26.The case involves two failing manufacturing companies—Suniva and SolarWorld—which have petitioned the government for globally applicable tariffs on inexpensive imports of solar cells and panels.Organzations across the political spectrum, including the Solar Energy Industries Association, have made the case for why the requested tariffs would be harmful for the solar industry writ large.Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out Here are a few reasons why rejecting the request for sweeping tariffs would be consistent with Trump’s campaign trail ideals and policy vision for energy dominance. Innovation.There is almost no better way to fossilize an industry than by guaranteeing prices and knocking out the competitors of a select few companies. The only innovation that this spurs is creative ways to lobby the government for new ways to interfere in energy markets.Government intervention akin to what Suniva and SolarWorld have requested distorts the incentives that drive companies to find new technological solutions, reduce costs, adapt to changing markets, and develop successful business models.”Such intervention would also punish competitive American solar companies in order to keep two failing ones afloat. Refusing new tariffs on solar imports allows the best parts of the solar industry to rise to the top. Competitiveness.Trump should protect competition, not specific competitors. The solar industry in America can provide customers the best, most affordable service to Americans when it is able to access components from the most competitive companies around the globe.The proposed tariffs block this access. In essence, they are a massive regulatory subsidy for Suniva and SolarWorld—at the expense of the rest of the solar industry.Rather than let the market reward successful companies and technologies, tilting the playing field only breeds competition for more government intervention. Healthy job market.Suniva and SolarWorld argue that global tariffs are essential to their survival and will create thousands of jobs. Using the force of government to eliminate a company’s competitors will almost certainly preserve those company jobs.But Trump needs to take a wider view of solar energy jobs. George Hershman, president of Swinerton Renewable Energy, a utility and commercial solar company, noted in a December press conference that in addition to the people he employs directly, Swinerton “purchased over $88 million in steel racking.”“One of our largest suppliers is Steel of West Virginia, located in Huntington, West Virginia, as well as Panelclaw, located in North Andover, Massachusetts. We spent $71 million on electrical equipment, like transformers made by Virginia Transformer of Roanoke, Virginia, and Construction Innovations in Sacramento, California.”There will be negative implications for the rest of the industry and the indirect jobs it creates if the administration bends over backward to shore up two failing companies. The federal government shouldn’t be the arbiter of whose job is more valuable.More: 3 Reasons Trump Should Pull the Plug on Solar Tariffs
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Scraps of the destroyed Long Beach boardwalk will become art work.Eight hundred pounds of Long Beach boardwalk ruble is being re-purposed as artwork to commemorate the community spirit that prevailed after Superstorm Sandy destroyed the famed seaside tourist attraction.Nassau County officials invited local artists to join a privately funded contest with cash prizes up to $10,000 for the winner and judges deciding which work best captures the theme in six months—timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the historic storm.“Every crisis, every storm and every natural disaster provides all of us with the ability to call upon our inner strength to begin the job of recovery,” Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said during a news conference Thursday at his Mineola office.Second place wins $5,000, third place takes home $2,500 and honorable mentions will get $1,000 each. The prizes are funded by Lawrence Kadish, a Republican national committeeman from Old Westbury, and his wife, Susan, an artist.The competition is open to Nassau residents of all ages. The deadline for submitted art work is Sept. 1 and the winners will be chosen on Oct. 29. All accepted submissions will be displayed at the Office of Emergency Management for approximately six months.For more information on rules and submission forums visit the county’s website www.nassaucounty.gov or call 516-571-6000.
Open enrollment season is here, and with a projected five percent increase in health care costs for 2018, employers are looking to control spending. As a result, employees selecting their benefit plans for 2018 will see higher costs, more cost sharing, and in most cases, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) option.Large employers project health care benefit costs to exceed $14,000 per employee next year, according to an annual survey of large employers by the National Business Group on Health. Its “Large Employers’ 2018 Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey” found that 90 percent of survey respondents will offer at least one type of consumer directed health plan (CDHP) in 2018, up from 84 percent in 2017. And, among those employers offering a CDHP option, 80 percent will offer an HDHP paired with a health savings account (HSA).This is good news for credit unions offering HSAs to their members as there is a direct correlation between the increasing number of HSAs and the growth in CDHPs. Open enrollment season gives credit unions an opportunity to promote their HSA offerings and educate members who are in the process of selecting their health benefits about the advantages of an HSA. Many Members Not Aware of HSA’s Triple Tax BenefitsAn HSA is unlike any other tax-advantaged savings vehicle in that it offers a triple tax benefit:Contributions to an HSA are tax-deductible (pretax if made through payroll deduction). The interest earned in an HSA is tax-deferred.Distributions for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. An HSA can also be used to save for medical expenses in retirement.That said, members may not be aware of these HSA benefits, so educating them about an HSA and its financial opportunities is important. The 2016 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)/Greenwald & Associates’ “Consumer Engagement in Heath Care Survey” reported that 14 percent of privately insured adults were enrolled in a CDHP. And, while more than half of CDHP enrollees (56 percent) opened an HSA, the survey reported that 25 percent of CDHP enrollees were enrolled in an HSA-eligible plan but had not opened an HSA.Data Shows Continued HSA GrowthDespite what seems to be a general lack of knowledge about how HSAs work, HSAs experienced double-digit growth last year, as they have every year since they became available. Credit unions that offer HSAs recorded a more than 17 percent increase in HSA deposits last year and held $1.38 billion in HSA deposits as of year-end, up from $1.17 billion as of year-end 2015, according to call report data analyzed by the Economics and Statistics Department of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Yet credit unions held just a fraction of the almost $37 billion in HSA deposits in 2016, according to the “2016 Year-End Devenir HSA Market Survey,” which surveyed primarily the top 100 HSA providers. That is because less than 15 percent of credit unions offer HSAs to their members.HSA providers surveyed by Devenir in 2016 projected that HSA assets would grow by 20 percent this year and estimated that their own HSA business would grow by 24 percent. Based on the “2017 Mid-Year Devenir HSA Market Survey,” growth so far from 2016 to 2017 actually surpassed 20 percent. In its 2016 and 2017 surveys, Devenir projects that the HSA market will exceed $50 billion in HSA assets by the end of 2018, and $60 billion by the end of 2019.Credit Unions Can Drive Their Own HSA GrowthCredit unions can use the open enrollment season to build their HSA portfolios as members select HSA-compatible HDHPs as their health plans for the coming year. Following are tips to help credit unions build their HSA programs.Contact local insurance agents and brokers to make them aware of HSA program offerings. Their small business customers may be looking to offer an HSA-compatible HDHP and want to use a local financial organization as the HSA provider. Credit unions offering a competitive HSA program often find that insurance agents and brokers are happy to refer their clients to a local credit union offering HSAs, especially because not all banks and credit unions offer HSAs. Credit unions that enter into relationships with insurance agents to provide HSA services to their customers often find that this leads to new credit union memberships and the opportunity to offer these new members other credit union services.Promote HSA program offerings to small business and self-employed members. These members have already chosen the credit union for their business accounts and lending needs. Along with access to business credit, small businesses also struggle with the high cost of health insurance. Many are switching to an HSA-compatible HDHP to reduce health care costs. Providing HSA services to these small business and self-employed members can help them reduce costs and improve benefits for their employees. And as employees of these small businesses open HSAs, they help to build a credit union’s HSA program.Offer a free HSA educational seminar to help educate members and potential members about the benefits of an HSA. Although the HSA is becoming more popular, much confusion remains, and members may not fully understand the powerful tax advantages an HSA provides. Credit unions are already a trusted source of consumer financial information so helping educate members about the HSA ensures that members will understand the benefits and avoid the pitfalls. Credit unions that offer retirement planning seminars should include a discussion of how an HSA can be used to save for medical expenses in retirement. Credit unions have an opportunity to start capturing their share of the HSA market during the open enrollment period. Credit unions that offer HSAs are finding success, with 225 credit unions holding more than $1 million in HSA deposits and 61 holding over $5 million in HSA deposits, according to Devenir. Ascensus® partners with Devenir to offer the Devenir myHSAinvestments® solution and private-label HSA investment platform to credit unions. 29SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Zuehlke Dennis is Compliance Manager for Ascensus. Mr. Zuehlke provides clients with technical support on tax-advantaged accounts (including individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, simplified employee pension plans, and Coverdell education … Web: www.ascensus.com Details
The state recorded just one new case in the 24 hours to Monday morning.Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, has asked parents to keep their children home if possible until the middle of the year and plans to give an update on its social distancing measures on Monday.After giving a three-stage plan on Friday to ease restrictions on Australian domestic movement by July, state and federal officials will meet on Monday to discuss ways of dealing with the risks of crowds on public transport as businesses start to reopen, the country’s chief medical officer said on the weekend.Australia has largely avoided the high COVID-19 casualty numbers of other countries due to a nationwide stay-home order and border closures, including closing the borders between states.The rate of new infections has slowed to less than 1 percent per day nationwide, compared to a daily growth rate of nearly a quarter during March.Topics : “I know this is a huge relief for families,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.”It is a huge relief for the state government because we know how important it is for students to receive that face to face teaching,” she added.Final year students, whose exams were interrupted by the virus response, would attend at least three days per week in class, Berejiklian said, with the plan to return to full-time class attendance for all students by the end of May.NSW has suffered about 45 percent of the country’s roughly 6,900 confirmed cases and 97 deaths. But it has said it will begin easing some restrictions on personal movement later this week as the rate of new infections remains low. Children in some Australian states began returning to school on Monday after an extended break due to the new coronavirus, as the country’s rate of new infections continued to slow.Students of New South Wales, the most populous state, and the northern state of Queensland began going back to school on a limited basis to lessen the risk of spreading the illness, state leaders said.The NSW government said it has delivered thousands of litres of soap and hand sanitiser to schools, as well as personal protective equipment and temperature monitors. Class sizes will be reduced and activities will involve minimal physical contact between the students, many of whom have not attended school since mid-March.
The government of The Bahamas has awarded an extension of the second exploration period on four offshore licenses to Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC).The four licenses in question are the 100 percent-owned Bain, Cooper, Donaldson, and Eneas licenses. BPC said the licenses would be extended until December 31, 2020. During the extension period, Bahamas Petroleum Company has an obligation to drill an exploration well.After this period, based on the results of the initial exploration well, BPC will have the option to apply for a production lease over all or part of the license area. Bahamas Petroleum will also have the option to extend the licenses into a third exploration period and/or apply for an appraisal extension.“The notification received from the Government also stipulates that the Government and BPC must in the coming months agree a forward work program for 2019 and 2020 and a reconciliation of license fees already paid, including during the period of disruption, with any future license fees due up to the end of 2020,” BPC said.The forward program will include the process for environmental authorization based upon an application already submitted by the Bahamas Petroleum Company in April 2018.Bahamas Petroleum Company last year suffered a setback after an unnamed oil major pulled out from exclusive talks with BPC over a potential a farm-in.BPC then said it resumed broader, asset-based discussions with third parties in addition to those non-asset based financing discussions already ongoing for the funding of its first exploration well.The company believes there’s a multi-billion barrel potential in the area. According to a BPC presentation of a conceptual forward work plan from June 2017, an exploration well was to be drilled in 2018 – which didn’t happen – and in case of a discovery, an appraisal well was to follow in late 2019, with production start in 2023 via an FPSO. BPC’s plans may still materialize, however, with revised timelines.In a statement on Friday, February 22, Bahamas Petroleum Company said it was still looking to secure a farm-in partner for the initial exploration well and that discussions were continuing with multiple third parties.Simon Potter, CEO of Bahamas Petroleum Company, said: “The confirmation from the Government of The Bahamas that the current term of our four southern licenses extends to December 31, 2020, provides the company with a certainty of tenure over the company’s licenses, replacing any perceived “above ground” issues with complete clarity in fact and law.“[…] there is now a very clear two-year window to advance plans for and to drill an exploratory well providing certainty to potential partners as we move forward in our farm-out discussions. BPC’s focus remains singular: to implement an exploratory well on its highly prospective assets in The Bahamas to the benefit of shareholders and the people of The Bahamas.”Offshore Energy Today Staff
Jurors in the recent trial of convicted Texas financier Allen Stanford say his arrogance and greed as well as compelling evidence by his former chief financial officer were primarily responsible for his conviction and the forfeiture of US $330 million in assets.The eight men and four women jury on March 6 found Stanford guilty on 13 of 14 counts. Two days later, the same jury decided that Stanford must forfeit US$330 million in assets in 29 bank accounts seized by the US government.Stanford was convicted of masterminding a “massive” US$7 billion Ponzi scheme by bilking tens of thousands of investors of high-yield certificates of deposit at his Antigua-owned Stanford International Bank (SIB).“The jury returned unanimous verdicts, and we think they speak for themselves,” Jury foreman John Wojciak, an environmental engineer, told reporters.Bruce Forrest, a 47, an alternate juror and optician, said prosecutors presented “overwhelming evidence” that resulted in Stanford’s conviction.He said the testimony of James Davis, Stanford’s ex-finance chief, was the most compelling.Davis, who made a plea deal with the US government, testified against his former boss for five days during the six-week trial.Forrest also recalled testimony from Sohil Merchant, Stanford’s information technology chief, who testified to having to repeatedly fly in laptops to replace ones the tycoon had smashed against walls or dropped into water.“There’s an arrogance that goes with that,” Forrest said, adding “and to find out he used other people’s money in order to accomplish all this. Along with arrogance comes greed”.Je, however, lamented that Stanford did not take the stand on his own behalf.“He might regret that now,” Forrest said. “It’s always nice to hear from him”.But another juror, Carlos Anez, 27, an industrial engineer, said it would not have made any difference if Stanford had personally testified, given the overwhelming evidence against him.“It was a lot,” he said, disclosing that the jury had briefly deadlocked on one count, the allegation that Stanford had bribed Antiguan banking regulator Leroy King with tickets for the National Football League’s final, “The Super Bowl”.King has also been indicted in the scheme and faces extradition from his native Antigua.Anez said jurors were unsure about the rules were in Antigua. Stanford was acquitted on that count.Stanford’s lawyers had unsuccessfully asked Judge David Hitter, who presided over the case, to delay the trial, claiming that their client was suicidal and might never sufficiently recover from a 2009 jail house beating by another inmate, to face a jury.In addition, defence lawyers claimed that Stanford was addicted to prescription anti-anxiety drugs and had spent almost nine months in a US federal prison hospital in North Carolina in a detoxification program.But Hittner ruled that Stanford was legally competent to stand trial.“That will be an issue,” said Ali Fazel, one of Stanford’s lawyers. “It will be a lengthy appeal.”Antigua Observer NewsRegional Jurors say arrogance and compelling evidence brought down Stanford by: – March 13, 2012 Tweet 14 Views no discussions Share Share Sharing is caring! Share
Loading… It is said that the clubs are in advanced negotiations for a deal which will cost in the region of €35m (£31.5m) with the talks focus around the structure of the payment rather than the amount.The 29-year-old’s deal in Bavaria is set to expire in the summer of 2021 and despite the club keen to renew his deal, the player has backed off and looks set to end his seven-year stay at Munich.Last week, a report in German outlet Sport Bild claimed the Spain international is expecting to leave the Bundesliga champions this summer and had been the first to report of interest from the Reds. Read Also: Zidane wants Messi to stay in Spain despite Barcelona exit claimsAs highlighted by transfermarkt.de, the central midfielder has a market valuation of €48m and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is said to be a huge fan of his technical ability and would love to add him to his midfield ranks this summer.Thiago joined Bayern in 2013 after they activated his €25m release clause at Barcelona and whilst he has been linked with a return to the Camp Nou at several points in his career since, no move has ever come to fruition and now appears unlikely due to the Blaugrana’s options in the position.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtIs This The Most Delicious Food In The World?6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?Who Earns More Than Ronaldo?6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesWhat Happens When You Eat Eggs Every Single Day?12 Flicks That Almost Ended Their Stars’ Careers8 Fascinating Facts About CoffeeThe Best Cars Of All Time11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top Liverpool are ‘very close’ to completing the signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, as per a report in Diario Sport.Advertisement