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Colstrip Operator Talen Energy Wants Out

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From KTVQ Helena:The operator of the four coal-fired power plants at Colstrip told plant owners Monday it plans to exit as operator within two years, MTN News has learned.State Sens. Jim Keane and Duane Ankney confirmed Monday they’d been told Talen Energy of Allentown, Pa., informed the plants’ utility owners that it no longer wants to operate the power plants in southeastern Montana.Ankney, of Colstrip, also said Talen has asked to “expedite” its request to expedite as plant operator, and possibly quit its role earlier than two years.“What the owners have to do is figure out what they’re going to do, if someone within the owner group is going to step up as operators,” he told MTN News.News of Talen’s exit is the latest in a string of negative developments for the Colstrip power plants, which employ 360 people and generate up to 2,000 megawatts of power consumed throughout Montana and the West.Talen, which also owns part of Colstrip 1 and 2 and sells Colstrip-generated power on the wholesale market, told state officials earlier this month it is losing money on the plants and has been trying to sell its interest.Environmentalists have targeted the plants as a major emitter of greenhouse gases, arguing for their eventual closure.State legislatures in Oregon and Washington this year also passed bills that are designed to hasten or make it easier for utilities in those states to stop providing coal-fired power from the Colstrip plants.Full article: Colstrip, MT power-plant operator plans to quit in two years Colstrip Operator Talen Energy Wants Outlast_img read more

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Improving Regional Security through Information Operations

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo April 11, 2018 For the fifth time since 2013, representatives from the Caribbean came together to foster regional collaboration, strengthen relationships, and share Information Operations (IO) tactics, techniques, and procedures to counter common threats affecting the region and support coordinated hurricane-relief operations. Military and security representatives from the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Great Britain, Jamaica, Haiti, Netherlands, and Turks and Caicos gathered at the 5th Caribbean Region Information Operations Council (CRIOC) in Kingston, Jamaica, from March 26-29, 2018. CRIOC was hosted by the Jamaican Defence Force and sponsored by the IO divisions of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). “CRIOC is a unique organization. We have NORTHCOM, SOUTHCOM, the British, and the Canadians, among other nations, working with our Caribbean partners,” said Dr. Benjamin P. Gochman, chief of engagements at NORTHCOM’s IO division. “It’s two geographic combatant commands working together with other countries, achieving success by fostering collaboration and not only looking at common threats to the region, but also to see how we can work collectively to confront them”. “CRIOC is an example of the effectiveness of NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM collaborating together,” added Dr. Gochman. “We started CRIOC with Bermuda, Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos. In order to grow the organization, we partnered with SOUTHCOM. Jamaica, Haiti, and Trinidad & Tobago also joined. Now we are asking Barbados to join in.” During three days of discussion, participants discussed their hurricane-response capabilities and lessons learned from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017. They worked in groups to create a partner nation threat matrix, in which international organized crime, narcotrafficking, illegal weapons, gangs, and natural disasters were identified. They also presented ideas on how partner nations use information-related capabilities to counter their common challenges. The ability to counter common threats is a predominant regional concern. “The British, the French, the Canadians, and the United States are in Jamaica to express that our partners are serious about using information to help mitigate our shared common threats,” said Jamaica Defence Force Major Basil Jarret, civil-military cooperation and media affairs officer. “Through collaboration, discussion, and sharing information and ideas, we can come together with stronger, resilient solutions to the problems we face.” Strengthening IO capabilities CRIOC nations are shaping their IO capabilities. They analyzed their strengths and limitations and shared best practices for their own benefit as well as for that of the region. “IO can help mitigate common threats, as information is a valuable weapon. It’s not in Jamaica’s best interest to keep its knowledge and information to itself, but by sharing and exchanging this information, it opens us up to other and better ways of doing things. It’s a win-win for us,” said Maj. Jarret. “There are no longer any unique challenges, all our challenges are shared. What happens in Jamaica has a ripple effect in Haiti and in the United States, so the best way to treat it is to have all the affected countries sit down and share information and resources to create effective strategies to deal with threats.” Participants recognize the importance of IO. “It’s very important that we understand the basics of IO,” said Royal Bahamas Defence Force Lieutenant Commander Carlon Bethell, staff operations officer. “We can communicate our capabilities to our partners and also understand our partners’ capabilities, so we can work better together because we all are trying to achieve the same common goal, security for our region.” “IO help us [so] we don’t have to fight. We don’t have to use aggressive sources or manpower for that matter,” said Lt. Commander Bethell. “We make information work for us in many ways as we shape thoughts and ideas by showing other countries the good things we are doing, but also let our adversaries understand we have the means to deal with all the problems they create for us.” CRIOC partners recognize the importance of supporting each other. “The ability of CRIOC is to link people together. It’s the networks that are pretty important,” said British Armed Forces Colonel Paul L. Fish, British liaison officer at NORTHCOM. “IO gives everyone the ability to understand that we are working in the same environment. We all have different skillsets and abilities that we all can bring in and share amongst ourselves to mitigate threats to our environment.” “CRIOC meetings are important as we have face-to-face discussions and improve our networks,” said French Armed Forces in the West Indies Commander Mikaël Péron, chief of the Joint Operations Center. “It’s imperative we exchange information and improve cooperation for the next hurricane season because we all know, it will happen again.” CRIOC hopes to expand its membership to different branches of government, non-governmental organizations, and other entities. The goal is to gain the citizens’ trust and willingness to work together in defeating criminal activities. “We are in this together. We are all here as equal partners, and we must be able to share information and support each other in times of need,” Col. Fish told assistants at the closing ceremony. “Collaboration is key.”last_img read more

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Trade agreement includes China but not U.S. or India

first_imgSINGAPORE — The formation of the world’s largest free trade bloc in Asia-Pacific sends a signal that there’s a need for economic integration despite existing challenges, according to a Singapore government official.Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries, including Singapore, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Sunday. Those nations have a combined population of over 2 billion and total GDP of more than $26 trillion — and make up about 30% of the world population and global economy.The 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the RCEP deal with their top trading partners: China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The countries that make up ASEAN are: Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar — formerly Burma, and Laos.- Advertisement – Notably, the agreement excludes the United States and can potentially allow China to cement its position as a vital trade partner for Southeast Asia and the other countries in the deal. Representatives of signatory countries are pictured on screen during the signing ceremony for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact at the ASEAN summit that is being held online in Hanoi on November 15, 2020.Nhac Nguyen | AFP | Getty Images … I think all the member countries remain open to the prospect of India joining at the appropriate time.S IswaranSingapore’s minister for communications and information “RCEP is an important development but also a very important signal to global markets that even as we fight the challenge of (the coronavirus pandemic), the public health care challenge as well as the economic challenge, we need to continue to build bridges and economic integration,” S Iswaran, Singapore’s minister for communications and information, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.Iswaran is also the minister-in-charge of trade relations and oversees the city-state’s bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations at Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.The RCEP agreement outlines provisions for preferential access in trading goods, standard rules around investment and disciplines governing that, enhanced trade facilitation measures as well as “forward-looking aspects” such as e-commerce and competition laws and intellectual property rights, according to Iswaran.‘Political will and commitment’By virtue of its size and the diversity of its membership, RCEP “signals a commitment and level of ambition, in terms of economic integration,” he said. “It’s been a long haul over eight years but I think the outcome is well worth the effort.”He explained that since the signing was endorsed and witnessed by the leaders of the 15 countries, there is “political will and commitment” to get things done under the agreement. The impetus comes from the fact that governments recognize that current circumstances, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, require them to move quickly on economic initiatives to unlock opportunities for their people and businesses, Iswaran said. One of the ways to do that is by linking up with regional and global economies through agreements like RCEP, he added. – Advertisement –center_img It’s been a long haul over eight years but I think the outcome is well worth the effort.S Iswaran- Advertisement – The agreement aims to “abolish some 92% of traded goods tariffs,” Lavanya Venkateswaran, an economist at Mizuho Bank’s Asia & Oceania Treasury Department, said in a note. It “would be critical in deepening supply-chain linkages, with a reach into the service sector with ambitions of 65% of service sector being fully open under the RCEP.”The RCEP “is a much-need and overdue life-line for global trade that is based on multi-lateral trade cooperation, engagements and rules,” Venkateswaran said, adding, “Arguably, there are also hopes pinned on RCEP helping to catalyze the recovery in global trade and commerce.”India and the U.S.Negotiations for RCEP began in 2013 and initially included India, whose presence was seen by some members as a counterweight to China. But New Delhi last year declined to join RCEP, stating that some of its “issues of core interest” remained unresolved.Iswaran told CNBC the door remains open for New Delhi to rejoin the agreement when it wants to.“India has been involved in a lot of the negotiations and would understand the nuances and I think all the member countries remain open to the prospect of India joining at an appropriate time,” he said.The United States under President Barack Obama was part of a rival regional trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which excluded China.The TPP never went into effect as the U.S. left the agreement under President Donald Trump and a new version of that pact emerged, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The CPTPP was signed by all of the TPP signatories except the U.S.Iswaran said Singapore as well as other Asian partners value U.S. engagement in the region. “I think the key point is we want to deepen the engagement of the U.S. economy with this part of the world,” he said, adding that could either be through RCEP or CPTPP or some other agreement. Singapore’s minister for communications and information – Advertisement –last_img read more