Practices and Policies for Global Sustainability — Summer Short Course

by Duane Nichols on February 13, 2020

Heavy sustained rains bring down boulders onto the roads in WV and elsewhere

What’s the Big Deal? Practices & Policies for Global Sustainability – Summer Adult Education Course, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

From Prof. David Lodge, Cornell University, February 5, 2020

Can this planet be saved? Yes, we think so !!

In this timely program, David Lodge, director of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for Sustainability, will challenge us with bold ideas that may help us and our planet survive our current environmental challenges.

We’ll weigh the costs and benefits of changing the ways we produce human necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and water—to conserve energy and finite natural resources.

Join us in figuring out how to minimize environmental impact without diminishing economic growth and our quality of life.

Details: July 5 to 11, 2020 on Campus in Ithaca, NY

Course highlights — 1. Explore the controversies surrounding efforts to reduce and respond to climate change.

2. Discuss the urgent need for more sustainable practices and policies. Become acquainted with the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, the hub of collaborative sustainability research at Cornell University.

3. Learn about the work of the passionate experts and innovators, theorists, practitioners, business leaders, and philanthropists who are developing strategies and shaping policy to protect our planet.

4. Discover how you can participate in sustainability efforts.

Faculty for This Course Professor David Lodge

David Lodge serves as Cornell University’s first Francis J. DiSalvo Director of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. His academic home is Cornell’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a joint appointment in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences..

David has led research on freshwater biodiversity as part of the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and led an expert subcommittee providing advice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on reducing biological invasions from the ballast water of ships. He recently served as a Jefferson Science Fellow in the U.S. Department of State.

Under David’s leadership, Cornell Atkinson Center is focused on working with NGO, corporate, foundation, and government collaborators to move knowledge to action in reducing climate risks, accelerating energy transitions, increasing food security, and advancing the One Health Initiative.


See also: CLEARWAY Signs Power Contracts for WV Wind Farm, WV News, February 6, 2020

CHARLESTON, WV — Clearway Energy Group announced Thursday that it signed power purchase agreements with AEP Energy and Toyota for Clearway’s 110-megawatt Black Rock wind farm, in Grant and Mineral counties, West Virginia.

The power contracts will enable both AEP Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power, and Toyota to meet their energy management objectives while helping each company achieve their respective clean energy goals.

“We’re thrilled that Black Rock will provide economic benefits to AEP Energy and Toyota while helping meet their sustainability goals,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “Black Rock, along with our nearby Pinnacle wind farm, reaffirms Clearway’s commitment to West Virginia and wind energy’s growing role in the state’s economy and environment.”

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WVU News #1 February 13, 2020 at 11:13 am

Morgantown rock slide injures three @ WVU

From Staff Reports, WV News, February 10, 2020

MORGANTOWN —Three people, including two West Virginia University students, were taken to the hospital after being injured by a rock slide Monday.

Two of the injured were in a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) car that was struck by a large rock, according to a WVU press release.

The third person was in a passenger car on Monongahela Boulevard that was damaged by a large rock.

The section of Monongahela Boulevard between 8th Street and Patteson Drive was closed after the rockslide until state Division of Highways crews could stabilize the hillside, according to the Morgantown Police Department.

Monongahela Boulevard has since reopened between 8th Street and Evansdale Drive.

The PRT will remain closed between the Beechurst and Engineering stations on Tuesday. It will run between the Walnut and Beechurst stations, as well as on a separate loop between the Engineering, Towers and Health Sciences Center stations on a normal schedule beginning at 6:30 a.m.

Buses will run between the Beechurst and Engineering PRT stations. Pickup will be at Life Sciences Building and Evansdale Crossing.


WVU News #2 February 13, 2020 at 11:26 am

WVU BOG amends agreement with Morgantown power plant
Article by Mike Nolting, WV Metro News, January 24, 2020
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The WVU Board of Governors voted Friday to amend its contract with Morgantown Energy Associates regarding the switch from waste coal to natural gas at MEA’s power plant on Beechurst Avenue in Morgantown.

Under an agreement approved by the state Public Service Commission last month, the plant stopped producing electricity for Mon Power on Jan. 1 and began producing only steam for both WVU campuses.

The PSC approved a $60 million settlement between MEA and Mon Power. The utility bought out the remaining years of its contract with MEA saying it no longer needs the power it generates. The facility has been producing 50 mega-watts of power since 1992.

WVU Vice president for Strategic Initiatives Rob Alsop told the BOG an amendment was needed to allow the switch.

“We have a contract to take steam from MEA through 2027,” Alsop said. “They have made a proposal to the university to no longer produce steam with coal, but with natural gas boilers.”

Alsop explained the original coal-based contract was negotiated about 25 years ago and it needed board authorization to substitute natural gas for coal.

“The existing contract price resets several times each year based on the price of coal, natural gas and industrial commodities,” Alsop said. “We don’t know the extent of the savings, but we do believe it will be more stable than the previous contract.”

Workers are expected complete the switch in the spring when the university can shut the steam supply down for a few days.

The PSC order requires MEA to provide LP Mineral, the company that supplies the waste coal to the plant, six months notice before the coal fired boilers are shutdown. The PSC has also ordered MEA to make “certain reporting requirements.”

LP Minerals President James Laurita testified in November the jobs lost through the contract termination would cost the economy $17 million a year, the same amount Mon Power says terminating the deal would save ratepayers. Laurita believes as many as 40 jobs could be cut at the plant.

“I’m saying $17 million, just those three vendors and the 40 employees, the value is $17 million a year that’s going to be lost just to the community of Morgantown,” Laurita said. “That’s $300 million over (the remainder of the contract). So there’s $300 million that’s lost to the community.”


WV News #4 February 13, 2020 at 12:34 pm

WV RIVERS Rise From Latest Rains

By MetroNews Staff in News | February 13, 2020

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several school systems in West Virginia closed their doors Thursday because of high water with state emergency crews on standby for possible flooding.

The National Weather Service issued flooding warnings, meaning it was flooding, in several counties including Cabell, Jackson, Mason, Lincoln, Mingo, Wayne and Northern Putnam. Water had covered several roadways in those areas.

All schools in Mason, Roane and Lincoln counties were closed while other counties closed individual schools and some other counties had two or three-hour delays.

Meteorologists reported the Ohio River was running about a foot above flood stage Thursday morning at Point Pleasant. The river could crest at three feet about flood stage early Saturday morning.

There was concern about the Ohio River heading into Wednesday.

“Particularly the Ohio River from Point Pleasant southward,” Meteorologist Ray Young told MetroNews.” We already have a flood warning up for the Ohio River at Point Pleasant which we’re expecting flooding there and depending on the level of rain all of the points south of Point Pleasant could go into a flood.”

Gov. Jim Justice activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center on Tuesday and agencies who are the front line responders are already coordinating and getting ready for a response. It is officially on partial activation.

“Approximately 60 people from the Guard are on a four-hour standby,” said Major Hollie Nelson with the West Virginia National Guard.

The personnel ready to react with the National Guard are teams who handle liaison, community action, a med-evac flight crew, and the guard’s swift water rescue team.

“We want to make sure people are paying attention to what’s going on. You can get the rain and it won’t be until a day later before the rivers crest. People really need to be on alert,” said Nelson.

There were power outages reported Thursday morning and additional mudslides impacting some highways.

The coldest temperatures in a few weeks are scheduled to enter the state Friday with highs predicted for the mid-20s


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