New EPA plan not likely to help Montana’s Colstrip coal plant

first_imgNew EPA plan not likely to help Montana’s Colstrip coal plant FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Montana Standard:President Donald Trump’s plan to replace Obama-era air pollution rules with coal-friendly policies got a mixed reception by Montana officials uncertain what the changes would mean for the Colstrip Power Plant.Republicans praised Trump’s plans to scrap former President Barrack Obama’s Clean Power Plan as good news for coal power. Though never carried out, the Obama rules called for dramatically cutting carbon dioxide, a major contributor to climate change.Montanans had expected the Obama rules to finish off Colstrip Power Plant and likely its host community of 2,300 as well, as the state cut carbon dioxide emissions 47 percent to comply with federal law.Colstrip has four generating units. The oldest two are scheduled for retirement no later than 2022 as part of a legal settlement with the Sierra Club and Montana Environmental Information Center over air pollution. Its newer units are offline for failing to clear federal Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, or MATS. The shutdown will be two months long next week. The Affordable Clean Energy Rule does not address MATS.Talen Energy, which operates Colstrip Power Plant and has significant ownership share, did not respond to a request for comment, which Lee Montana Newspapers made by phone and email Tuesday.The change from Obama’s coal pollution rules to Trump’s coal pollution rules isn’t likely to help Colstrip as it struggles with multiple challenges, said Seth Feaster, energy data analyst for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “In terms of the big picture, it doesn’t really change the underlying pressures on the utilities, and particularly Colstrip, that are facing things like customer calls to divest in coal and restructure assets,” Feaster said. “It’s one thing to set policies that try to help, but it’s not a bailout and it’s not going to make power plants any younger.”More: Trump’s coal-friendly pollution rules get mixed reviews in Montana, may not save Colstriplast_img read more

Is your brand memorable?

first_imgWhile many things combine to make a successful brand, a common denominator is originality. Originality plays strongly into just how memorable your brand is in the minds of consumers. Think about it in terms of memorable pop-culture figures. Johnny Cash made a name for himself in country music as “the man in black.” In the early 1990s, a young Mark Wahlberg was the “it” spokesman for Calvin Klein. For years, when Apple CEO Steve Jobs walked out on stage in his trademark blue jeans and black turtleneck, you knew it was time for a new product unveiling.You get the idea. Being original and memorable makes for a strong brand. The strength of your brand is critical to the success and growth of your bank or credit union. After all, Johnny Cash was hardly the only country music singer in his era and Mark Wahlberg wasn’t the only model hawking underwear and cologne. Being memorable matters.Here are a few simple litmus tests to consider when asking the question “Is your brand memorable?”Does your brand represent the consumers we serve and wish to serve? In other words, do you look, sound and act in ways familiar with the people in your marketplace? If your brand serves a hip, upscale Millennial area, doesn’t look and sound like it? If your brand doesn’t (both visually and interpersonally) represent your existing and target consumer segments, it’s not likely memorable. continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

3 secrets to employee retention and executive development

first_imgWith the unemployment rate hitting a 50-year low of 3.6%, credit unions across the nation are competing like never before in a highly fluid job market. A 2018 Gallup pollfound that 51% of U.S. workers were looking for or applying for a new job, and with several top-tier banks raising their minimum wages to $15 per hour, wage pressures are growing.Average turnover rates for banks and credit unions peaked at 19.7% in 2018, according to BalancedComp’s annual salary and incentive survey. Average pay increase projections for 2019 reflect “the fastest market rate movement we have seen in eight years and definite proof that the typical 3% labor budget is not going to be adequate to stay competitive.”The community-focused mission of credit unions does a lot to increase loyalty among employees, but these days, employee retention, training and development, and succession planning are front-burner issues for many HR executives. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading »last_img read more

Experts, House factions suggest lower presidential nomination threshold

first_imgSeveral factions at the House of Representatives as well as political experts have suggested lowering or eliminating the vote threshold for political parties to nominate presidential candidates.Article 222 of the 2017 Elections Law states that a political party or coalition of parties must have secured at least 20 percent of the seats at the House of Representatives or 25 percent of the popular vote in the 2014 elections to nominate a presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.The same type of provision has been included in a draft dated May 6 to revise the Elections Law in preparation for the next elections. The draft was prepared by House Commission II, which oversees home affairs, and the House Expertise Board.During a hearing by the commission on Wednesday, some experts recommended a reduction of the threshold to facilitate more presidential candidates.Political expert Valina Singka Subekti of the University of Indonesia questioned the draft for maintaining the threshold. She suggested that the House eliminate it altogether, as the Constitution only mandated that political parties endorse presidential and vice-presidential candidates, with no mention of a threshold.“Indonesia has a presidential nomination threshold while many other democratic countries do not,” she said. The presidential nomination threshold in Indonesia was introduced in 2004, when the figure was set at 15 percent, equal to 20 percent of House seats. Five years later, the House raised the bar to 20 percent of the seats or 25 percent of the popular vote.Valina said the 2004 presidential election was the ideal presidential election, with five candidate pairs running: Wiranto-Salahuddin Wahid, Megawati Sukarnoputri-Hasyim Muzadi, Amien Rais-Siswono Yudo Husodo, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Jusuf Kalla and Hamzah Haz-Agum Gumelar.”We have experienced a presidential election in which many pairs were participating. This is nothing new. At that time, the political parties and constituents were happy, as they could channel their aspirations and promote their best candidates,” she said.Read also: Civil group challenges legislative threshold at courtCentre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) executive director Philips J. Vermonte echoed Valina’s concern, calling on the House to reduce the threshold.He went on to say that a higher threshold had resulted in polarization among the people, as seen in the presidential elections of 2014 and 2019. A survey found that Indonesians became more polarized than ever based on their preferred presidential candidates as they only had two candidate pairs.Philips suggested that the election should have “at least three or four candidate pairs.”Parties in the government coalition are divided over the threshold, with the NasDem Party, the National Awakening Party (PKB) and the United Development Party (PPP) suggesting a lower threshold. They are the three parties that garnered lower shares of the popular vote than the other members of the coalition in the 2019 election.“We’re sure that we will have two pairs running head to head again if it’s 20 percent. If it’s 15 percent, four to five [candidate pairs] may participate. More pairs means more options for the people,” NasDem House faction chairman Ahmad Ali said.On the other hand, the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and the Golkar Party, which were in the first and third position in last year’s election, endorsed the same threshold. Meanwhile, the runner-up in the 2019 election, the Gerindra Party, remained undecided.Three parties outside the ruling coalition expected the threshold to be between 10 and 15 percent. The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) proposed a lower threshold, although it later stated that it was fine with keeping the current threshold.PKS House faction chairman Jazuli Juwaini said a lower threshold could allow for greater diversity of ideas during the presidential election. “We hope there are at least three pairs, [so there will be] no polarization, like in the 2019 election.”Commission II chairman Ahmad Doli Kurnia said the draft was still very much open for change, because factions were still divided over it. He went on to say that the draft, including the provision on the presidential nomination threshold, might change to accommodate several opinions.“The experts’ opinion will also be one of our considerations in formulating the bill,” he said.Topics :last_img read more

Baines hails midfield strength

first_imgEverton defender Leighton Baines believes having the strongest midfield he has seen during his time at the club bodes well for the future. “We’ve been working on different things and people have begun to enjoy watching some of them. “We’ve just got to tighten up the other aspects and keep developing.” Baines told the Liverpool Echo: “We’ve still got things we need to improve on. We gave the ball away too quickly high up the pitch to allow us to get any momentum. “So every time we started to creep forward we’d lose it and that’d one of the things we’re working on improving; being better in possession in the opposition’s half. It’s about sustaining attacks. “Not doing it against City meant we kept ending up on the back foot again and susceptible to the counter-attack. “We shouldn’t have to just reflect on it afterwards. The next step tactically is to show that awareness during a game and say ‘Okay, we’ve seen what you’re doing,’ and then change, but we didn’t. “Now we want to come back from the international break and get back to winning ways.” The 28-year-old is in his seventh season at Goodison Park and thinks the options available to Roberto Martinez are the best during that spell. Summer arrivals Gareth Barry, on loan from Manchester City, and James McCarthy, a £13million signing from Wigan, have increased competition in central midfield and the return from injury of Darron Gibson in Saturday’s defeat at Manchester City has added to that. Press Association “It is great to see someone of Gibbo’s quality back, it just adds to the strength we have in the squad – there is plenty of competition for those places in midfield especially,” said Baines. “That is great for the manager and it gives him the opportunity to rotate sometimes and that is only going to help us.” Asked whether it was the strongest Toffees midfield he had played alongside, he added on evertontv: “From what I can remember it is, just because of the quality we have and there are a lot of players fighting for places. “We have Steven (Pienaar) to come back (from injury) so if we have everyone back fit we will have a really good squad and the manager has some decisions to make.” While Everton may have lost their unbeaten record at the weekend, they have enjoyed a good start to the season as the squad have embraced the change in style brought by the new boss. Many predicted a dip in fortunes because of the readjustment period required after Martinez succeeded David Moyes but there has been no evidence of that so far. “It’s a work in progress but we’re working towards being a much better team,” added Baines. “I’m enjoying that aspect of it. I’m learning and hopefully we will continue to build on what we’ve started. last_img read more