Tag Archives: plans

China plans to make Shenzhen a 'better place' than Hong Kong

China plans to make Shenzhen a 'better place' than Hong KongChina’s government has unveiled plans to boost the mainland city of Shenzhen and make it into what state media called a “better place” than neighbouring Hong Kong, following another huge pro-democracy rally in the semi-autonomous financial hub. Weeks of rallies, demonstrations, and occupations have plunged Hong Kong into crisis — which Beijing is now framing as an opportunity for Shenzhen’s development. On Monday, state-run media outlined a set of guidelines released by the central Chinese government that aims to turn Shenzhen into a pilot area of “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.



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Hong Kong police: not aware of any military plans by China

Hong Kong police: not aware of any military plans by ChinaThree senior Hong Kong police officers said Thursday that they are not aware of any plans for Chinese forces to join efforts to quell mass demonstrations in the territory, as images this week showed paramilitary exercises in a neighboring mainland city. The officers added that they are unsure whether they would be informed ahead of time if Chinese paramilitary or army forces were deployed in Hong Kong. The largely peaceful rallies attended by tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have increasingly concluded in clashes between some protesters and police.



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Trump Plans to End Methane Curbs That Oil Companies Want to Keep

Trump Plans to End Methane Curbs That Oil Companies Want to Keep(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration is readying a plan to end direct federal regulation of methane leaks from oil and gas facilities, even as some energy companies insist they don’t want the relief.A draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency would prevent the federal government from directly targeting that potent greenhouse gas as it restricts emissions from oil wells and infrastructure, despite fears that time is running out to avert catastrophic consequences of climate change.The White House is finishing its review of the EPA plan, which was described by people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named ahead of a formal announcement that is expected within weeks.The proposal threatens to undermine the oil industry’s sales pitch that natural gas is a climate-friendly source of electricity — a cleaner-burning alternative to coal that can help power an energy-hungry world for decades to come. Dozens of oil companies have made voluntary pledges to keep methane in check, and some have warned the Trump administration that federal regulation specifically targeting it is essential for natural gas to maintain that reputation.“Stakeholder confidence in natural gas is hanging by the thread, and the EPA is pulling out the scissors with this methane rollback,” said Ben Ratner, a senior director with the Environmental Defense Fund’s energy innovation arm.More than 60 oil and gas companies have made voluntary commitments to pare emissions of methane, the chief ingredient of natural gas, though some of them insist federal regulation is still essential for the highly fragmented industry. For instance, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives said in March that they favor federal regulation of the oil industry’s methane emissions, with BP asserting in an opinion piece that voluntary actions by a handful of companies “are not enough to solve the problem.”“Industry gets it,” said David Hayes, a former Interior Department official who leads the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center at New York University School of Law. “They recognize that this is a tremendous liability.”The oil and gas industry is the leading industrial source of methane, which can escape from pipelines, sneak out of compressor stations and be vented from oil wells as a byproduct. Although methane accounts for roughly 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, it’s been blamed for up to a quarter of the planet’s warming as it has more than 84 times the heat-trapping potential of carbon dioxide the first two decades after entering the atmosphere. Methane’s warming potential over a 100-year time span is at least 28 times that of carbon dioxide.Walking AwayThe EPA’s plan to walk away from specifically regulating methane dovetails with other Trump administration efforts to ease limits on emissions from power plants and automobiles. Critics cast the proposal as a part of a broad Trump administration retreat from the global fight against climate change.The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer, blasted the plan Wednesday, calling it “another disgraceful giveaway to corporate polluters at the expense of the public’s health, our environment and the fight to combat climate change.”The Obama administration targeted the oil industry’s methane emissions in 2016, by requiring energy companies to frequently seek and plug leaks. Other U.S. requirements also acted to pare methane emissions but did so indirectly, by targeting other, conventional pollutants or seeking to stop the waste of natural gas extracted from federal lands.Those targeted mandates on new wells triggered a legal requirement that EPA also regulate methane emissions from existing oilfield infrastructure — including more than a million wells on private land. However, plugging leaks on some decades-old, low-producing wells could be expensive and unruly — a burden that would fall disproportionately on smaller, independent oil companies.“It changes the scope, from our industry, from a rule that’s dealing with 15,000 to 40,000 new sources a year to the million existing wells that are out there,” some 770,000 of which are low-producing sites, said Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.Imposing rigid requirements to frequently detect and repair leaks at those low-production wells, would be “a huge cost burden,” potentially eclipsing gross income from the sites, Fuller said. “It would shut in production at a lot of these wells.”Trump’s EPA has already proposed easing the 2016 mandates, but by sweeping away direct methane regulation, the agency can prevent the march to impose them on existing wells.Existing EPA requirements — which focus on paring the release of volatile organic compounds at oil and gas wells — would still help rein in methane emissions at the sites, just indirectly. And as new wells are drilled — and old wells stop producing — more of them fall under those regulations targeting volatile organic compounds. By 2023, nearly 90% of all U.S. natural gas and oil production will fall under the earlier EPA requirements, said Erik Milito, a vice president at the American Petroleum Institute.The EPA is planning to justify its move by treating parts of the oil and gas industry — such as production from individual wells and natural gas transmission — as distinct, separate segments, then arguing that the methane emissions associated with them don’t merit direct regulation, according to the people familiar with the proposal.Natural gas produces half as many carbon dioxide emissions as coal when used to produce electricity, but methane leaks undermine that benefit, providing fodder to activists fighting to block the construction of new pipelines and power plants using the fossil fuel.The issue is increasingly important to investors seeking to immunize their oil and gas portfolios from climate change risks. “For an investor that wants to maintain some exposure to oil and gas but have some degree of confidence that natural gas is being done right, this kind of rollback flies in the face of their investment thesis,” Ratner said.(Updates with comments from Schumer, trade groups starting in 10th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at jdlouhy1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Russian opposition plans new protest despite over 1,000 arrests

Russian opposition plans new protest despite over 1,000 arrestsRussia’s anti-Kremlin opposition said it was planning a nationwide protest next weekend despite police forcibly detaining over 1,000 people on Saturday for attending what they said was an illegal march in Moscow to demand free elections. Saturday’s protest, conceived by opposition activists as a peaceful walk to protest against the exclusion of their candidates from a Moscow election next month, was systematically and sometimes violently dispersed by police. Russian investigators had initiated a criminal case against one man, accusing him of injuring a police officer, the TASS news agency reported.



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The Latest: Harris says health care plans should cover all

The Latest: Harris says health care plans should cover allThe California senator’s remark is likely aimed at former Vice President Joe Biden, who says his health care plan would cover 97 percent of people. The two have sparred over their different health care plans. Harris’s remarks came at a union forum for Democratic presidential contenders in Las Vegas.



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California 'straight pride' parade plans draw critics: 'That’s all hate crime stuff to me'

California 'straight pride' parade plans draw critics: 'That’s all hate crime stuff to me'Modesto, California, officials are weighing whether to approve a "straight pride" parade to "celebrate" heterosexuality and western civilization.



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Melania chose the middle of Mueller's testimony to announce… her Christmas plans

Melania chose the middle of Mueller's testimony to announce... her Christmas plansTis' the season to distract Americans, fa la la la la la la la la.If you're wondering why we're singing Christmas carols in July, it's because the actions of Melania Trump's husband are currently being discussed before Congress, and she's tweeting about… Christmas.On this hot, mid-summer afternoon, in the middle of former special counsel Robert Mueller's first hearing on Capitol Hill, the first lady composed a bold tweeted about Christmas decorations." ~~~~ Christmas planning has begun in the East Wing at the @WhiteHouse. I'm looking forward to sharing our final vision for this unique tradition in the coming months," Melania tweeted alongside four photographs inspecting potential decoration designs.> Christmas planning has begun in the East Wing at the @WhiteHouse. I'm looking forward to sharing our final vision for this unique tradition in the coming months. pic.twitter.com/oxt6Bdggcl> > — Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) July 24, 2019Meanwhile, Mueller is publicly discussing his 448-page report on the findings of a 22-month investigation into Donald Trump. President Trump himself, along with Trump Jr., Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the official GOP Twitter account, and Republicans across the country are live-tweeting Mueller's testimony in Trump's defense. But Melania? Melania's distracting herself with holiday planning.SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers slams Trump's weak reaction to racist rally chantThe idea that the first lady would tweet about Christmas in July, let alone on one of the most crucial days in her husband's presidency, is really something, and some people on Twitter wasted no time in calling out the coincidental timing out.> Looks like @FLOTUS busy with something else besides watching the MuellerHearing. t.co/esVzau83b9> > — Steve Herman (@W7VOA) July 24, 2019> ** checks calendar ** t.co/aSKnBnBbNN> > — Mila Mimica (@MilaMimica1) July 24, 2019Perhaps she's starting early to ensure more blood trees are delivered on time.Merry Christmas, Melania! WATCH: Stephen King condemns President Trump after racist tweets, comments about 'The Squad'



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From Iraq to Yemen, drones raise U.S. alarm over Iranian plans

From Iraq to Yemen, drones raise U.S. alarm over Iranian plansGENEVA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington. The United States believes that Iran-linked militia in Iraq have recently increased their surveillance of American troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones, U.S. officials say. The disclosure comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran and underscores the many ways in which Tehran and the forces it backs are increasingly relying on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in places like Yemen, Syria, the Strait of Hormuz and Iraq.



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'Let's see them aliens': The Facebook group is a joke, but the Pentagon takes plans to storm Area 51 seriously

'Let's see them aliens': The Facebook group is a joke, but the Pentagon takes plans to storm Area 51 seriouslyThe truth is out there — or at least that's the belief the viral, and farcical, Facebook event "Storm Area 51" is peddling.



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'Dangerous': Air Force responds to plans to 'storm Area 51' and 'see them aliens'

'Dangerous': Air Force responds to plans to 'storm Area 51' and 'see them aliens'As more than a million people on Facebook say they're "going" to a joke event to "storm Area 51," the U.S. military has responded to the plans.



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