Groups Seek Federal Inquiry Into Utah-Oakland Coal-Export Subsidy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From KSL News (Salt Lake City):Environmental groups and other organizations sent a letter Monday asking U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other high-ranking federal officials to investigate a $53 million investment in a proposed coal shipping terminal in Oakland, California.The letter was written on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Earthjustice, Alliance for a Better Utah, HEAL Utah, Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust. A joint statement released by the organizations Monday says the 19-page letter brings attention to “potential legal and ethical violations” of the investment.“The contents of this letter require an external review by several oversight bodies. … The economic, fiscal, financial, environmental, governance, ethical and political red flags raised by the state of Utah’s actions are too numerous to ignore,” Tom Sanzillo, an executive with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research organization in favor of reducing coal dependence, said in a statement.The investment, passed by the Utah Legislature earlier this year, is slated to grant Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties 49 percent access in the as-yet unbuilt coal terminal. Proponents of the measure say it will help increase short-term coal exports to developing countries, a much-needed boon for the struggling industry.The investment is set to be facilitated by a three-way money transfer involving the state’s specially designated community impact fund, which according to its website “provides loans or grants to state agencies and subdivisions of the state that are socially or economically impacted by mineral resource development on federal lands.” The first stage of the transfer is to begin July 1.Keith Heaton, chairman of the fund’s board, has said the swapping of funds for the project is not considered unusual compared with other projects statewide, particularly transportation projects.However, opponents are also criticizing the community impact fund board, in addition to the state Legislature, and calling for an audit of the deal. Among other accusations, the letter issued Monday says the investment is tied to heavy political conflict of interest, was designed as a brazen a way around environmental and other regulations of the federal Mineral Leasing Act, and is environmentally harmful to residents close to the proposed terminal.John Weisheit, co-founder of the environmental group Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, said in a statement that the Community Impact Fund Board is complicit in an unscrupulous deal.“The Utah state Legislature and the community impact board are laundering public money through the state transportation fund to provide financial assistance to energy corporations, and not to communities where it truly belongs,” Weisheit said.The letter was also addressed to Mary Kendall, deputy inspector general for the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Gregory Gould, director of the federal Office of Natural Resources Revenue. The letter also indicated copies were distributed to Gov. Gary Herbert and John Huber, U.S. district attorney for Utah.Groups write US Attorney General asking for investigation of coal shipping terminal deal Groups Seek Federal Inquiry Into Utah-Oakland Coal-Export Subsidylast_img read more

Hempstead Stabbing Leaves Man Dead

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 39-year-old Freeport man was stabbed to death outside of a bar in Hempstead over the weekend, Nassau County police said.Three men attacked Rolando Cruz after an argument escalated in front of El Nuevo bar on Fulton Avenue at 1:10 a.m. Sunday, police said.The victim, who was taken to a local hospital, was pronounced dead shortly later.Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information regarding this case to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.  All callers will remain anonymous.last_img read more

Esports contracts: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

first_imgAside from a fortunate few at the top in their chosen esports, the dream for a the vast majority of players, org owners, managers, and staff remains simple. They wish to make it into a full-time and long-term career. It’s now feasible to make something that was once a hobby, into a stable and legitimate job. Unfortunately however, we see and hear about the misdoings of players and organisations when it comes to contract terms on an all too regular basis. Be it players failing to meet expectations, organisations flat out not paying players for either salaries or tournament winnings, it’s the same story with every dramatic event. The Team Secret issues appear a clear example of bad management. Despite the changing of staff after this revelation, Secret still received backlash as they tried to cover the hole they dug themselves into as an organisation. While most contracts are obviously not publicised, we wonder why this is a recurring factor in all gaming communities. As esports and the community hope to be more legitimized with players, organization owners, and managers alike hoping to make this into a career, why do we see this happening time and time again?Gaming and esports lawyer, Marian HartelGaming and esports lawyer Marian Hartel explained how some contracts might, in fact, simply be difficult to enforce: “If players are breaking them the only real reason is, that, on an international scope, they might be hard to enforce. The key reason might be bad contracts done by non-lawyers from templates available by Google. Sadly, many startups, and now esports organisations, would not dare to handle critical business tasks themselves, but at first hesitate to pay a lawyer to do it right. They usually come when it is ‘too late’. Make it right from the beginning. I’d say: If you cannot afford a good lawyer to start a business professionally, maybe you shouldn’t start a business.”It’s troubling to see some organisations actually run without contracts as well. Hartel added that this can be destructive to both the players and the organisation: “If you think ‘we do not need a contract, we trust each other’, I am certain that you have never run a successful venture. In the case of esports this is true for both sides, for the player and the team.”Thankfully there are many organisations that take steps to avoid contract issues, but none are completely immune. Recently we spoke with Dr. Alan Bunney who founded Panda Global after seeing his friends in the competitive community treated badly: “I just saw a lot of behaviour in esports that was just awful, and specifically to people I was close to. So at one point I decided, maybe I should just make my own esports team.” Other organisations have taken measures such as becoming completely independent and player-owned such as Evil Geniuses’ popular Dota 2 player, PPD becoming the new CEO. With similar cases in Astralis, Alliance, and OG, organisations owned by the players helps to avoid certain confrontations.While this is a troubling issue that seems to occur on a regular basis, if the esports community at large hopes to further legitimize itself, all parties involved need to take every measure seriously. The simple solution is that teams must run on contracts, and if for some reason controversy occurs then it must be seen to properly, with legal action if needed.  Hartel left us with some parting advice not just for players but for organisations that may be up and coming: “Make a contract and don’t trust people too much. This sounds enormously harsh, but the truth is that ‘friendships end when money gets involved’.”last_img read more