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US seeks to limit methane gas flaring at drilling sites

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration on Friday proposed new rules to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land, arguing the effort will reduce waste and harmful methane emissions as part of President Barack Obama’s bid to curb climate change.Energy companies frequently “flare” or burn off vast supplies of natural gas at drilling sites because it does not earn as much money as oil. A report by the Government Accountability Office said 40 per cent of the methane gas being burned or vented could be captured economically and sold.Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement that natural gas should be used to power the economy — not wasted being burned into the atmosphere.Jewell said the new rule will modernize decades-old standards to reflect existing technologies, allowing companies to use captured natural gas to generate power for millions of homes and businesses. Between 2009 and 2014, enough natural gas was lost through venting, flaring and leaks to power more than 5 million homes for a year, she said.The new rule also should generate millions of dollars that can be returned to taxpayers, tribes and states while reducing pollution, Jewell said.The rule, developed by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, would require oil and gas producers to limit the rate of flaring at oil wells on public and tribal lands, periodically inspect their operations for leaks and replace outdated equipment that vents large quantities of gas into the air. The rule will be open for public comment for at least two months, with a final rule expected by the end of the year.Most of the gas being burned at drilling sites is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, although it does not stay in the air as long. Methane emissions make up about 9 per cent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to government estimates.The oil industry has argued that new regulations are not needed for methane, because the industry already has a financial incentive to capture and sell natural gas. Methane emissions have been reduced by 21 per cent since 1990 even as production has boomed, according to the Western Energy Alliance, an industry group.“Another duplicative rule at a time when methane emissions are falling, and on top of an onslaught of other new (federal) regulations, could drive more energy production off federal lands,” said Erik Milito, director of upstream and industry operations for the American Petroleum Institute, the top lobbying group for the oil and gas industry.If that happens, the result would be “less federal revenue, fewer jobs, higher costs for consumers and less energy security,” Milito said.Environmental groups praised the tougher methane curbs, saying regulations are needed to encourage industry changes that otherwise may not occur. “Today’s proposal is a win all around: for our environment, public health, taxpayers and our energy security,” said David Willett of the League of Conservation Voters.In the oil-rich Bakken region of North Dakota, as much as one-third of natural gas is burned off, causing significant light pollution that is visible from space. Officials at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota say flaring activities can spoil the park’s dark night skies.The Interior Department rule is part of the Obama administration’s target to cut methane from oil and gas drilling by 40 to 45 per cent by 2025, compared to 2012 levels.The Environmental Protection Agency issued a rule in August that requires energy producers to find and repair leaks at oil and gas wells and capture gas that escapes from wells that use a common drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.The methane rules follows a landmark regulation Obama issued last year to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants by 32 per cent. The plan, the centerpiece of Obama’s climate change strategy, has drawn legal challenges from power companies and Republican-led states.Obama also has proposed regulations targeting carbon pollution from airplanes and set new standards to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide pollution from trucks and vans.Follow Matthew Daly: http://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC by Matthew Daly, The Associated Press Posted Jan 22, 2016 9:02 am MDT Last Updated Jan 22, 2016 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks in Libreville, Gabon, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The Obama administration on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, proposed new rules to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land, arguing that it will reduce waste and harmful methane emissions as part of President Barack Obama’s bid to curb climate change. Jewell said in a statement that natural gas should be used to power the economy, not wasted by being burned into the atmosphere. (AP Photo/Joel Bouopda Tatou) US seeks to limit methane gas ‘flaring’ at drilling sites read more

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Emma Corrin cast as young Diana Spencer in Netflix drama The Crown

The Crown has a considerable reputation for thrusting fledgling stars into the spotlight. For the first series, producers cast a little-known Claire Foy as the Queen, shaping her career in the process – Foy is now a major Hollywood talent. The move saw both Foy and her co-star, Matt Smith, embroiled in a row over the cast’s gender pay gap in 2018. The casting of one of The Crown’s most prominent characters, Lady Diana Spencer, has been announced by the period drama’s creators. Netflix released an announcement through Twitter on Tuesday evening, saying that unknown actress Emma Corrin will take the role of the young future Princess of Wales.Cambridge University-educated Corrin said in a statement: “I have been glued to the show and to think I’m now joining this incredibly talented acting family is surreal. “Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice!”Corrin will be joining Olivia Colman, who will play the Queen in seasons three and four; and Josh O’Connor, whose most recent credits include The Durrells, as her on-screen future husband Prince Charles, who will appear as a student in the forthcoming series. Camilla Parker Bowles will be played by Call The Midwife star Emerald Fennell.The Netflix hit is a major career jump for the 23-year-old, who has previously racked up only two screen credits since graduating. This year she played Esther Carter in ITV’s Grantchester, and will appear alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Keira Knightley in Misbehaviour, a forthcoming comedy about the 1970 Miss World competition, which was protested by feminists. Her theatre credits are mostly limited to student productions in Cambridge. Corrin is expected to make her Crown debut in 2020, when the fourth series arrives. Season three is expected to appear on the streaming platform later this year and will span the years 1964 to 1976.Season four will take place laterand perhaps stretch into the mid-Eighties, following the ascent of Margaret Thatcher – who is rumoured to be played by Gillian Anderson – as she wins the 1979 general election. Plot details for seasons three and four are yet to be released. However, The Crown has always taken its cue from history. Lady Diana first met Charles, Prince of Wales in 1977, when she was just 16. As the Eighties dawned, she met the Queen, the Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh in November 1980. The pair wed the following summer. read more

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Kraigg Brathwaite wants West Indies batsmen to trust their defence

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedChase, Holder resist to give West Indies respectabilityOctober 12, 2018In “latest news”Brathwaite leads West Indies to famous win against PakistanNovember 3, 2016In “Sports”West Indies crumble against spin after Bangladesh rack up 508December 1, 2018In “latest news” West Indies opener Kraigg BrathwaiteESPNcricinfo– West Indies lost six wickets in a session on Friday and the remaining 14 were gone soon after tea on Saturday. In all, they batted only 98.5 overs. But that isn’t the story. The way they batted is.Keemo Paul and Roston Chase were the overnight batsmen. Their team was six down in the first innings with less than 100 on the board. But neither man cared about playing time. Paul kept sweeping Kuldeep Yadav to the square-leg boundary. Chase enjoyed lofting R Ashwin straight down the ground. And these were the few instances of them making proper connection.There were other times that West Indies tried to attack India’s spinners but came away looking quite clumsy. Shane Dowrich, with four overs left to stumps, went for a booming cover drive against Kuldeep and was bowled through the gate. In the second innings, Chase plopped a half-volley straight into the hands of cover and Shimron Hetmyer slogged right across the line to be caught at short third man.Four batsmen in the first innings (Sunil Ambris, Chase, Dowrich, Paul) and five (Hetmyer, Ambris, Chase, Paul, Shannon Gabriel) in the second fell playing attacking shots. Two of them were caught at long-on and long-off. Was that because the team had decided if they were going down, they’d do so all guns blazing? No.Kraigg Brathwaite, the stand-in captain, confirmed it was a “personal plan, obviously, in terms of attacking shots. Going forward what we need to do is along with the attacking shots, trust in defence. I think that’s the key. Obviously, when the field goes back, it’s a matter of still saying positive in defence and putting away the bad balls, stroking the ball along the ground for singles. I just think we didn’t trust our defence as much as we should have.”This approach surprised the Indian bowlers as well. “I genuinely believed that the second innings will be a lot more fighting and there will be a lot more partnerships,” Ashwin told host broadcaster Star Sports. “Yes, there was one. But this wicket is pretty good, it’s pretty solid to bat and I don’t think it’s going to spin tomorrow as well. So I was quite surprised – shocked is the wrong word – with the number of shots that were played against spin and the number of high-risk shots that were played. Maybe it was a strategy they came out with, to try and attack the spinners and put us off. It clearly didn’t work this time.”While he didn’t want West Indies to stop trying to play their shots, Brathwaite hoped that they be more judicious with it.“It’s just about trusting your plans. I think today we were a lot more positive but we still didn’t get the big partnerships. So I think going forward, a balance of defence and attack, I think once we can do that and build partnerships, will be good.”Jason Holder, when he addressed the pre-match press conference three days ago, said he wanted his batsmen to “be patient”; to look for runs but not be “reckless”. In his absence, his team was found lacking for both bowling and batting discipline.Brathwaite said he wasn’t “100% sure” of Holder’s condition for the next Test in Hyderabad which begins on October 12; that they needed a “couple more days” to assess the ankle injury he had picked up during the third week of September in a training camp in Dubai.Meanwhile, another important member of the bowling attack appears to be under a cloud. Gabriel bowled only three overs on the second day. When asked about his status, Brathwaite said, “He had a slight niggle. So he wasn’t on the field for a majority of the day.” When asked if he was fine, Brathwaite replied, “I think so.” read more