Op-Ed: ‘Good Money After Bad’ in Pursuit of Clean Coal

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Ryan Alexander for U.S. News & World Report:Earlier this month lawmakers tried to tack a package of energy tax sweeteners such as tax credits for carbon capture and storage to the reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. My organization, Taxpayers for Common Sense, opposed the entire package, which ultimately failed. However, the champions of “clean” coal were more successful in the energy bill that passed the Senate this week. And some lawmakers, the coal industry and even some environmental groups don’t want the gravy train to stop there. They are trying to use this momentum to continue a larger push for more federal support for clean coal.This current focus of coal-subsidy supporters is carbon capture and storage. The idea is that the industry will separate carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired facilities and inject them into deep geologic formations, thereby allowing for the continued burning of coal (a priority for the industry, obviously) with a significantly reduced carbon footprint (a priority for environmental groups, among others). This is not a new idea, and billions in tax dollars have already been spent to develop the technology, but it is still years away from being commercially viable.With all the enthusiasm for carbon capture and storage technology, it is worth looking back on our experience so far and current energy market conditions. In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office studied the federal investment in this clean coal technology and concluded that the capture and storage technology is so expensive that 200 gigawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity would need to be built in order for it to be competitive with existing plants. In other words, the U.S. would need to nearly double the number of coal-fired power plants before this technology would be feasible.Yet in recent years, the abundance of lower-cost, lower-carbon natural gas has caused utilities to put a hold on investments in coal-fired power plants.Meanwhile, after all of the tax dollars thrown at this problem, there are currently no commercial ventures in the United States that capture, transport and inject large quantities of carbon dioxide for storage.Congress and the administration need to stop throwing good money after bad in this pursuit of “clean coal.” Taxpayers cannot afford it. We couldn’t three decades ago and we can’t now.Full item: Clean Coal’s Big Cost Op-Ed: ‘Good Money After Bad’ in Pursuit of Clean Coallast_img read more

New England utility National Grid aims for 80% CO2 cut by 2050

first_imgNew England utility National Grid aims for 80% CO2 cut by 2050 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Utility Dive:New research from RMI last week illustrates that broad decarbonization will require efforts across many sectors, including shifting building heat to electric. National Grid’s 80×50 strategy takes a similar approach, calling for “three big shifts in our energy systems” that could reduce emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% within three decades.The plan calls for transforming the heating sector by doubling the rate of efficiency retrofits and “converting nearly all of the region’s 5 million oil-heated buildings to electric heat pumps or natural gas.” On the power generation side, National Grid’s plan includes adding more renewable electricity to achieve a 67% zero-carbon supply. And the utility will work to electrify the transportation sector, setting a goal of more than 10 million electric vehicles on Northeast roads—amounting to about half of all vehicles.Looking past 2030 to the 80% target, National Grid said the region will require “deeper and more sustained technological innovation on both the grid side and customer side of the meter, coupled with ambitious policy.”The plan says natural gas will continue to play a major role, even with added renewables, and nuclear generation will remain in the mix as well.In the utility’s plan, however, new gas demand in the residential sector is offset by energy efficiency, so even as the “number of residential natural gas customers rises significantly, total usage grows at a comparatively modest pace over the period.”More: National Grid targets 80% carbon cut across buildings, transport, powerlast_img read more

Pushback among landowners in 15 states over pipeline eminent domain

first_imgPushback among landowners in 15 states over pipeline eminent domain FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享AP:There have been more than 200 instances of courts granting pipeline companies immediate possession of land, while at the same time deferring the issue of how much the property owners will be paid for it, said Robert McNamara, an attorney for the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm based in Arlington that is representing Erb and others in similar situations.Those cases have occurred in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, McNamara said.The pipeline affecting Erb was built by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based energy company Williams, which constructed the Atlantic Sunrise project to expand its pipeline network and carry gas fracked from the Marcellus shale formation in northeastern Pennsylvania to the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.Similar projects have sprung up across the country as fracking technology has allowed natural gas to be extracted in an economically efficient manner.McNamara acknowledged that federal law gives energy companies the ability to invoke eminent domain to build pipelines. But the Natural Gas Act, the law that governs the land seizures, provides no mechanism for companies to take possession of the land without first negotiating a price with the landowner.Pipeline companies have gotten around this by obtaining preliminary injunctions from judges, allowing the companies to take the land immediately and pay later. McNamara said this amounts to what is known as a “quick take” provision under the law, which he said is allowed in some types of eminent domain cases, but not pipeline cases.More: They’re exploiting a broken system’: Property owners decry pipeline procurement processlast_img read more

Analysts see Europe passing U.S. in battery storage installation by 2023

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:A slew of recent announcements has left Europe poised to overtake North America in terms of battery manufacturing capacity by 2023, analyst figures show.Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) expects European nameplate lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity to top 198 gigawatt-hours a year by 2023, up from roughly 18 gigawatt-hours a year today. This more than tenfold growth over the next few years should allow Europe to overtake North America, which is set to have around 130 gigawatt-hours a year of manufacturing capacity by 2023, according to the analyst firm.“Europe is moving away from being a laggard to committing serious amounts of capital and state support,” said Logan Goldie-Scot, head of energy storage at BNEF.However, neither region will come anywhere close to matching the battery manufacturing capacity forecast for China. China is expected to boast around 800 gigawatt-hours of annual manufacturing capacity by 2023, or two-thirds of a global total of just over 1.2 terawatt-hours, BNEF figures show.Furthermore, much of the manufacturing capacity currently being built or planned in Europe belongs to Chinese and other Asian manufacturers.China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology, for example, is investing in a 14-gigawatt-hour-a-year battery factory in Germany after signing EV supply deals with German carmakers BMW and Volkswagen. Another Chinese battery manufacturer, Svolt Energy Technology, is planning a European base with 24 gigawatt-hours of production capacity a year by 2025. Elsewhere, South Korean manufacturers including LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation are planning to expand their European operations.More: Europe set to race past U.S. in battery manufacturing Analysts see Europe passing U.S. in battery storage installation by 2023last_img read more

U.K.’s Drax plant to be coal-free by 2021, three years ahead of deadline

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:British power producer Drax Group Plc said in its full-year results on Thursday it will end coal power generation at its North Yorkshire plant, ahead of Britain’s 2024 deadline.Drax, which has the capacity to provide electricity for around 13 million homes, has converted four of its six former coal-fired units in the past decade to use biomass wood pellets.Although almost 50 years of coal-fired electricity generation at Drax power plant is expected to come to an end in March 2021, the firm said it will ensure its two remaining coal units stay available until September 2022 under a government scheme to provide back-up electricity at short notice.The firm said the coal generation market has been challenging as power prices weakened last year due to a mild winter and high levels of gas storage. The cheapness of natural gas, coupled with strong carbon permit prices, meant gas was more competitive than coal in power generation in much of Europe.Drax said the end of coal generation will lead to a reduction in staff at the plant of around 200-230 employees from April 2021. Trade unions and employee representatives will be consulted over the coming months, the company said. It also expects a reduction in operating costs at the plant of around 25-35 million pounds ($32.5-$45.5 million) per year when the coal phase-out is complete.Drax plans to build a new combined cycle gas turbine at its power plant to replace the two remaining coal-fired units. However, approval for the project is subject to a judicial review, it said.[Nina Chestney]More: Britain’s Drax to end coal power generation in 2021 U.K.’s Drax plant to be coal-free by 2021, three years ahead of deadlinelast_img read more

Moody’s downgrades Contura Energy, warns of more problems for U.S. coal sector

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):Moody’s Investors Service on April 13 downgraded all long-term ratings for Contura Energy Inc.The action included a downgrade of Contura’s corporate family rating from B3 to Caa1. Moody’s also downgraded Contura’s senior secured term loan rating from Caa1 to Caa2. Contura’s outlook is rated “stable.”“Contura has idled the majority of its mines due to weak market conditions. Moody’s expects that demand for metallurgical coal will weaken further in the near-term as blast furnace steel producers adjust to reduced demand due to the coronavirus,” said Ben Nelson, Moody’s senior credit officer and lead coal analyst. “The rating action is entirely driven by macro-level concerns resulting from the global outbreak of coronavirus.”The coal sector is one of the most significantly impacted sectors from the “severe and extensive credit shock” created by the pandemic, the Moody’s note said.“Moody’s expects a very challenging year for the coal industry in 2020 — including meaningful reduction in industry-wide demand for metallurgical coal and thermal coal in the next few months driven by an unprecedented shock to the economy due to the coronavirus outbreaks,” the note said.[Taylor Kuykendall]More ($): Anticipating ‘very challenging year’ for coal, Moody’s downgrades Contura Energy Moody’s downgrades Contura Energy, warns of more problems for U.S. coal sectorlast_img read more

Tandem Cycling

first_imgYes, it may look strange, but they could be the fastest way to marital bliss…or divorce.Here’s the trouble with the tandem bicycle: It just looks funny. Like circus funny. Two adults stuck together on a conjoined bike, you expect the riders to be wearing red clown noses. The fact that tandems simply aren’t common in the U.S. doesn’t help that first impression. Tandem manufacturers are tight-lipped about participation numbers, but how often do you see a tandem roll up to the start line at the races you enter? It’s a seemingly-bizarre niche sport that many people put in the same category as the nude 5K. As in, “It looks kind of fun. Maybe, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d try it, but I certainly wouldn’t make a habit out of it.” Get past the awkwardness of the sport—two people should rarely be that close to each other while wearing lycra and sweating—and what you have is one of the finest examples of teamwork in the world of athletics. Think synchronized swimming. Riding a tandem successfully on the road, or dare we say it, on singletrack, may look a little strange, but it’s a thing of beauty and courage. And only the strongest couples need apply.Yes, when I say “couple,” I mean of the romantically involved variety. Spouses. Partners. Lovers. In the U.S. the vast majority of tandem riders are bound together by law.“Just about all of the tandem teams we see are couples,” says Roger Strauss, an Atlanta-based cyclist who organizes the annual Georgia Tandem Rally with his wife and cycling partner Evo Kofsky. Of the 120 teams that show up annually for the rally, most if not all are husband/wife duos with the guy up front (the “pilot”) and the woman in the back (the “stoker”).“Every now and then, you’ll see a couple of guys trying to break the land speed record on a tandem, but the majority of tandem teams are couples,” Strauss says.That’s not the case in Europe, where tandem cycling enjoys more mainstream acceptance. The Roc d’ Zur in France is probably the largest off road tandem race in the world, pulling more than 200 teams every year, the majority of whom are guy/guy combos. Occasionally in the U.S. you’ll see two dudes enter a bike race on a tandem (the Shenandoah Mountain 100 and Cohutta 100 saw tandem teams this year), but for the most part, all of those Y chromosomes on one bike is an anomaly on this side of the Atlantic.Because tandem teams are usually couples and because tandem cycling can seem like such an extreme pastime for a couple to enjoy, bike shop guys like to call the double bikes “divorce missiles.”“Every couple that sees my wife and me riding wonders the same thing: could we do that? Would we enjoy it, or would it kill our marriage?” Straus says. For him, riding a tandem is a no brainer. “It takes the weaker rider and brings him or her up to the level of the stronger cyclist. Before riding tandems, when I rode with my wife, I’d get to the turn and wait. Then get to the rest stop and wait. She was three to four miles slower than I was. On a tandem, we ride at the same speed as on my single bike, but I know where she is all the time.”You can imagine the hesitation of some couples though. Imagine driving a car, but your spouse gets to control the gas and help turn the vehicle. You can see where problems might arise in that scenario.Alex Nutt builds mountain bike tandems for teams all across the country. He started riding tandems for the exact same reason most people start riding tandems: so he could spend time with his wife and so his wife could enjoy the same kind of mountain bike experience he enjoyed. “The first ride we took on a tandem, we had a ball,” Nutt says. “But a lot of first tandem rides suck. You’re introducing a new set of sensations on the bike. It’s a big, unwieldy, uncontrollable machine that you have to work together to control. It’s not easy to get used to. I’d say whatever direction the relationship is going, if you get on a tandem, it’s going there faster.”Andy Applegate is a cyclist with 11 national championships under his belt. Twelve years ago, his parents gave him and his wife, Cara, a wedding present: money for a tandem bicycle.“We bought a used road tandem. After the first ride, we thought we’d sell it and never get on a tandem again. It was tough just getting the bike around a turn,” Applegate says. “But we gave it another shot. Two rides later, we were in love with it.”Tandems are slow to climb, but fast on flats and monsters on downhills. In the right conditions with the right team, a tandem is considerably faster than a single bike. It has two engines instead of one, and weighs twice as much. Weight is everything when you’re building momentum, and momentum is everything when you’re bombing downhill.On singletrack, mountain bike tandems are surprisingly agile. Not every trail is meant for a tandem, but flow trails become flowier because of the momentum created on the bigger bike.Moab tandem biking“There’s not much that we can’t ride on a tandem,” Applegate says. “Some of the more technical trails in Pisgah might be tough, but we’d get through them. Generally speaking, the only thing that’s really difficult on a tandem is a tight switchback. But it’s a trade-off. Because the tandem is so big and burly, you can point it at any obstacle and just cruise over it.”What makes riding a tandem so tough is that the drivetrain is locked together. If the pilot is pedaling, the stoker has to be pedaling at the same cadence. Getting a tandem around a corner can feel a lot like driving an RV through a mountain pass. The pilot steers, shifts, and brakes, but both riders have to work together to create momentum and get the bike where you want it to go.“The stoker has a surprising amount of influence over what the bike does,” Alex Nutt says. “My wife weighs half as much as I do, but if she leans out to the right, the bike will go to the right. If she rides with stiff arms, or stands up, that affects the bike. I can feel it.”And the stoker can’t see a thing except for the back of the pilot, which means the pilot has to narrate the ride ahead, particularly on a mountain bike tandem.“The amount of communication differs with each team,” Nutt says. “Some teams call out every shift. All pilots have to call out roots, rocks, and drops that are coming up. When you approach a log or rock, the pilot has to set the pedals up so the stoker’s pedal can clear the obstacle too. My wife and I only have one code phrase: ‘Oh crap.’ I say that and my wife knows we’re getting off the bike.”In addition to riding tandem with his wife, Andy Applegate has piloted a blind biker in the Paralympic tandem trials, and piloted another fellow biker in the Masters Road Championships. After riding with friends, he’s not surprised that the best tandem teams tend to be husband/wife duos.“The better you know someone, the better you’ll ride. Cara knows me. She knows when I’m going to coast. She knows when I’m going to put my foot down to rest, and which foot I’m going to put down. She knows my cadence and can match it. Riders have to be compatible.”Think about trying to do a track stand on your bike. Every tiny movement counts. Squeezing your toes affects the bike. Shifting your head moves the bike. Now think about trying to do a track stand on a tandem with a partner attached to the same bike. If you’re not in sync, it’s a disaster. But if you’re in tune with your teammate, you can balance each other. Make up for each other’s tiny mistakes. That’s when tandem teams are at their best.The Applegates are one of the best tandem teams in the business. They won the Elite National Championship tandem in 2010 and own the tandem category of the Leadville 100, winning three years in a row. They were also the first tandem team to finish Leadville in under nine hours, which is no small feat. To Applegate, the true benefit of riding a tandem is the fact that you’re so entwined with your partner for the duration of the ride, which ironically, is the one thing that keeps most from trying it.“One of my goals in life is to get more people to ride tandem. It’s a different experience than riding alone. It’s actually a different sport altogether,” Applegate says. “You have to think for two, which can be difficult, but is also really rewarding. You get to share every victory or defeat as a team, pedal stroke for pedal stroke. Of the 11 national championships I have, the one I remember the most is the first tandem road race that we won. You literally did it together, and you have that person to share it with.” •See the hijinksCheck out the Tandem Freeride InvitationalCan you tandem?“There are some couples that shouldn’t ride tandems,” says Alex Nutt, who sees his fair share of teams that succeed and fail. “It takes a huge amount of trust from both people, but especially the stoker.”Here’s a quick relationship quiz to see if you and your partner are compatible enough to successfully ride a tandem. Answer yes to any of these questions, and you may want to think twice about going tandem.1. Does your spouse constantly press the imaginary break in the floorboard when riding shotgun with you in the car? Does he/she reach over and put your blinker on for you? One person has to relinquish a considerable amount of control. The stoker can’t be a backseat driver.2. Do you fight over the best route to the grocery store? Most tandem arguments center around directions, as in, “you should’ve taken a left back there.”3. Did you hide the real cost of your latest bike from your spouse, telling him/her that you “got a great deal” without actually divulging the price tag? At a minimum, tandems are twice as expensive as a single bike. Usually, you’re looking at tripling your cost.last_img read more

The 6 Best Rail-To-Trail Rides in the Southeast

first_imgBoth the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions are home to a plethora of amazing multi-use trails converted from defunct railways. Over the years, many of these “rail-to-trails” have developed into favorites for bikers across the region and the nation. Here are seven rail-to-trails you should put on your adventure list this Spring. 1. Virginia Creeper Trail, VirginiaThe Virginia Creeper Trail was adapted from the Virginia-Carolina Railway upon its removal in 1977 after nearly a century of failed railway management, unrepaired deterioration, and the replacement of steam engines by diesel powered engines. Today, it is considered by many to be the best rail-to-trail in the East. The 34-mile Virginia Creeper Trail begins in Abingdon, Va., winds down through the state, passes a midpoint in Damascus, and reaches its terminus at the trail’s highest point in Whitetop Station near the North Carolina state line. The ride takes about five and a half hours to complete, including time for lunch and checking out the scenery. The region features both wooded and pastoral sections as well as a great number of picturesque creeks and rivers with 47 trestles along the way. The Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop in Abingdon provides shuttle service to any destination along the trail and a full-day bike rental for just $26 dollars. 2. Great Alleghany Passage, Pennsylvania The renowned Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is a combination of defunct corridors of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad, the Union Railroad, and the Western Maryland Railway. The passage stretches 150 miles from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Cumberland, Md., where it connects with the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath to create a whopping 334.5-mile route connecting Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. There are tons of notable landmarks along the GAP, including Ohiopyle State Park, the East Coast’s most popular whitewater rafting destination. The route from Pittsburgh to Cumberland can be completed in three to five days, but if you decide to go all the way to D.C. you’ll need eight to twelve days. There are campgrounds scattered conveniently along the trail for overnight stays and access to chemical toilets. However, there is limited potable water since the National Park Service is no longer treating the pump water at the campgrounds, so be sure to carry plenty and restore your supply as you pass through towns along the way. Golden Triangle Bike Rental in Pittsburgh can provide you with bikes (at a base rate of $55 per day) and all other needed equipment as well as shuttle service to anywhere along the trail.3. New River Trail State Park, Virginia The New River Trail runs 56 miles down from Pulaski to Galax through Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands. For its southernmost 39 miles, the trail parallels the magnificent New River, which is one of the oldest rivers in the world geologically. This rail-to-trail was converted from the Norfolk Southern Railroad, which donated its land to the Commonwealth solely for the purpose of creating the state park, which opened in 1987. The New River Trail is rife with exciting points of interest, including three major bridges—Hiwassee, Ivanhoe, and Fries Junction—nearly 30 smaller trestles, two long tunnels, and a historic shot tower used to make ammunition over 200 years ago. The trail is fairly remote, so carry everything you need in terms of water, food and equipment. Take note of the four primitive campgrounds available for use along the trail, as the journey will take about two days to complete. Bike rentals are provided by Pulaski Bikes in Pulaski (starting at $24 per day). 6. Swamp Rabbit Trail, South CarolinaThe Swamp Rabbit Trail was built with funding for the Greenville Health System back in 2009. Since then it has become an indispensable staple of the Greenville Community, taking the city from moderately bike-friendly to a renowned cycling hub virtually overnight. To experience the best that the Swamp Rabbit Trail has to offer, start out at Cleveland Park near downtown. You’ll find ample parking here, and once you hit the trail, downtown is only a quick ride away. Before you encounter the heart of downtown you’ll have to bike through Falls Park, home of Reedy River Falls. This is where you’ll get a true sense of what makes Greenville’s downtown—a true revitalization success story—one of the best downtowns in the entire Southeast.For a healthy meal that will keep you moving swiftly, exit the trail near Main Street and bike over to Kuka Juice. Once there you’ll find a wide array of cold press juices and a few vegan friendly lunch and breakfast options. If you’re searching out pub fare near the downtown portion of the Swamp Rabbit Trail check out Brazwells on Main Street, known for great brunch options and a wide selection of cocktails and craft beer.Continue on through downtown for a few miles and you’ll eventually come to the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a beer, a great cup of coffee, or the best fresh baked stecca in the Upsate, this place is definitely worth the stop. From here, ambitious bikers might want to consider rounding off the ride by extending the trip all the way into nearby Traveler’s Rest where Swamp Rabbit Brewing awaits with award winning pints.For bike rental options check out Reedy Rides. 4. Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail,  Tennessee Also known the Ashland City Rail-Trail, the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail (CRBT) is a converted 6.7-mile segment of the Tennessee Central Railway. The trail begins just outside Ashland City, only 20 minutes northwest of Nashville, at the Marks Creek trailhead and runs alongside the Cumberland River towards the Cheatham Lock and Dam campground. The western four miles of the CRBT are paved and the eastern three are gravel, but the entire trail is fairly flat. Scenery along this rail-to-trail varies tremendously as it winds through shady forests with canopies of diverse vegetation, expansive green fields, marshy wetlands, and even a designated waterfowl area. Much of the path is bordered by limestone cliffs, and along the way you’ll enjoy views of trickling waterfalls, secluded lakes, and a plethora of the region’s creeks. With so much to offer, this rail-trail is not to be missed. Borrow some bikes from Green Fleet Bicycle Shop in Nashville (base rate of $35 per day) and get pedaling.5. Pine Creek Trail, Pennsylvania Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of north central Pennsylvania, the Pine Creek Trail extends 62 miles through a valley dubbed the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania due to its panoramic views of an immense ravine carved by Pine Creek which, contrary to its title, is actually a sizable river. Originally the Jersey Shore, Pine Creek and Buffalo Railway, the passage’s tracks were removed after about a century of use and the first section of the rail-to-trail was opened in 1996.The trail begins in Wellsboro and heads south on a subtle downhill through densely forested mountains towards its terminus in the town of Jersey Shore, Pa.—another misleading name (sorry, no spray-tanned reality TV stars here). Most portions of the trail are very remote but restrooms are available every few miles and the path passes through some small towns along the way. The Pine Creek Trail should take two days to complete, and you can stay the night in one of the numerous primitive campsites along the way. Bike rentals (starting at $25 per day, multi-day rate) and shuttle services to a number of destinations along the trail are provided by Pine Creek Outfitters in Wellsboro, Pa.last_img read more

Hops in the Hills Festival to Showcase Regional Brewing Icons

first_img2018 Festival Dates AnnouncedAfter a successful, sold-out third year, the Hops in the Hills festival returns for 2018 with a who’s-who of local and regional brewing icons on June 22 and 23 in downtown Maryville, Tennessee.This fourth annual festival showcasing the area’s finest artisan brews is a not-to-miss event for beer enthusiasts—drawing attendees from across the region.Hops in the Hills brew week, June 18 to 21, leads up to the main event over the weekend with a week-long “Celebration of Fermentation.” Each day, a different brewery will feature prizes, games, and music for visitors to prepare them for the weekend’s events.On Friday, June 22, the Hops in the Hills Craft Brew Crawl & Poker Run will be held provided by Knox Brew Tours. The event is a unique way to experience the town’s bars and restaurants and try local and regional beers.Last year, 46 breweries participated in the festival, appealing to a diverse range of tastes. Just as many breweries are expected to participate in the 2018 festival that will also include live music, food and additional entertainment like The Big BBQ Bash, Napa Classic Car Show and the Smoky Mountain Dock Dogs.“Hops in the Hills is a wonderful way for people to visit the beautiful Smoky Mountains and experience Maryville’s vibrant, historic downtown and thriving craft beer scene,” said Blount Partnership Tourism Director Kim Mitchell. “It’s an entertaining festival with something for everyone, and we’re thrilled to see it grow each year.”Blackberry Farm Chief Fermentation Officer Roy Milner has traveled extensively to gather knowledge and expertise in brewing and finds Hops in the Hills showcases the unique craft beer community throughout the region.“Craft brewing is an art form, and Hops in the Hills provides a great opportunity to celebrate the culture and sense of community it brings to our region,” said Milner. “With such a wide variety of brewery participants, visitors will truly receive a great picture of the craft’s presence in this part of the country.”The event is part of the Summer on Broadway celebration, a series of events to celebrate the summer season.A complete list of participating breweries, updated schedule, and link to purchase tickets will soon be available at www.hopsinthehills.com.last_img read more

Outdoor Updates: Happy Birthday MST + Trump Sticker found on Bear

first_imgDue to a multimillion budget shortfall caused by coal’s decline and a population drop, Boone County has cut multiple government jobs. According to Boone Prosecutor Keith Randolph, the personnel cuts will save nearly $1 million, but will still need to trim more than $1 million of its budget. Happy Birthday Mountains to Sea Trail! The collar was put there by researchers, but the sticker still remains a mystery. Jennifer Strules, a wildlife biologist at N.C. State University is conducting the North Carolina Urban/Suburban Bear Study in Asheville in conjunction with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. She urges the public to never, under any circumstances, approach a bear that close of range. Especially not to put a sticker on them. “It’s incredibly foolhardy and a public safety hazard for someone to do that,” says Strules. The Mountain to Sea Trail is celebrating it’s 42nd birthday! The MST runs 1175 miles from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks, through beauty and diversity of NC’s lands and culture. To celebrate, Friends of the MST is holding birthday hikes September 6-8, so get out there and show your love with a proper outdoor celebration! Find a hike and sign up here: https://mountainstoseatrail.org/birthdayhike/ Last month was Boone’s second round of layoffs this summer after county commissioners mandated that governmental office leaders make 20 percent cuts to positions and benefits. In the past, this brought in a multi-million dollar surplus from coal tax revenue in efforts to save money. “The goal of the research was to look at the spatial ecology of black bears in Asheville by capturing bears within a 1-mile radius of the city, placing radio collars on them, which naturally fall off after a certain amount of time, then releasing them, while continuing to track the bears to gather data in order to inform future bear management decisions,” says The Citizen-Times, Ashville. NC Man finds Trump stick on Bear Coal tax decline forces Boone County WV to slash jobs A bear wandered into a family’s backyard for some casual garden raiding and bee sniffing when they noticed a collar on it. The collar appeared to be there for researched purposed but when they looked closer (from the safety of their home’s window) they saw a trump sticker on the bear’s collar. last_img read more