S&P: Export demand helping to slow decline in U.S. coal industry

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):After hitting a near-term low in early 2016, average U.S. coal mining employment has risen steadily as total production hovers below a rate of 200 million tons per quarter, though the overall trends belie regional differences.Total U.S. coal production fell 2.5% to 755.6 million tons in 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Production totaled about 774.2 million in 2017 and 728.8 million tons in 2016. Average coal mining employment held steady year over year, gaining less than one-tenth of a percent, or about 625 jobs, from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the same period in 2018. Average total coal mining employment in the most recent quarter was 54,233 jobs, up by 3,662, or 7.2%, since hitting a low of 50,571 in the third quarter of 2016.A trend of retiring older coal-fired power plants has continued despite a more sector-accommodating regulatory environment brought about by the Trump administration. Initial challenges caused by those retirements and a transition to a greater dependence on natural gas in the U.S. are being worked out by electricity generators and grid operators, Morningstar Commodities Research analyst Matthew Hong wrote Feb. 6.Utilities still relied on coal during a recent polar vortex, Hong pointed out, but the trend toward greater natural gas reliance continues. “The recent polar vortex highlighted just how much the northeast and the PJM Interconnection system have changed over the last five years. Increased natural gas supply, greater flexibility on the pipeline system, and changes to the generation fleet created a totally different environment than the one seen five years ago,” Hong wrote. “Power and natural gas prices stayed relatively subdued in the face of higher demand and operational challenges on the pipeline system, highlighting the improvements to the grid and PJM’s ability to reliably meet demand in spite of generational weather systems.”However, production and employment losses in the coal industry have slowed thanks to an increase in global demand for U.S. coal. The market trends that have stabilized coal company balance sheets could translate to stability in employment and production volumes in the near-term, although investment in new supply remains limited.Companies with exposure to metallurgical coal markets and room to grow supply are particularly well positioned in the market today. Sustained improvement in demand and solid expectations for its future led Arch Coal Inc. to announce a new metallurgical coal mining project in West Virginia. When fully operational, the mine is expected to employ 600 people.More ($): Total U.S. coal production, jobs steady since late 2016, but regional trends vary S&P: Export demand helping to slow decline in U.S. coal industrylast_img read more

Women, Peace, and Security Course Held in Uruguayan Peacekeeping School

first_imgBy Nastasia Barceló/Diálogo August 25, 2017 The international Women, Peace, and Security course was held July 26th to 28th at the National Peace Operations Training Institute of Uruguay (ENOPU, per its Spanish acronym), with students from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay. All of the activities were based on the application of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, on the same topic. Uruguay ranks 11th worldwide for female participation in UN peacekeeping contingents and is in first place at the regional level. In all, 122 nations participate in these missions. Women in peacekeeping missions “The first time in history that a woman from the Uruguayan Armed Forces participated in a peacekeeping mission was in 1987, on the Sinai Peninsula. This fact represented the start of a permanent practice, and Uruguayan women have also been in the Congo and Haiti,” Uruguayan Army Captain Carina de los Santos, who served as the course coordinator, said. “However, they still continue to be a minority within the contingents – from six to nine percent, approximately.” Twenty-eight students from the four South American nations attended the course. Members of the Uruguayan Army and Foreign Ministry were also in attendance. The closing ceremony was attended by Uruguayan General of the Army Marcelo Montaner, the director of the National Support System for Peacekeeping Operations, and Uruguayan Army Colonel Niver Pereira, the director of ENOPU. Seminar activities Capt. De los Santos said the seminar included various activities, such as a lecture by Angelina Vunge, author of the book “Angelina: Las huellas que dejó Angola” (Angelina: Impressions of Angola). “Angelina Vunge is originally from a rural town in Angola. She was a victim of abuse, including indecent acts and psychological abuse, and she suffered physical and sexual violence. Vunge currently resides in Uruguay, and in her book, she recounts how she came to the country by chance. As happens in most cases, her final destination could have been Portugal or Brazil, given their cultural and linguistic closeness, but a female Uruguayan member of the Blue Helmets reached out to her and thus changed the course of her life,” Capt. De los Santos explained. “The Women, Peace, and Security course was held for the fourth consecutive time in Uruguay, based on the premise that there needs to be more female participation in peacekeeping missions,” Capt. De los Santos added. The course is held yearly from July to September. The classes are taught in English and Spanish with simultaneous translation. Resolution 1325 Gender inclusion in peacekeeping missions and the sexual violence committed against people in the regions hosting the missions as well as the difference between sex and gender were among the notable topics addressed at the seminar. All of these issues were addressed according to the implementation of Resolution 1325, which the Security Council was adopted unanimously in 2000, after the Security Council acknowledged the disproportionate and unique impact of armed conflict on women and girls. The resolution is one of the first resolutions to legally enshrine the requirements the parties to a conflict have for women’s rights during repatriation and resettlement, and also during the process of post-conflict rehabilitation and adaptation. It also emphasizes the role that women play in conflict prevention and resolution as well as in peace building. Col. Pereira stressed the importance of women’s participation in these missions, noting their sensitivity in taking on and dealing with different risky situations that come up on the ground. “Women perform various roles in these missions, ranging from captains in charge to doctors, cooks, nurses, dentists, translators, vehicle drivers, and radio operators in message centers,” he explained. “Over the years, we’ve taken on our share of international training on gender issues, which is so important to the Uruguayan Armed Forces. For example, we’ve trained with the Naval Postgraduate School in the United States, as well as with students from the American Association of Training Centers for Peace Operations. That’s why it’s essential for us to hold this course,” Col. Pereira noted.last_img read more