On the Blogs: A ‘Wink and a Nod’ in Regulatory Allowance That Saw Coal as Too Big to Fail

first_imgOn the Blogs: A ‘Wink and a Nod’ in Regulatory Allowance That Saw Coal as Too Big to Fail FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Patrick McGinley for TheConversation.com:A self-bonding corporation’s promise to reclaim is little more than an IOU backed by company assets.Companies reorganizing under federal bankruptcy laws will continue to mine and market coal, hoping to shed mountains of debt and eventually emerge from bankruptcy. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to obtain conventional surety bonds after they reorganize, or whether bankruptcy courts will direct the companies to use their remaining assets to partially fulfill their self-bonding obligations.One thing is clear, however. Against the backdrop of a century of coal company bankruptcies and attendant environmental damage, regulators ignored a looming coal market collapse with a wink and a nod. Properly administered, SMCRA’s reclamation bonding requirements should have required secure financial guarantees collectible upon bankruptcy.Unfortunately, coal regulators viewed America’s leading coal companies like Wall Street’s mismanaged banks – too big to fail. As a result, American taxpayers may have to pick up an enormous reclamation tab for coal producers.Full item: Will taxpayers foot the cleanup bill for bankrupt coal companies?last_img read more

Batesville Council backs recycling center; other meeting notes

first_imgCity officials offer a design as they plan to transform the former Ivy Tech building into a center housing non-profit organizations.BATESVILLE, Ind. – City Council members have agreed to provide additional funding toward a proposed recycling center in Batesville.The Batesville Recycling Building is estimated to cost 75-thousand dollars and will be operated by Southeastern Indiana Recycling District (SEIRD).On Monday night, Council unanimously approved funding of up to $25,000 from the Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing funds.Last month, the Rising Sun Regional Foundation granted $30,000 to the City of Batesville toward the project. SEIRD Board of Directors recently provided a $20,000 donation as well.The Belterra funding request was spearheaded by District 1 Council Member Derrick Cox, who calls the project “a benefit to not only Batesville, but surrounding communities.”Fellow councilman Jim Fritsch inquired on the timetable of the project, which Mayor Rick Fledderman says could be as early as next spring.The proposed center will not alter curbside trash or recycling pickup, officials confirm.The City will own the building but operations and utilities will be covered by SEIRD. The company plans to have an attendant on duty during operation hours which are projected to be three days a week from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday mornings.Recyclables accepted include paper, plastic, glass and aluminum, along with electronics, household hazardous waste, appliances, scrap metal, tires and car batteries.Company officials note that the center will not be a location to exchange scrap metal for cash.Other news and notes from Monday’s meeting: –Curbside trash collection is currently on a weekly basis, as it previously was twice a week. The City agreed Monday to move forward with a contract with Rumpke, but officials are now considering whether to schedule collection weekly or biweekly. Batesville resident Mike Vonderheide shared thoughts on the matter:“Once a week is plenty and twice a year [large trash collection] is plenty,” Vonderheide said. “Also, keep the recycling weekly as well, I know there are hardly any trash cans on our street during the second weekly [pickup] in the summer.”City officials are keeping the discussion open as they look for input from city residents.–A citizen asked the mayor if the City was aware of any ongoing investigation. Fledderman declined any knowledge of an investigation, and told the audience he was unaware of any wrongdoing by city officials.–Drones in Batesville? Council President Gene Lambert asked Police Chief Stan Holt about drones reportedly seen flying over Batesville. Holt says he is looking into the legalities as Lambert inquired on privacy concerns.If you have captured a photo of a drone locally and wish to share it with us, email our news director at steveharmeyer@wrbiradio.com–Board of Works members approved the purchase of the former Ivy Tech building at the intersection of County Line Road and Huntersville. An anonymous donor agreed to donate 50-thousand dollars toward the project on stipulation the City receives matching funds. Mayor Fledderman announced Monday that donations have reached $50,000 and the transaction was later approved by the Board of Works.–Council members support a resolution to change the state funding formula for Indiana Schools.Mayor Fledderman reasoned, “I’m in support of this because of how funding is to the Batesville school system, we achieve at a higher level than many other [schools].”last_img read more