Trump lifts ban on Arctic offshore drilling

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first_imgSen. Murkowski shows the pen the president used to sign the order. (Photo by Liz Ruskin)Today, President Trump  signed an order lifting a ban his predecessor imposed on drilling off Alaska’s Arctic shores. Environmental groups claim the ban is permanent and they intend to file a legal challenge.Listen nowThe order is entitled “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.” The signing ceremony was in the White House Roosevelt Room. Congress members from oil states crowded around the president, including the full Alaska delegation.“It’s going to lead to a lot of great wealth for our country and a lot of great jobs for our country,” Trump said. “So God bless America, thank you very much.”Trump then signed the order. He gave Sen. Lisa Murkowski the pen.The order tells the Interior secretary to reconsider the removal of the Arctic from the current offshore leasing plan, and it rescinds an order from President Obama that bans much of the Arctic from any future lease sale.Lois Epstein is Arctic Program Director for The Wilderness Society. Photo by Liz Ruskin.Conservation groups maintain Obama’s ban was permanent. Wilderness Society Arctic director Lois Epstein says the organizations intend to mount a legal challenge.“We’re prepared to do everything we can do to stop the opening of the Arctic Ocean to drilling,” Epstein said.Trump’s order also calls for a review of the Arctic-specific offshore drilling regulations and of the blowout prevention rule imposed after the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Epstein said rolling back the blowout rule would give advantage to the least safe operators.“That’s tragic,” Epstein said. “Really. And (it) can result in situations like the BP Deepwater Horizon where you had 11 deaths and over 200 million gallons released.”Murkowski said the rule is only slated for review. She especially likes that Trump’s order announces a national policy of encouraging energy exploration and production. She acknowledges other barriers remain for the offshore Arctic.“This is the first step,” Murkowski said. “We don’t have any producers that are poised to move.”Sen. Dan Sullivan said when Obama imposed the Arctic drilling ban, the administration didn’t even tell  him in advance.“What a difference five months makes,” Sullivan said.Not only was he at the White House for the signing ceremony, but Sullivan said afterward the president invited him into the Oval Office. He said he thanked Trump for lifting Obama’s Arctic ban so quickly.“And the president mentioned, you know, that day in December when the former president did this (Arctic ban), the Russians must’ve been very excited,” Sullivan recounted. “And I said, ‘I think they were excited.’”Alaska Congressman Don Young is pleased with the order, too, but he was a little peeved Trump kept them waiting in the Roosevelt Room.“A good 20 minutes he was late,” Young said. “I don’t appreciate even the president being late. You know how I am.”Young said they spent the time talking to the vice president and two cabinet secretaries.last_img

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Pollution elle diminue sensiblement dans le nord du pays

first_imgPollution : elle diminue sensiblement dans le nord du paysComme chaque année, la Direction régionale de l’environnement, de l’aménagement, du logement (Dreal) du Nord-Pas-de-Calais, a dévoilé le bilan des taux de pollution enregistrés dans la région. C’est une bonne nouvelle qui a été annoncée hier : la pollution a fortement diminué en 2009 par rapport à l’année 2008. Le bémol ? Cette chute a été engendrée par la crise économique.C’est une chute de 15% à 20% qui a été enregistrée en 2009 pour les rejets dans les airs et dans l’eau, comme pour la quantité de déchets. Ainsi, Arcelor Mittal, le pôle sidérurgique de Dunkerque, n’a produit en 2009 que 328.000 tonnes de déchets, contre 553.000 tonnes en 2008.À lire aussiCe corail préfère manger du plastique plutôt que de sa nourriture habituelleL’annonce doit toutefois être prise avec des pincettes. “Une telle évolution ne peut s’expliquer que par une baisse importante de l’activité”, souligne en effet Michel Pascal, le directeur régional de l’Environnement. La crise économique a frappé la région de façon importante en 2009, les entreprises ayant donc logiquement moins produit, et moins pollué.Ce n’est donc pas à l’instauration de politiques plus respectueuses de l’environnement que l’on doit cette importante diminution de la pollution dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais, et il faut s’attendre à de moins bons résultats en 2010.Le 19 novembre 2010 à 19:31 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img

The name is now simply The Historic Trust

first_imgAfter rebranding and refocusing, the organization that preserves and manages some of Vancouver’s most historic properties is now The Historic Trust.The group was formerly known as the Fort Vancouver National Trust. It has been most visible recently as the organizer of July 4 celebrations at Fort Vancouver and its renovation of Providence Academy.Mike True, president and CEO of the organization, explained Tuesday that the transition was more than a name change.“The rebranding is internal, too. We will have programs drive the organization, not property management,” True said at a reception at the Red Cross Building in the West Barracks.After the formal presentation, True explained the shift in emphasis. Efforts in Vancouver’s historic core “has been so property focused,” he said.That has meant acquisitions and construction projects, which, in turn, have required funding and generated a lot of paperwork and permitting.“As a result of our success, we’re at Stage 2 — building on that foundation,” True said.So, while renovation continues on Providence Academy, built by Mother Joseph, other partners are working on innovative programs that will introduce the pioneering nun to the community.Washington State University Vancouver is developing an “augmented reality” system that will enable visitors with mobile devices to meet historic figures.“There will be first-person encounters with characters such as Mother Joseph,” said Richard Burrows, the Trust’s director of outreach and programs. There also will be virtual tours of the building, he said.Visitors to Officers Row will encounter figures from history such as Gen. George Marshall and Ulysses Grant, but they can also hear stories from a nanny who worked for an officer’s family.last_img

EXCLUSIVE Facebook uses engagement surveys to highlight benefits opportunities

first_imgEmployee Benefits Live 2017: Social media organisation Facebook uses employee engagement surveys to inform strategic workforce planning decisions, and support the design of a benefits proposition that increases employee satisfaction and engagement.Addressing delegates in the opening keynote presentation of Employee Benefits Live 2017, Ross Sparkman (pictured), head of strategic workforce planning at Facebook, said: “Benefits are one of the key drivers of employee satisfaction. Benefits have a huge impact on our ability to increase the happiness of our employees, if done correctly.”Sparkman explained how a benefits strategy that is aligned to an organisation’s overall corporate aims can help to produce a satisfied and happy workforce, which, in turn, can have positive impacts on both productivity and business gains. This could include a reduction in attrition and employee mistakes, increased staff loyalty, higher profits, and improved customer satisfaction.“As I work through and develop strategies with the senior leaders across the organisation, one of the key levers that we use and that we try to understand is what do we have to do to make our workforce happier, and engage them in that,” added Sparkman.Collating industry research, Sparkman noted the difference in perception between what employees value, in terms of their benefits and working environment, compared to what they are actually offered. This presents a huge opportunity for employers to close this perception gap in order to create a benefits strategy and organisation culture that will contribute to employee happiness and engagement, therefore having a knock-on impact on organisational goals. “If we don’t have a good benefits strategy in place, we could potentially be losing our talent,” he added.He cited compensation, trust, job security, opportunities to use skills, feeling safe in the work environment, employee benefits, communications, an organisation’s financial stability, corporate culture, good leadership and the work itself as the main drivers of employee satisfaction.Sparkman also discussed the key differences in the perception of benefits between employees and their managers, with factors such as gender, marital status, education levels and age all influencing how employees view and use their benefits. Sparkman referenced research from FRACTL, which highlighted that four out of the five most popular benefits, according to employees, were related to lifestyle. For example, the ability to work flexible hours or from home, or being able to take more holiday days.“Four out of the five top benefits are work-life balance related benefits that really don’t cost that much,” he said. “[Employers] could conceivably start to develop a benefits strategy that’s not going to break the bank and is still going to be something that is highly valued, so [employers] don’t necessarily have to have a comprehensive benefits strategy as in Facebook, but to really hit these key four benefits that are important to employee.”He added that benefits that are deemed valuable by employees will differ depending on an organisation’s specific workforce demographic and industry sector, so it is important for employers to be competitive in their benefits offering. This should be continually revisited.To collect feedback on what employees view as important around benefits, employee engagement surveys as one data source, alongside tools such as focus groups, benchmarking and benefits data, said Sparkman. The questions asked in surveys should have a clear purpose to avoid survey fatigue and should be framed in order to collect the best possible data for analysis that aligns with the purpose of the survey.Larger organisations could consider targeting smaller sub-groups with its engagement surveys, centring specific surveys around gender or age, and offering incentives could also be used to encourage responses, added Sparkman.Sparkman also discussed the metrics that employers should consider when measuring the success and effectiveness of their benefits strategy. This includes looking at financial metrics, such as the costs around benefits; attrition and retention metrics that can analyse the impact benefits have, for example data around how long it takes to fill new positions; or the time it takes candidates to accept jobs at the organisation once they have an understanding of the benefits proposition; and employee satisfaction metrics.Benefits at Facebook, for example, centre around empowering employees and giving them autonomy. “It’s really important to make sure that benefits strategies align with corporate strategy,” said Sparkman. “So we talked about the importance of employee happiness and engagement, but it shouldn’t be done in a vacuum. There should be some link to corporate strategy. Our benefits strategy should be part of how we are setting the tone for our organisation culture. If you think about [an organisation] like Facebook, our benefits strategy really is a big part of what defines who we are and how we are perceived as [an organisation].”last_img

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