US Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today praised the Environmental Protection Agency for forcing coal- and oil-fired power plants to reduce emissions. Leahy Statement: “I commend the Environmental Protection Agency for doing the right thing, under tremendous special interest pressure, in standing up for the public’s interest. The Utility Air Toxics Rule to control toxic air pollutants such as mercury is a health and environmental breakthrough for the American people, and especially for Vermonters. Finally, after 20 years of dodging regulation, coal- and oil-fired electric power plants, the largest contributors of these toxics, will be held accountable for the pollution they emit, just as many other industries are.These controls are particularly important to Vermont, which is why I have long fought to reduce mercury pollution and protect public health. Though we have no major sources of mercury, we are on the receiving end of much of the rest of the country’s pollution. So much, in fact, that the mercury data crucial to the development of this rule came from the atmospheric monitoring station at Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, for which I secured funding. Unfortunately, deep budget cuts will hamper EPA’s data gathering from this location, making it difficult for the EPA to get the full swath of information needed to keep the public safe, and informed.In Vermont, the devastating effect of all this mercury pollution is most evident in our waterways. While we celebrate greatly improved fishing on Lake Champlain, we also know that large game fish from every water body in Vermont, including Champlain, are so heavily contaminated with out-of-state mercury that Vermonters are warned against eating them. That needs to change, and these new actions will help.Pollution control technology is already widely available, affordable, and in use at many plants nationwide. We cannot allow outdated technology to endanger lives and stifle the innovation, investment and productivity that new technologies offer. It is time for those older power plants that have failed to install this life-saving technology to catch up with the 33 percent that already comply with all of EPA’s emission limits, and with the 60 percent that already comply with EPA’s mercury limit. Without these safeguards, the public would continue to shoulder the cost of dirty industries, with their health, their children’s health, and sometimes with their lives. These poisonous emissions lead to more than 17,000 premature deaths every year, and they compromise our children’s brain development. But with clear and effective Clean Air Act rules, we see tremendous benefits: cleaner air, healthier and more productive citizens, and the creation of thousands of good-paying clean jobs. Skilled laborers are standing ready to fill the 31,000 short-term construction jobs and 9,000 long-term utility jobs that the Utility Air Toxics Rule will create. This is about five times more jobs than the controversial Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline would employ. And unlike the pipeline, these clean air improvements do not gamble with the public’s health and our environment.For the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from heart attacks, bronchitis, asthma attacks and even worse, the EPA must act now to implement the Utility Air Toxics Rule. We have the opportunity to create thousands of jobs that will make this nation safer and cleaner. I look forward to fewer poisonous power plant emissions drifting over us to settle in Vermont’s backyards.” Sanders Statement: ‘I strongly support the Clean Air Act standards announced today that will slash toxic air pollution, such as mercury and arsenic, from our nation’s power plants,’ said Sanders, a member of the Senate environment committee. ‘We know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mercury can cause brain damage and is particularly harmful to infants and young children. We also know that installing the necessary pollution control scrubbers and equipment will create jobs as we update our power plants. This clean air rule is long overdue, and I commend EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for protecting our families’ health and wellbeing,’ Sanders added. Sanders and other senators sent a letter to the White House on December 16 urging President Obama not to delay implementation of the rule. Power plants that have not installed equipment to reduce emissions are the largest remaining source of uncontrolled toxic air pollution in the United States. The EPA rule would prevent the release of about 90 percent of the mercury in coal and cut emissions of other toxic substances, such as arsenic. Medical experts estimated that the rule would prevent 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year, prevent 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and result in about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year. Enforcing the stricter rule, Sanders said, also would create an estimated 46,000 short-term construction jobs and result in 8,000 permanent jobs. 12.21.2011
Press Association It is not unusual for a less-fancied side to be among the big hitters at the start of a season but, with Leicester showing no signs of slipping off the pace heading into Christmas, this is developing into a very different story. “Leicester deserve to be top of the league,” Martinez said. “I think Claudio Ranieri deserves all the credit for developing the belief in that team. “Of course they are (title contenders). I don’t see why they shouldn’t be. It’s not because they are top of the league, it’s because they’ve been so competitive in every game. “I’ve seen a real change. The first two or three fixtures, they were testing themselves and seeing how they could compete. Now it’s different. “The last few games, there’s an incredible belief. They go out knowing they’re going to win the football game, and I think when you develop that momentum, it can be very powerful. “Of course in a competition of 10 months you’re relying on (a lack of) suspensions, injuries, you have to be a bit fortunate, and Leicester is no different, but, where they are now, the way they are playing and the momentum that they achieved, they are capable of achieving anything this season.” It has been a remarkable transformation for a team who were bottom of the table last Christmas and looked to be heading for relegation until a dramatic upturn in form at the end of the season. Martinez will hope to hand Leicester just a second defeat of the season on Saturday but the Spaniard thinks the Foxes’ rise is a fillip for football. The Toffees are the latest team to try to derail the flying Foxes, with Claudio Ranieri’s team the visitors to Goodison Park on Saturday. Leicester top the table by two points after Monday’s victory over Chelsea and are a full 12 points clear of Martinez’s 10th-placed team. “They are refreshing for modern football because we all know that finances dictate a lot,” he said. “Normally, in any competition, at the end of the season, more or less the expected sides are always there. I think when you see teams like Leicester and the nature of this year’s competition, I think it’s inspirational and it’s something you want every footballer to believe, that you can achieve something that probably you’re not predicted to. “It’s the belief, the momentum, the way they play, it’s very refreshing, so I’m sure every neutral football fan up and down the country will have a soft feeling towards what Leicester are achieving. “I think this campaign is the most open we have had for many years and I think that’s good for football in general.” Everton could well still be without midfielder James McCarthy for the game as he continues to recover from a hip problem, but defender John Stones has shown no ill effects from the knocks to his ankle and knee that he picked up before and during the draw against Norwich last weekend. Martinez, who reiterated that he will not be selling any of his key players in January, said: ” It’s been really good news. In the last two days (Stones) has been able to do his normal work. He’s in perfect condition for the weekend.” Midfielder Steven Pienaar, meanwhile, is closing in on his first appearance of the season after recovering from a hamstring problem. Leicester are capable of achieving anything this season, including winning the Premier League title, according to Everton boss Roberto Martinez.
Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Shikhar Dhawan has so far experienced a hot and cold campaign in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. The aggressive southpaw has managed 473 runs in 16 games at an ordinary average of 39.41 – way below the standards for a player of his calibre. (Scorecard|Full Coverage) Dhawan, who had a lean patch during the ICC World Twenty20 – scoring just 43 runs in four matches – was eyeing the IPL to make a solid comeback but has not been able to achieve the target. He has failed to score the runs in big matches, putting the pressure on SRH captain David Warner.On Friday, it was again Warner who scored a match-winning 93* off 58 balls against Gujarat Lions to see Sunrisers Hyderabad through to their maiden IPL final. (Also read: Here’s how Warner, Bipul showed the door for Gujarat Lions) Chasing 163 to win, SRH witnessed a turbulent start, losing Dhawan (0), Moises Henriques (11) and Yuvraj Singh (8) cheaply. But Warner kept Gujarat at bay, with his belligerent batting, completing his fifty in 35 balls – his eighth half-century of the tournament.SRH will now face a red-hot Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final on Sunday and former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels Dhawan needs to rise up to the occasion for his team. “Hyderabad have been outstanding this season. The influx of a couple of Indian players have helped them and don’t forget, they don’t have Ashish Nehra who is injured and out of the tournament. With Nehra in the squad, the bowling attack looked even better. They need some runs from Shikhar Dhawan. Time has come for Dhawan to stand up. He is a key batsman for India and it’s a big tournament, big games. He missed out on the first qualifier, he missed out on the second qualifier. Hopefully in the final he will stand up for David Warner and his team and get some runs,” Ganguly told India Today.advertisementPHENOMENAL WARNERWhile most of the Sunrisers batsmen cut a sorry figure last night, Warner showed his class and super cool temperament as he never let the innings fall apart. (Also Read: David Warner targets Virat Kohli in IPL final to defuse RCB’s batting)Wickets kept tumbling but Warner dug his heels and found amazing support in Bipul Sharma, who came up with a sizzling unbeaten 27 run knock under pressure.”Phenomenal batting and specially under pressure. The other night it was AB de Villiers against Gujarat Lions and today it was David Warner. The other night it was the support of Iqbal Abdulla against the Lions and today it was Bipul Sharma.”Warner is a serious batsman, look at his record in all formats of the game. He has been unbelievable for Australia. Some of the shots he played during the later part of the innings against those slower deliveries were terrific… captain standing up in the big game that speaks volumes of his temperament.”He has taken Sunrisers on his own to the final, what else do expect from the captain. 93 off 58 deliveries. He has changed over the years, his temperament has changed. His family, his wife and runs at international level have made him a more matured person and I thought he was exceptional tonight,” Ganguly said.IMPRESSIVE BIPULYoungster Bipul Sharma took the pressure off his captain with his timely big shots. His sixes off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dhawal Kulkarni played a crucial role in turning the tide in SRH’s favour.Bipul, who played for India A in 2010, always had batting credentials but last night he showed his worth as he added 33 runs with Warner in their unbeaten partnership for the seventh wicket.Ganguly asked the selectors to keep a watch on the young all-rounder.”I am equally impressed with Bipul to be honest. In the last game against the Kolkata Knight Riders he hit two crucial sixes off Morne Morkel and extended that run for the Sunrisers and yesterday under sheer pressure, he came in when they were 117 for 6 and took the game away from them. He hit some superb shots, that six off Praveen Kumar straight in front and then flicking Dwayne Bravo for a six fine leg and then hitting one of the most difficult deliveries from Bravo which is the slower off-spinner and that too being a left-hander he hit him straight into the stands.”I think this fellow is a good cricketer and the selectors need to keep a watch on him because the Indians need someone at No. 7 and Ravindra Jadeja’s batting at international level has not been the best under pressure and I don’t think he has done much with the bat in this IPL as well. This kid has done a wonderful job for the Sunrisers at No. 8, No. 9. So, somehow down the line they need to keep a watch on him.”advertisementTHE FIZZ FACTORGanguly said SRH need their strike bowler Mustafizur Rahman in the final against the batting might of RCB. Left-arm medium pacer Mustafizur (16 wickets) was ruled out in the match against Gujarat due to a hamstring injury.”Sunrisers can give Royal Challengers Bangalore a run for their money. As I said, anybody can win on that day but the batting line-up of RCB looks very serious and I think SRH need Mustafizur. He is the key, I don’t know what’s his injury, I hope it’s not too bad and is nothing to do with the hamstring and the calf because then he might be out of the next game as well. So, from that point of view he is important and hopefully they can get the team together,” he said.