State judge’s ruling raises another hurdle for planned $9.4 billion Formosa Plastics plant in Louisiana

first_imgState judge’s ruling raises another hurdle for planned $9.4 billion Formosa Plastics plant in Louisiana FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Advocate:A state district judge sent critical air permits for a $9.4 billion Formosa Plastics complex back to state environmental regulators so they can take a closer look at the St. James Parish facility’s emissions impacts on Black residents living nearby.Nineteenth Judicial District Judge Trudy White issued the finding during a hearing Wednesday, telling the state Department of Environmental Quality to more properly evaluate the environmental justice questions surrounding the project, plaintiff’s attorneys said.White ruled two weeks after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it would be suspending its wetlands permit for the facility along the Mississippi River to review its own analysis of alternative sites and failure to look at potential sites in neighboring Ascension Parish. Formosa officials said White’s ruling did not suspend the air permits in the interim, but her ruling does add another layer of uncertainty for a project that is expected to create 1,200 permanent jobs, tens of millions of dollars per year in state and local taxes, and millions more in spinoff benefits once built.Along with the Corps wetland permits and a local land use permit, the state air permits allow FG LA, the Formosa Plastics affiliate behind the project, to operate and help clear the path to significant construction investment. The Corps’ decision earlier this month had already halted major construction activities.Last year, a joint investigation by The Advocate, Times-Picayune and ProPublica using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency modeling data found Formosa and other new industrial proposals since 2015 posed an acute impact on predominantly poor and black river communities, though white communities hardly escape it either.Known as the Sunshine Project, the Formosa complex will produce the raw materials for a variety of plastics and has been permitted to emit more than 800 pounds of toxic pollutants, nearly 6,500 tons of criteria pollutants known to cause ground-level ozone and respiratory ailments, and more than 13.6 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, DEQ says.[David J. Mitchell]More: Judge delays crucial permit for Formosa plastics plant; requires deeper analysis of racial impactslast_img read more

Brexit: UK recession warning as prime minister quits party leadership

first_imgSeema Shah, Principal Global InvestorsSeema Shah, senior global investment strategist, Principal Global Investors:“At $1.27 against the dollar, sterling has weakened in recent weeks, reflecting the repricing of Brexit risk as Theresa May’s time as prime minister draws inexorably to a close. Are we pricing in a no deal Brexit at these levels? No, the market is simply indicating that the risks of a no-deal Brexit have increased.“Were that nightmare scenario to unfold, sterling closer to parity against the dollar should be expected. Discussions of a potential rate hike remain almost incomprehensible, so an increase in uncertainty and volatility suggest the most likely path for UK rates is down rather than up.” What they said…Azad Zangana, senior European economist and strategist, Schroders:“[Boris Johnson] may look to take the UK out of the EU without a deal, despite parliament voting in favour of essentially removing the option. He could do this by failing to comply with the EU’s demands that the UK should continue to follow the rules. This presumably would lead to the EU agreeing to terminate the relationship in October.“If this were to happen, we would anticipate the economy to slow and fall into recession around the turn of the year. While the Bank of England would probably cut interest rates eventually, the expected depreciation in the pound would cause inflation to spike. The household sector has already run down its safety buffer in the form of its savings rate, therefore a contraction in demand is very likely.” Silvia Dall’Angelo, Hermes Investment ManagementSilvia Dall’Angelo, senior economist, Hermes Investment Management:“The risk is that under the next leader – most likely coming from the intransigent eurosceptic wing of the [Conservative Party] – the institutional tensions between the executive and parliament will intensify, potentially generating an even more fragmented and dysfunctional political landscape.“The next stage will probably result in early general elections, but other outcomes are possible, including a second referendum and a no-deal Brexit (the latter being the default scenario under current Brexit legislation). At any rate, the Brexit situation is unlikely to be resolved any time soon, and uncertainty will persist, which will continue to weigh on the country’s economic prospects and financial assets.” Theresa May delivers her resignation speech to journalists outside 10 Downing Street“It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.“It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum. To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in parliament where I have not.“Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.”center_img Economists have issued renewed warnings of a possible UK recession after prime minister Theresa May this morning announced her resignation.May, who was appointed prime minister in the immediate aftermath of the country’s 2016 referendum on EU membership, said she would resign as leader of the ruling Conservative Party on 7 June, continuing as prime minister until a new leader has been chosen to succeed her.A number of Conservative Party members have been mentioned as potential successors, with former foreign secretary Boris Johnson tipped by bookmakers as the frontrunner. Johnson has been a vocal proponent of Brexit and several commentators today warned he could push the UK towards leaving the EU without a deal.Following May’s speech this morning, sterling strengthened against the euro after several days of poor performance as traders speculated on the likelihood and implications of May resigning. The FTSE 100 index was up nearly 1% for the day as of 2pm. Ludovic Colin, Vontobel Asset ManagementLudovic Colin, head of global flexible investment, Vontobel Asset Management:“In terms of the market reaction to today’s developments, the [sterling] and UK assets will be vulnerable in the coming month. But the hard Brexit would add bad news to a landscape that is worsening already. It could trigger deeper corrections to global risky assets like equities and credit markets especially in Europe.“At the moment, investors will need to avoid UK risk in their portfolio. Even if at micro levels there are some very good companies in the UK, investors will see much better entry points in the future.”Mark Dowding, CIO, BlueBay Asset Management:“Our analysis of the current composition of parliament suggests that any new prime minister might struggle to deliver a hard Brexit through parliament with the [Conservative] majority non-existent and a number of Conservatives still firmly committed EU remainers. Consequently, we continue to look for election risks with a new prime minister seeking a stronger mandate. Should this occur, this in turn points to a material chance that there will be a Labour coalition government in place before the end of the year. “In the same way risks seem skewed to a weaker pound, so we would see risks skewed to much higher Gilt yields with such an outcome and so continue to maintain short positions in both – even if little has really happened to either UK rates or FX since the 2016 referendum in the grand scheme of things. The Brexit endgame will be in sight before the end of the year and we therefore feel the moment where these views may play out is just around the corner.”… and what she saidTheresa May, outgoing UK prime minister:last_img read more

Jamaica Wants to Establish Plant-Based Medicine Research Center

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government says there are plans to establish a center in Jamaica to further advance plant-based medicine research.Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister,  Audley Shaw says a “programme of cooperation” involving noted Jamaican scientist and businessman, Dr. Henry Lowe as well as  Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of National Hero Marcus Garvey; and the Director at Harvard University Medical School, Dr. Wilfred Ngwa, is being finalized for the associate research center’s establishment.“In fact, Dr. Ngwa will soon be visiting Jamaica to further advance these discussions as Jamaica’s unique microclimatic conditions place us in an enviable position globally,” Shaw told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS).Shaw noted that of just over 100 plants which are known and used for medicines, 51 are indigenous to Jamaica.“We must also not forget that Dr. Lowe and others have developed plant-based medicines in Jamaica that are now world-renowned, and are presently submitting more applications for further development of additional plant-based medicines to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States Government,” he added.Shaw said a recent study by Harvard University scientists which showed that cannabis can potentially help cancer victims is “very significant.”He said he first became aware of this “potentially significant initiative” while attending a conference on plant medicines, hosted by Dr. Nwga at Harvard in June.The Minister said given Jamaica’s “unique” history with respect to cannabis and many other plant-based medicines, “exciting days” are ahead for the country in this regard.Shaw indicated that the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has now issued 54 licenses to cannabis entrepreneurs, and will shortly complete export regulations to facilitate the legal export of cannabis raw materials, such as buds and oil extracts.For his part, CLA Director, Delano Seiveright, said with pancreatic cancer predicted to be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths by 2020, the medical breakthrough by Harvard’s scientists is a “major victory” for the cannabis industry.“The significance here is that the life expectancy for cancer patients could significantly increase. We, in Jamaica, have to continue to do our part in ensuring that we are ready to capitalize on medicinal marijuana and the important role it is playing in scientific discovery,” he said.Scientists from Harvard University’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in their study published in the journal ‘Frontiers of Oncology’ on July 23, revealed that a chemical found in cannabis has demonstrated “significant therapy potential” for treating pancreatic cancer.The resulting drug, ‘FBL-03G’, is said to be a derivative of a cannabis flavonoid, the naturally occurring compound found in plants, vegetables and fruits which, among other things, provides their color.The results, according to Dr. Ngwa, one of the study’s researchers, are “major.“The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer,” he noted.Dr. Ngwa said the significance of this is that, because pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed in later stages, once it has spread, and the flavonoids have proven capable of destroying killing other cancer cells, this could mean the life expectancy of those with the condition could increase,” the noted academic added.“If successfully translated clinically, this will have a major impact on the treatment of pancreatic cancer”.last_img read more