U.S. Coal Job Numbers Essentially Unchanged in 2017

first_imgU.S. Coal Job Numbers Essentially Unchanged in 2017 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Nearly two-thirds of U.S. coal producing states lost coal mining jobs in 2017, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.Unreleased full-year coal employment data from the Mining Health and Safety Administration shows total U.S. coal mining jobs grew by 771 to 54,819 during Trump’s first year in office, led by Central Appalachian states like West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania – where coal companies have opened a handful of new mining areas.But the industry also lost jobs in other Appalachian states like Ohio, Kentucky, and Maryland; the western Powder River Basin states Montana and Wyoming; as well as in several other states like Indiana, New Mexico, and Texas.Texas lost the largest number, at 455, and Ohio was a close second, losing 414, according to the data. Pennsylvania, which gained 96 jobs in 2017, is also expected to go negative soon after Dana Mining announced this month it would close a mine employing about 400 people.Overall, the number of U.S. coal jobs is still lingering near historic lows at less than one-third the level in the mid-1980s, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, as the industry loses market share to cheaper natural gas.More: Exclusive: Trump’s coal job push stumbles in most states – datalast_img read more

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Oklahoma utility makes it official, 650MW Oklaunion coal plant to close in October

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享RTO Insider:Public Service Company of Oklahoma formally notified ERCOT on Tuesday that it will retire the coal-fired Oklaunion Power Station in the Texas Panhandle.PSO filed a notification of suspension of operations for the plant, effective Oct. 1. Market participants have until Feb. 11 to file comments before the grid operator makes a final decision.American Electric Power, PSO’s parent company and the plant’s operator and majority owner, said in September 2018 that it planned to shut down Oklaunion by October 2020 over concerns that the plant’s production costs were no longer competitive.The 34-year-old, 650-MW plant’s ownership is split among utilities in both ERCOT and SPP. AEP Texas owns a 54.69% interest in the plant. The other owners are the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (17.97%) in South Texas, PSO (15.62%) and the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (11.72%).The retirement leaves ERCOT with 22 operational coal units, accounting for the mothballing of CPS Energy’s two J.T. Deeley units, which have 871 MW of capacity. ERCOT has lost almost 6 GW of coal-fired generation since 2017.[Tom Kleckner]More: PSO officially retires Oklaunion coal plant Oklahoma utility makes it official, 650MW Oklaunion coal plant to close in Octoberlast_img read more

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Column: Coal is losing steam in crucial Vietnamese market

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Hanoi is smudging coal’s prospects.Battered in green-minded Europe, thermal coal producers have been leaning instead on appetite from fast-expanding emerging economies, particularly in Southeast Asia. A change of direction in Vietnam suggests that support may be fading.An energy strategy for the decade through 2030, outlined last month, reduces the role of the dirtiest fossil fuel in favor of wind, solar and gas. That’s a huge step for a country of nearly 100 million that’s growing at 6% to 7% annually and anticipating a power shortage starting in 2021 — not to mention one that until recently had planned to roughly triple its fleet of coal-fired power plants. Vietnam forecasts power demand will more than double in the coming decade.The change of heart reflects a financing squeeze, cheap gas and U.S. pressure on Vietnam to reduce the trade surplus with its largest export market. Combine that with decreasing costs for renewable energy, and growing domestic concerns about air pollution. Then add in the fact that, in the short term, the urgency for extra power may cool as the country gets over the direct and indirect impact of the coronavirus on manufacturing investment. Coal’s sell-by date just moved a lot closer.It’s hard to overstate Asia’s role in coal. The region has, alone, kept the single-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from falling off a cliff. Its extra consumption has helped global coal demand grow marginally in recent years, despite sharp drops in demand in the U.S. and Europe. The region now accounts for almost 80% of global coal power generation, and most of that boost has come from Southeast Asia, led by Vietnam and Indonesia. Vietnamese coal imports almost doubled in 2019.Hanoi isn’t turning away altogether from the fuel that provides about 40% of its electricity. Its national energy development plan backs large-capacity and high-efficiency units, plus so-called ultra-supercritical technology, which is less polluting. Yet it advises that spending be targeted elsewhere, including on the grid, on gas and on renewable energy. The National Steering Committee for Power Development has recommended scaling down coal’s share in power generation to 37% by 2025 from around half. That eliminates 15 gigawatts of planned projects — significant for a country with about 20GW of installed coal capacity. The final update to the power development plan isn’t due for a few months, but these signals should already be ringing alarm bells for miners.[Clara Ferreira Marques]More: Coal’s sell-by date just moved closer Column: Coal is losing steam in crucial Vietnamese marketlast_img read more

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Daily Dirt: Outdoor News for April 11, 2013

first_imgGround Zero: Hot Springs, N.C.Your outdoor news bulletin for April 11, the day Apollo 13 launched for the moon and Napoleon lunched for Elba:Stomach Bug Invades Appalachian TrailThings are getting buggy on the A.T., and we’re not talking about mosquitos. The U.S. Forest service released a statement warning A.T. hikers near Hot Springs, N.C. of a 24-hour stomach bug being passed around. The viral illness seems to be concentrated in the 70-mile stretch between Hot Springs and Erwin, Tenn. No word on what to do about it, but we have to assume this is not the beginnings of a A.T. trail zombie apocalypse. It’s hard to tell the difference between a sick thru-hiker and a zombie anyway. The full statement is below:“A number of hikers have been sickened by a severe, 24-hour stomach virus that is being passed between hikers. Shelters to avoid include No Business Knob, Big Bald and Hogback Ridge. A section of the Appalachian Trail runs through the Appalachian Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest, to the north and south of Hot Springs.”Carytown Gets a Beer FestWe already mentioned the Monument Avenue 10k today but Richmond, Va. is also making a play to join the craft beer elite with its first annual Carytown Craft Beer Festival. The festival will take place this Sunday, April 14 in…Carytown. The fest will spotlight regional beers paired with local restaurants. Already known for microbreweries like Legend, Hardywood, and 3 Brother, this festival will also include Starr Hill, Center of the Universe Brewing Company, Devil’s Backbone and more. There will of course be live music and a relatively svelte $15 advanced ticket, which includes souvenir pint glass. This is great news for beer lovers in Richmond and beyond.Recluses on the Looses No MoreIt was a bad week for recluses, but a good week for law enforcement as they will not have to scour the backcountry looking for these solitary men any longer. First, Troy James Knapp, the Mountain Man of Southern Utah was arrested on Tuesday. Knapp had been on police radar for over seven years for breaking into cabins in the Wasatch, evading officials and basically living in the wilderness with only his survival skills. Then Christopher Knight, the North Pond Hermit, was caught breaking into a cabin in Maine. Knight claims to have had contact with only one other person in his three decades of off the grid living and is suspected of over 1,000 burglaries in the area. These two guys lived out in the backcounty avoiding detection for years, so I have to say this makes the legend of Bigfoot a little more plausible. The question is: how many more of these guys (or gals) are there out there? I guess, at least two more than there used to be.last_img read more

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Video: Sherpa Adventure Gear Celebrates Mount Everest’s Heroes

first_imgEver since Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hilary’s first ascent in 1953, Mount Everest has made its way onto nearly every climber’s bucket list. People from all nations flock to Nepal in hordes to tackle the greatest challenge of their lives. But in light of the peak’s worldwide popularity and the endless line of foreign climbers Everest attracts, it’s easy to forget the community that calls it home.The Sherpas, natives of Nepal and the Himalayan region, live in the literal shadow of Mount Everest. Without them, most of those famous expeditions wouldn’t have made it past base camp. Sherpas bear the loads of the expeditions and take many of the risks.Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 12.47.33 PMSo Tashi Sherpa, the founder of Sherpa Adventure Gear, asks an important question: where is their recognition, their support? Sherpa names usually don’t make it onto the news or into the trip reports, and they rarely get fair compensation. Sherpa Adventure Gear aims to rewrite that story.Tashi created Sherpa Adventure Gear in honor of his uncle, who was one of the original Sherpa climbers to accompany Hilary and Norgay. The products that Tashi makes, including jackets, pants, hats and lifestyle clothing, first go to the Sherpas themselves, the best gear testers out there. Tashi also hires the Sherpas (at good pay and working conditions, no less) as the heart of his company and donates a portion of each sale to a special fund for Sherpa education.This short video on Sherpa Adventure Gear applauds the inspirational Sherpa people and makes a great introduction to Tashi’s revitalizing efforts.last_img read more

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15 Alabama State Parks are on the Chopping Block

first_imgTalladega Scenic Byway courtesy of Chris HartmanA recent budget crisis in Alabama could force as many as 15 state parks to close their gates to the public.According to Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein, quoted in an article posted to WHNT News 19, those parks include Bladon Springs, Chickasaw, Bucks Pocket, Paul Grist, Florala, Blue Springs, Roland Cooper, Rickwood Caverns, Cheaha Park, Lake Lurleen, DeSoto, Lakepoint, Guntersville, Joe Wheeler, and Frank Jackson.If the plan goes through, not only would the parks turn away potential visitors, but they would lose critical funding earmarked for upkeep and maintenance.One of the parks on the chopping block—Cheaha Park—is home to the state’s tallest mountain, while Guntersville and Joe Wheeler are considered two of Alabama’s most treasured natural areas. The closures could also effect portions of Alabama’s famous Pinhoti National Recreation Trail.Lein told WHNT that the parks in question have reported subpar profits over the last three years while the 7 parks that would remain open under new budget cuts have been more financially stable.For more in depth information about this developing situation and what you can do to help support Alabama’s state park visit Alabama State Parks Partners on Facebook page.To learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities in Alabama click here.last_img read more

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Shorts: Blue Ridge Briefs

first_imgBlue Ridge IS TOP NATIONAL PRIORITY FOR ConservationA recent study by the National Academy of Sciences identified the nine most important areas of conservation based on their proportional concentration of endemic species. The Blue Ridge Mountains, which include the Cherokee, Nantahala, Pisgah, and Jefferson National Forests, topped the list, while the three-state-meeting area of Tennessee, Alabama, and north Georgia watersheds came in at number 4.“Most funding goes to preserve iconic landscapes out West, but there is far more biodiversity and richness in ecosystems here,” said Brent Martin, Southern Appalachian director of The Wilderness Society.Collegiate Mountain Biker Suspended for Doping / Banner Elk, N.C.A cyclist for Lees-McRae College in the North Carolina High Country received a 12-month suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in May. Mountain biker Carter Luck voluntarily disclosed information that led to him being sanctioned for use of human growth hormone and testosterone. Luck raced throughout the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference’s full season last fall and won a championship in the dual slalom event. He also placed 31st at cross-country nationals. All of his competitive results since August 5, 2013 have been disqualified. In a statement issued by Lees-McRae, Luck said: “I am ashamed of my actions and will forever regret my poor choice. It is important to note that Lees-McRae College had absolutely no knowledge of my doping.”The Bionic Woman on the A.T.Niki Rellon has always been an adventurer—a triathlete, ski instructor, and former Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker. But in 2013 she was severely injured after a rappelling accident. She broke her spine and pelvis and so badly damaged her entire left foot that it required amputation.Rellon has been determined not to allow the loss of her leg to slow her down. Diligent with rehab, she’s now attempting an Appalachian Trail thru-hike, currently heading north with the trail name “The Bionic Woman.” Rellon admits that she’s frequently in pain and frustrated that some days she only covers around seven miles, but she’s optimistic she’ll reach Katahdin by October.Emu on the Interstate / Atlanta, Ga.Metro Atlanta traffic can be a real bummer. This spring some drivers on I-20 west of the city were in a typical jam but surprised when they saw the cause—a big bird running across the highway lanes. While initially mistaken for an ostrich, it was actually an emu that ended up causing the traffic jam. The Australian native bird escaped the home of a private owner and wandered to the interstate. It eventually returned home unharmed.BASE Jumper Dies After Lighting Parachute / Twin Falls, IdahoA couple of tragic BASE jumping accidents made headlines in May. The outdoor community was rocked by the death of adventure legend Dean Potter in Yosemite National Park, but a stranger event took place in Idaho. On May 7, 73-year-old James E. Hickey and a partner jumped off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls. As Hickey started to fall 500 feet towards the Snake River below, video footage shows him becoming engulfed in flames before plunging into the water. Hickey set his parachute on fire as part of a stunt with the intention of dropping it and deploying a second chute. Apparently Hickey had previously completed the stunt while skydiving, but unfortunately this attempt had a different outcome.Running Doc Saves Second Life During Race / Philadelphia, Pa.Dr. Paul Shore was at the right place at the right time, again. On May 3, Shore was running the 10-mile Broad Street Run in Philadelphia when the pediatrician noticed a group of runners yelling for help and trying to assist another racer who had collapsed around mile three. A man stopped breathing and started to turn blue, so Shore, with the help of another bystander, administered CPR. Fortunately, the man started breathing again and was then taken into the care of arriving EMTs.This wasn’t the first time Shore had helped a fallen runner. He also assisted someone who collapsed on the course of the Philadelphia Marathon in 2013.Shore went on to finish the Broad Street Run in 1:44:42, about 20 minutes slower than the previous year, but his noble effort was obviously worth the extra time on the course.last_img read more

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Backcountry Cuisine: A Minimalist, Car Camping Homestyle Dinner

first_imgIt’s hard to beat a delicious meal prepared over a glowing campfire after a full day of adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.I’m not talking about hot dogs on a stick or a can of pop-top baked beans; but a wholesome, flavorful, well-spiced meal that helps make all things right in the world when it’s been cooked over a hand-built fire.All of my best memories somehow involve eating outside, where food simply tastes better when kissed by the sun, under the peaceful glow of a starry sky, or eaten beside a softly crackling camp fire. During a meal, I’ve many times been lost without thought, my eyes closed, seeming as though I’m alone in that moment but with more taste buds than before. There’s a special appreciation for all those flavors that can now somehow be detected when we slow down long enough to find them. And of course that appreciation only elevates when there’s the obvious hunger pains, a sun quickly setting, and a stubborn camp fire to be maintained. Earning that warm meal after a long day trekking the green tunnels in the Blue Ridge is the only way to call it a good day. As a nutritionist, I regularly ‘prescribe’ cooking and eating in the great outdoors.  I love marrying the outdoors with fresh, minimally processed real food. But I also like to keep it simple so I can spend more time playing outside and less time cooking. I think of car camping as that fine and fun balance of packing just enough so it’s an enjoyable experience for all, while not pampering ourselves too much or hating all the work that goes into cooking outdoors so much that we only go once a year. Camping only once a year would be a sad, sad story.For those that don’t want to haul the kitchen sink outdoors, here’s a minimal, trusty hobo pack recipe template. It’s simple. It makes everyone happy, including vegetarians, meat eaters, and gluten-avoiders. It’s a lazy method if you will, and you really can’t screw it up.Fire-roasted, Spiced Sweet Potato + Black Bean Hobo Packs w/ Lamb Sweet potatoes, pre-chopped into rustic cubes (skin on)Black beans, canned, no need to drain or rinseFresh spinachGarlic cloves, peeled and smashedSpice blend of choice such a Mexican, adobo, Caribbean seasoning, plus sea saltHigh heat, refined oil such as safflower, sunflower, or grapeseed (*Do not use low heat, delicate oils like olive oil for this.)Grass-fed ground lamb, beef, or sausage (optional)Supplies needed:A camp fire, burned down to smoldering, glowing embersHeavy duty aluminum foilTongsCan openerA knifeSpoons and forksBowls or plates for servingDirections:Build a fire and let it burn down to smoldering embers, 45-60 minutesWhile that’s happening, lay out all ingredients on a picnic table, assembly-line style.Give each camper 2 12-14” pieces of aluminum foil to create a double-layered pack.Add potatoes, beans, spinach, garlic, and spices first and to your heart’s content. Drizzle a little oil and use a utensil to mix it together. If you like your spinach gently wilted, you can opt to toss it in right before serving and let the steam wilt it.If adding meat, scoot the vegetable blend over and add the meat on the bottom that will be closest to the fire, if you like it a little charred. Use a utensil to pile the vegetables on top of the meat. Fold the pack in half lengthwise and create two folds to seal the packet. Twist the ends so you finish with a boat shape. Do not overstuff it!Place packets directly on the embers for 20-30 minutes, turning half way in. Cook time depends on the amount of vegetables and how hot your embers are, so pull it out and carefully give it a check at 20 minutes to decide how much more time it needs. Allow the packets to rest for 5 minutes before serving and be ready for a puff of steam when opening. Enjoy!For extra protein and bulk, you can pre-cook brown rice or quinoa at home and have it packed and ready to add to the packets before serving.Recipe by Shelly Rose of Pure Roots Nutrition.last_img read more

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Best Kids’ Gear: Trail-Tested Favorites

first_imgIf you add them all together, the Blue Ridge Outdoors staff has approximately 158 children, ranging in age from new newborns with that new baby smell to college kids who won’t talk to us anymore. So, we know a thing or two about outdoor gear for kids. Most of us have spent countless hours in the backcountry, micro-adjusting baby backpacks or applying Band-Aids to blistered feet because of ill-fitting boots. Here, some of the parents at the magazine talk about the best pieces of kid’s gear in their quiver.BOB Revolution Stroller | $460The BOB enabled my kids to experience the wild woods at an early age. The rugged tread and wheels handled even the rockiest adventures. The pouch beneath the seat carried water bottles and snacks—along with rocks, pine cones, and other kid souvenirs from our adventures. The BOB was equally useful in town, enabling me to run while pushing the stroller on pot-holed roads strewn with broken glass. The ride was so butter-smooth that my kids usually fell asleep. Hand-activated drum brakes always provided safe, reliable control. The BOB Revolution is a durable, dependable stroller that has withstood a decade of heavy outdoor use. —Will Harlan, Editor in ChiefMinishades Polarized Sunglasses | $20Nothing can ruin a fun family outing like grumpy kids complaining about the sun in their eyes. These kids’ sunglasses are cute, colorful, safe, and are polarized with 100% UV protection. These are the only pair of sunglasses that my friend’s son Porter will wear. They are so strong and flexible that he can’t break them, and they are so lightweight that he doesn’t mind wearing them. I feel good about protecting his eyes, especially at the beach and lake where the sun is powerful and reflecting off the water.  —Martha Evans, Senior Account ExecutiveENO Indio Daypack | $50My son (8) loves his ENO Indio daypack. He carries it with him just about everywhere. It’s great for hikes and kid essentials when out in the woods (such as elaborate LEGO contraptions and NERF guns). The outer bungee straps make stashing a jacket easy and accessible. He also uses it as a school backpack, because internal dividers provide enough organization, so it can pull double duty, which is important for any piece of kid’s gear.  —Dusty Allison, Digital PublisherDeuter Kid Comfort 3 | $300When we had our third little one I decided it was finally time to invest in a decent kid carrier. Previously I was using a cheap model found on Craigslist and my back was screaming at the end of every hike. While bulkier than other kid packs, the Kid Comfort 3 has a burly hip belt that actually keeps my chunky toddler in place while I’m trying to sidestep roots and rocks. It also has a padded backrest, which seems to keep my daughter happier for longer stretches. In this case, minimalism be damned. —Jedd Ferris, Senior EditorKeen Chandler CNX | $65We’ve outfitted our kids with nothing but Keens since they were old enough to walk. We buy a pair new for the oldest kid and they last forever, so we can hand them down to the younger siblings. My oldest (4) is wearing the Chandler CNX right now. They look burly, but they’re actually light and comfy enough for everyday use. They have a great sole, so they handle trails just fine too. I also like the drawstring system instead of laces, which saves a lot of time. Bonus: they’re also machine-washable. —Nick Noe, Sales ExecutiveBlack Diamond Wiz Kid Harness | $35Given half the chance, most kids will get into rock climbing. Luckily, there’s great kid’s climbing gear out there. Black Diamond takes the best features from their adult harnesses and shrinks them for kids. This thing is feather-light and incredibly comfortable…my kids will spend hours in it and never complain, which is a bit of a miracle. It’s also super adjustable so you can hang onto it as your kid grows. For shoes, we go with La Sportiva Stickit ($48), which offers great purchase on the rock, but are adjustable so they can grow with the kid as he/she moves from one size to the next. So you’ll get two years out of each pair, instead of just one. –Graham Averill, Gear Editorlast_img read more

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Trail Mix – April 2018

first_img 3:37 Hot Mess Jackson Emmer All Their Many Miles The Super Saturated Sugar Strings 2:26 3:52 That’s My Story Ned Hill 3:16 3:16 3:57 3:56 Welcome to Your Life You’re a Star Joyner Between the Saddle & the Ground Leon III Call It Home The California Honeydrops Thinking ‘Bout a Friend Hi Lo Ha 3:46 Elder Green Tom Rush Embed Far From Home Western Centuries Love And Whiskey Helen Rose Lil’ Girls Name Charley Crockett Dixie Avenue Old Crow Medicine Show On My Way Arkansas Dave 5:04 4:26 Just Don’t Make ’em Wood & Wire Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 2:40 3:38 4:15 4:41 Acid Mountain Moon Hooch The Voice Lindsay Lou 3:41 2:01 4:12 My house is just a few ridge lines removed from the grave of one of bluegrass music’s iconic forefathers.Carter Stanley, one half of The Stanley Brothers, was laid to rest high on a mountain top along Smith Ridge, in Dickenson County, in 1966. A young Peter Rowan, then a member of Bill Monre’s band and now a bluegrass icon in his own rite, met Stanley just before he died, and the event left an indelible mark on the fledgling picker.This month, Rowan releases Carter Stanley’s Eyes, a testament to the impact The Stanley brothers and other Americana icons had on his life. This new collection of tunes features some original Rowan work along with his take on songs written by The Stanley Brothers, The Carter Family, Lead Belly, and more. Featured this month on Trail Mix is “The Light In Carter Stanley’s Eyes,” Rowan’s retelling of that fateful meeting in the mountains of Southwest Virginia.Another iconic band with roots in Virginia turns up in this month’s mix. Old Crow Medicine Show is back with a brand new record this month. These old time rounders celebrate twenty years of rollicking Americana with the Dave Cobb produced Volunteer. Take a listen to “Dixie Avenue” right here!The mix also welcomes back some old friends this month, with brand new songs from Jesse Terry, Moon Hooch, Lindsay Lou, and Instant Empire featured.Be sure to check out the new cuts from Wood & Wire, Arkansas Dave, Joyner, Hi Lo Ha, Jackson Emmer, Super Saturated Sugar Strings, Leon III, Ned Hill, Helen Rose, and Tom Rush.Lots of great stuff set for the Trail Mix blog this month, too. Look forward to chats with Hayley Sabella, The California Honeydrops, and Charley Crockett. Dig in to their new tunes, along with all the other great tracks on this month’s mix, and get out there and share the gospel about these artists. Give them a little love. Buy a couple records. Support the fine folks who help make Trail Mix stellar each and every month. 3:14 Broken Arrow Instant Empire Turn Around Hayley Sabella Audio PlayerThe Super Saturated Sugar StringsAll Their Many MilesUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 3:41 The Light In Carter Stanley’s Eyes Peter Rowan Runaway Town Featuring Cary Ann Hearst Jesse Terry 2:17 4:08 last_img read more

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