BURLINGTON, Vt.–Champlain College announced it has hired two new deans as part of a restructuring of the Colleges academic divisions. Dr. Jeffrey Rutenbeck of the University of Denver was named dean of the Communication and Creative Media Division and Dr. Wayne H. J. Cunningham of Iona College was appointed dean of the Business Division. The new deans join the College in July, bringing with them a wealth of experience in their fields.Rutenbeck takes the helm of Champlains newly formed Communication and Creative Media Division, having most recently served as the director of Digital Media Studies at the University of Denver. Rutenbeck founded that innovative program, which integrates design, technical and critical approaches to digital media; it is one of the Universitys fastest growing programs.Rutenbecks professional background includes working for and consulting for Microsoft, as well as consulting for Time Warner, US Air Force Space Command and the Guangzhou Daily Press Group in China. He was the founding president of the International Digital Media and Arts Association and is now the chairman of the board.Jeff is a national leader in digital media and he has a long history of innovative program development, said Dr. Russell Willis, Champlains provost and chief academic officer. Hes an award-winning teacher who was highly respected at the University of Denver.Rutenbeck received his doctorate in communication from the University of Washington. He earned a bachelors degree at Colorado College and a masters in journalism at University of Missouri-Columbia.Cunningham becomes the dean of the restructured Business Division. He most recently served as dean of the Hagan School of Business at Iona College in New York. Before Iona, he was director of the MBA Program and the interim dean of Dexter Hanley College for adult and non-traditional students at the University of Scranton.At the Hagan School, Cunningham developed a new vision for the school and moved forward the accreditation process. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in establishing business programs, speaker series, internships and advising programs. He has taught business, management, and operations management and statistics at Iona College, University of Scranton, Bucknell University, University of North Florida and The Pennsylvania State University. He also taught a special MBA course at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.Wayne brings both administrative experience at the dean level and an entrepreneurial spirit to the new business division, Willis said. His expertise in accreditation and assessment will serve the College and the division very well.Cunningham received his doctorate in business administration at The Pennsylvania State University, as well as his MBA and bachelors degree.In May, Champlain College restructured and renamed its four academic divisions to increase their academic and administrative effectiveness. Our restructuring allows us to link programs more easily for faculty collaboration, marketing and alliances with the business community, Willis said.The new divisions were three years in the making. They are:· the Communication & Creative Media Division· the Business Division· the Information Technology & Sciences Division· the Education & Human Studies DivisionThe new division deans will serve as strategic academic leaders with a special focus on faculty and program quality, tuition revenue and fundraising for their programs. They will oversee new program development, including additional graduate programs in their fields. The deans will establish strategic plans for their divisions that express the Colleges strategic plan, Willis said. They will be advocates for academic excellence.The new deans will also be faculty members who interact with students on a regular basis. Theyll be leaders with respect to our students, too, Willis said.The College will turn its attention to hiring two deans for the Information Technology & Sciences Division and the Education & Human Studies Division. They would start work in July 2007.Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private, baccalaureate institution that offers professionally focused programs balanced by a liberal arts foundation.# # #
While Vermontanticipates $4 million in returns this year on its 121,000 Medicaidbeneficiaries, Iowa expects $11 million and Maine nearly $5 millionon their collective lives. Governor Douglas noted, “This represents andextraordinary accomplishment for our states of which we can be veryproud.” Jason GibbsGovernor’sCommunications Director109 State Street ¨ The Pavilion ¨ Montpelier,VT 05609-0101 ¨ www.vermont.gov/governor(link is external)Telephone: 802.828.3333 ¨ Fax: 802.828.3339 ¨ TDD: 802.828.3345 ### Governor Douglas stated, “Medicaid drug costshave grown dramatically in recent years. States have control over what we coverunder Medicaid and how much we pay for it. Medicaid programs have beeninnovative in creating cost-saving strategies like Preferred Drug Lists andappropriate drug utilization programs. The preservation of the benefit weprovide our citizens is a top priority; however, we must work to controlspending in order to ensure coverage. In the absence of federal initiatives, ithas been necessary for states to be creative in finding ways to contain costs. Thecreation of the SSDC is the next step in the ongoing effort to control theincreases in drug costs while maintaining a comprehensive drug benefit.” Two other Medicaid pools have been approved by CMS. These pools aremanaged by pharmacy benefit management companies contracted to select states. Oneof the unique components of the SSDC as a state administered pool is that anystate can participate regardless of how they administer their Medicaid pharmacybenefit, through state or contractual resources, and the SSDC will beencouraging other states to look at this model in the future. Anotherdistinction is that the SSDC process is completely transparent to its members. All participating states have access to the full terms and conditions of allbids by pharmaceutical manufacturers. States then collectively review the bidswhile independently deciding which are appropriate for each of our states. Atthe same, this arrangement can assure that 100 percent of negotiated rebatesare returned to the Medicaid program – a no contractor can profit bysharing in the rebates. Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas announced today thatVermont, Iowa and Maine have formed a first in the nation, state administeredprescription drug purchasing pool, that is expected to save Vermont approximately$4 million this year. On July 20, 2006 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approvedthe operation of the Sovereign States Drug Consortium (SSDC), collaborationbetween Vermont, Maineand Iowa. Program Expected to Save Vermont $4 Million This Year In a Medicaid drug rebate pool, states leverage their collectivecovered lives to negotiate for discounts in drug costs. Statesuse Preferred Drug Lists to promote clinically appropriate alternatives thatare the most cost effective in the individual states. Preferred products maybe generics, low cost brands, or higher cost brands where the drugmanufacturers provide a financial incentive to have their products preferred. The incentive is provided through a negotiated rebate from the drugmanufacturers based on actual utilization. The more states in a pool, the higherthe utilization, and, thus, the greater the rebate negotiated. GOVERNORDOUGLAS ANNOUNCES VERMONT TO FORM FIRST-EVER STATE ADMINISTEREDPRESCRIPTION DRUGPURCHASINGPOOL WITH MAINE AND IOWA
MONTPELIER, Vt. — A partnership of state and federal entities is teaming up to provide small businesses a unique opportunity to discover their true love: More customers.The Vermont Agency of Transportation and Department of Economic Development, the U.S. Small Business Administration; and the Vermont Small Business Development Center are presenting their fourth annual Strategies for Winning Government Contracts event on Feb. 1.The highlight of the day is the matchmaker sessions that allow Vermont businesses to introduce their firms and products in one-on-one, ten-minute appointments with various state and federal agencies as well as large companies who already contract with the government.We like to call it, speed dating for businesses, said Greg Maguire, who runs the Vermont Procurement Technical Assistance Center, formerly the Government Marketing Assistance Center, at the Vermont Department of Economic Development.Being a small or mid-sized business looking for new customers is a lot like trying to find romance: Its all a matter of opportunity and time, Maguire said. This event gives businesses the opportunity to make lots of contacts with potential customers in a very short period of time.Businesses can meet with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; General Services Administration and Postal Service; the University of Vermont; Vermont National Guard; Agency of Transportation and Departments of Information and Innovation, Buildings and General Services, and Environmental Conservation.Its not only a chance to get contracts with government agencies, but with private enterprises, said Lenae Quillen-Blume, State Director of the Vermont Small Business Development Center, a program of U.S. Small Business Administration. Companies like Fletcher Allen Health Care, Husky Injection Molding, General Dynamics, Goodrich Aerospace, and Dubois & King engineering.Participants can also get hands-on help and practical advice on getting government contracts from experts like Maguire; the Small Business Administration; and the Vermont Global Trade Partnership.This event is really an example of one of Gov. Douglas core economic development strategies: Working with partners like the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center and the SBA to strengthen and grow Vermonts existing businesses, said Mike Quinn, Vermont Commissioner of Economic Development.Vermont is a small state, but many businesses still have trouble navigating how to do business with their state and federal government agencies, said Senator Patrick Leahy, whose office helped coordinate the event. Small businesses and government procurement officials have a great opportunity in this event to meet one another face to face and make connections that could help their businesses grow while helping these agencies line up good, reliable suppliers.The $35 fee also includes breakfast and lunch, with a keynote lunch address from Melissa Dever, Vice President of engineering for Competitive Computing and an enterprise systems architect with over 25 years of applications engineering experience. Governor Jim Douglas will be on hand to deliver opening remarks.The Fourth Annual Strategies for Winning Government Contracts event takes place on Thursday, February 1st, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Conference Center in Burlington.For more information, visit: www.vtsbdc.org(link is external) or call Colleen Montague at the Vermont Agency of Transportation, (802) 828-2715.-30-
State Audit Says Railroad Contracts at Vermont Agency of Transportation Could Be Managed BetterAgency did not competitively bid $7.2 million in construction work; did not charge interest on late lease payments; and did not collect salvage proceeds properly, among audit findingsMONTPELIER (December 5, 2008) – The Office of Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon, CPA, reported today that oversight of railroad construction contracts in the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) is inadequate and is costing the State money.”One conclusion of the audit is that the Rail Division is not ensuring that the required competitive bidding in these contracts is taking place,” said Deputy State Auditor George Thabault. “Contracts are being ‘sole-sourced’ and this denies other companies the opportunity to compete for State contracts, and may be keeping the State from getting the best price for goods and services.”The rail audit was conducted following a request made by VTrans that the State Auditor investigate the deficiencies of its rail section and suggest improvements.”We recognized that we had some issues within our Rail Division that needed correcting, and requested the Auditor’s assistance,” said VTrans Secretary David Dill. “On our own, we were unable to clearly identify our weaknesses in a way that both we and the railroads could understand. Our goal is to use the findings of this report as a catalyst to forge a new and better relationship with the companies that run our rail systems.”The audit report noted four key findings:1. VTrans and its railroad subcontractors did not follow procurement regulations designed to foster open, competitive bidding, resulting in $7.2 million of recent contracts with Vermont Railway and one of its affiliates not being competitively bid. The largest no-bid contract – for $4,677,727 – was also issued without the required approval of the Secretary of the Agency of Administration.2. Oversight and administration of rail contracts need improvement. For example, auditors found that $82,401 from rail project salvage proceeds was being held by Vermont Railway to offset against future invoices rather than being returned to the State as required by contract. (The Agency has since discontinued the practice of allowing the netting of salvage credits and has adopted new procedures to promptly receive and account for salvage payments.)3. Lease revenues and agreed-to performance requirements of leaseholders are not being verified, and VTrans has forgone $37,000 in interest stemming from late payments of monthly leases for State-owned track.4. The Agency did not adequately follow up on past audits which reported $436,000 of questioned costs related to contracts with Vermont Railway.For the project, auditors selected four contracts totaling $7.2 million dollars, approximately 44 percent of the total active rail construction and railway upgrade contracts during fiscal years 2007 and 2008. All contracts were between VTrans and Vermont Railway and Green Mountain Railroad, two companies of the Vermont Rail System (VRS), a privately held, affiliated group of short-line rail transportation companies that operates in Vermont.Auditors recommended that AOT strengthen and clarify the language within its rail agreements, improve the oversight of contracts, enforce penalties for violations of the terms and conditions of its contracts and lease agreements, and provide for better fiscal management of its contractors and service providers.In its response to the report, the Agency of Transportation generally agreed with the report’s recommendations and pledged to provide the State Auditor with quarterly status reports on corrective actions.”VTrans already has put in place new business practices that correct some of the Auditor’s concerns, and we certainly will make additional changes to rectify the remaining deficiencies,” Dill said. “VTrans recently hired a new Rail Program Manager, and one of his top priorities is to improve our rail business operations.”Background:The oversight of the railway network in Vermont is the responsibility of the Vermont Agency of Transportation Rail Program. Vermont’s rail system consists of approximately 748 miles of track or rail right-of-way. The State owns approximately 427 miles, of which 305 miles are currently active. Ten railroad companies operate or have the rights to operate on the rail lines in Vermont.For Fiscal Year 2009, the AOT total budget is $412.2 million. The Rail Section is allocated $16.8 million of this budget. The Rail Section currently has eight staff positions of a total of approximately 1,050 positions in the Agency. The complete audit report is available at www.auditor.vermont.gov(link is external). Click on “Audits & Reports” and then “Special Audits” to access the new audit report.
Republican Kurt Wright will announce his run for Burlington mayor this Thursday, December 11th in Contois Auditorum at Burlington City Hall beginning at 5:45pm.Kurt Wright has served for eight years in the Vermont House of Representatives, and was just re-elected to a fifth term. In 2007 Burlington voters made Kurt, a four term city councilman, the first Republican president of the Burlington City Council in 20 years. We look forward to helping Kurt achieve a similar feat in this, his latest race!
Saint Michael’s College,Principal Investigator, Professor Ellis-Monaghan of Grand Isle, and co-principal investigator Dr. Greta Pangborn, SMC assistant professor of computer science, of Winooski, have been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation grant of $200,000 for the period from September 1, 2010 through August 31, 2013.‘With this support, we’ll be able to explore math questions that have never been raised before,’ said Dr. Joanna Ellis-Monaghan, Saint Michael’s College associate professor of mathematics, ‘and those are the interesting questions.’‘This NSF grant allows us to continue the collaborative work between math and computer science of designing nanoconstructs, with student assistants, that has the potential for wide practical application,’ Dr. Ellis-Monaghan said.The professors, who have been collaborating for several years now, will involve four, funded, research assistants, who are Saint Michael’s students: Mary Spuches, a junior math major from North Syracuse, N.Y., Thomas Dickerson, a sophomore computer science major from Bristol, Vt., Christopher Lessard, a sophomore mathematics major from Stoneham, Mass., and Kelsey King, a sophomore mathematics and education double major from Lyndonville, Vt. These, and other students, will work on the project over the course of the three-year project.Awarding of this grant was enhanced by the strong track record these professors and others at Saint Michael’s have in propelling their students into post-graduate studies. Professors Ellis-Monaghan and Pangborn have co-authored a number of journal articles with students, and they have now or have had former students pursuing advanced math- and CS-related degrees at RPI, UNH, Colorado State, UVM, Notre Dame, NC State, Dartmouth, WPI, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago and elsewhere.The NSF funded project titled, ‘Collaborative Research: New Graph Theory from and for Nanoconstruct Design Strategies,’ focuses on using mathematics and computers to design nanoconstructs to carry out practical jobs in the future. These could be applied to such tasks as directing medicines within the body to precisely the right location for effective drug delivery, or any number of other challenges in chemistry, biology and other areas.Nano (tiny) technology has great promise for biosensors, nanoelectronics (inside high tech equipment), biomolecular computer activity, as well as drug delivery.DNA self-assembly of nanostructures‘Recent research has focused on DNA self-assembly of nanoscale geometric constructs,’Professor Ellis-Monaghan said, because DNA replicates itself. Working with biologists, the mathematicians and computer scientists have developed a variety of three-D structures from self-assembling DNA, including cubes, octahedrals, buckyballs, and even tiny boxes with opening lids.One essential element in the process is designing the molecules needed for the nanostructure, the fewer needed the better the design. The NSF grant specifically supports the professors and their students in developing the tools needed to minimize the number of molecules to be created for a given nanoconstruct. Professor Ellis-Monaghan says the potential for putting these constructs to practical use are boundless. In the meantime, she and Professor Pangborn and their student assistants will forge ahead in developing the necessary tools.Source: Saint Michael’s College. 9.8.2010Photo: Saint Michael’s College Professors Joanna Ellis-Monaghan and Greta Pangborn. Photo credit: Andy Duback Learn What Matters at Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, www.smcvt.edu(link is external) . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. It is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 371 Colleges, and is included in the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Saint Michael’s is one of only 280 colleges and universities nationwide, one of only 20 Catholic colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 100 international students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings.-30-
‘We encourage employees to take personal responsibility for their health ‘ eat lean, exercise regularly, practice safe work habits ‘ and we try to offer fun, creative programs to support their efforts,’ says Jeff Somple, president of Mack’s Northern Operations.‘At the end of the day, we are all health care consumers. So it is in everyone’s best interest to make healthy lifestyle choices that will lead to more productive lives and lower health care costs.’ About Mack MoldingMack Molding is a leading custom plastics molder and supplier of contract manufacturing services. Mack specializes in plastics design, prototyping, molding, sheet metal fabrication, machining, and medical device manufacturing. Founded in 1920, Mack is a privately owned business that operates 10 facilities throughout the world. Don Kendall is president and CEO. For more information, go towww.mack.com(link is external). Mack Group,Governor Peter Shumlin presented Mack Molding with a Gold award for workplace wellness last week at the state’s annual conference hosted by The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. Health Services Manager Kathy Hall, RN, received the award on behalf of the company. Mack was recognized for recent lifestyle initiatives that were inspired by the company’s overarching wellness theme ‘ take personal responsibility for your health. The award-winning programs included the:· Mack Community Garden — planted and harvested by employees, the 15 gardens were also supported by a local nursery with planting tips and discounted seedlings, and Mack with cedar beds, gardening tools, and easy water access. To further enhance the area, Mack added a volleyball court, a driving range for golfers, picnic tables and barbecue grills;· Eat Right, Stay Fit ‘ geared to help participants make enduring lifestyle changes, the 12-week program encouraged healthy eating habits that resulted in a combined weight loss of over 400 pounds among 50 employees;· Promoting Health & Wellness ‘ designed to address employee health care issues, work-related or not, the company’s Health & Wellness program includes an on-site physician with weekly office hours. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Brian Timura is an occupational medicine specialist and primary care physician. Committed to promoting healthy behavior and disease prevention, Mack has long been an advocate for workplace wellness. The headquarters facility includes a fitness center for employees and families that includes squash and racquetball courts, strength and cardio equipment, and on-site aerobic and yoga classes. Mack also employs a full-time health services professional who develops and implements ongoing wellness initiatives. In fact, the company has been recognized by the state twice before for its wellness programs. # # # # # ARLINGTON, Vt. (April 5, 2011) ‘
The Vermont Working Landscape Partnership announces the release of Investing in our Farm and Forest Future. This nonpartisan Action Plan offers five recommendations to help reinvigorate the state’s rural economy.· Build a major campaign to celebrate the distinctiveness of the working landscape that is Vermont.· Target strategic investment through a Vermont Agriculture and Forest Products Development Fund.· Designate and support ‘Working Lands.’· Develop tax revenue to support working landscape enterprise development and conservation.· Create a State Planning Office and activate the Development Cabinet. The Vermont Working Landscape Council developed this plan. Its sixteen members have deep expertise in issues pertaining to farm and forest enterprises and rural development in Vermont. Its report also identifies challenges and opportunities for the working landscape, trends for the future, and goals for the proposed policy changes.‘We have an historic opportunity for a Natural Resource Renaissance that will keep Vermont’s land working for all of us for many generations,’ explains VWL Council Chair and Former Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee. ‘But we must all support the significant investment it will take to rejuvenate our land-based businesses.’The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) launched this broad-based partnership as a way to focus efforts to keep our farm and forest economy healthy and prosperous. The report is available online at www.vtrural.org(link is external) or by contacting VCRD at 802-223-6091 or by email at email@example.com(link sends e-mail).‘We know how much Vermonters value and benefit from the Working Landscape,’ says VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello. ‘Implementing these recommendations is our best strategy for ensuring the future of our greatest asset.’This focus on the Working Landscape stems from the extensive work by the Council on the Future of Vermont. In interviews and surveys with thousands of Vermonters, the state’s working landscape emerged as a top priority.The Partnership formed following a packed State House summit in December of 2010. There are currently almost 500 individual and 170 organizational members from all parts of the state and the numbers continue to increase. To learn more visit www.vtrural.org(link is external) .Use this link if you prefer to go directly to the .pdf of the report.http://vtrural.org/sites/default/files/library/files/working%20landscape…(link is external)
India ‘Doesn’t Want Foreign Coal’ FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Tim Loh for Bloomberg News:India has some bad news for the world’s struggling miners: it doesn’t want foreign coal.“I’m trying to find new reserves so I can remove my dependence on imports,” the country’s coal and power minister Piyush Goyal said in an interview Friday at Bloomberg’s headquarters in New York. Asked when India might stop importing the power-plant fuel altogether, Goyal said “I wish it was yesterday. Maybe two or three years.”In recent years, India’s been considered a possible savior for beleaguered coal miners including Peabody Energy Corp. that have suffered amid slowing Chinese demand and plummeting commodity prices. But it may be no white knight. In 2015, it increased its own production of the power-plant fuel and slashed imports in “a big way,” according to Andrew Cosgrove, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst.That trend will probably accelerate in coming years as India seeks to increase its annual electricity production fourfold by 2030, to as much as 4.5 trillion kilowatt-hours from 1.1 trillion kilowatt-hours at present, Goyal said. State-owned Coal India Ltd., the world’s biggest coal producer, plans to increase annual production to about 1 billion tons in the next four years, while India’s overall domestic coal output could climb to 1.5 billion tons, he said.The company, which produces more than 80 percent of India’s coal, reported record production and dispatches during the year ended March 31, after faster land purchases and government approvals led to the opening of new mines.India is developing new shipping routes and adding railroad capacity to transport domestic coal from mining areas to coastal power plants in hopes of further reducing its reliance on foreign coal.“At the end of the day, I may only be left with imports to the extent where certain plants are designed for imported coal,” Goyal said. “Until the time I can either retrofit or replace those plants.”India’s Energy Minister Wants to Cut Coal Imports to Nothing
Commentary: IEEFA Versus the IEA FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Independent Australia:The same claims of bad forecasts are also occasionally made about the Institute for Energy Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) — an independent group of highly experienced analysts, who argue that the coal industry is in structural decline. One way of resolving this tension is to assume that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But, of course, a far better way is to check their past predictions against observed reality and, by this measure, IEEFA is consistently very close and the IEA is somewhere out in the outer rings of Saturn.In a world that has come to depend so strongly on energy, bad forecasts carry disastrous consequences for financial markets, international relations, war and peace, employment, social planning and, of course, climate change.Which begs the question: why is the IEA so far off the mark? The answer might lie in their Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB), which was set up by the IEA to inform the agency about the future of the coal industry. However, rather than being made up of experts, like analysts, economists and futurists, the Coal Industry Advisory Board is made up exclusively of CEOs and very senior managers for companies that trade in coal, sometimes exclusively.The Australian coal industry has four representatives on the advisory board, of whom Greg Everett, the CEO of Sunset Power, who owns the Vales Point Power Station at Lake Macquarie, is one. Vales Point spits out about as much carbon as Jamaica.Peter Freyberg is the Head of Coal Assets at Glencore, which is the biggest thermal coal mining company in Australia. Glencore has been accused of violating Indigenous rights and poisoning rivers at the McArthur River Mine in the Northern Territory. Glencore also happens to be very good at avoiding corporate tax.James Palmer is the “Asset President, Coal” at BHP Billiton. Although BHP was the largest coal producer in Australia, BHP’s strategy is to get out of coal, making Palmer’s job very hard.The last representative is Jeyakumar Janakaraj, the CEO of an outfit you may have heard of — Adani. Adani, of course, wants to build a massive toxic coal mine in Queensland and ship it through the Great Barrier Reef, with a free water licensce in drought-stricken Queensland. Which begs the question: why does the guy who runs the company get to help write the most authoritative report in the world on the future of the coal industry? Nice work if you can get it.In defiance of the laws of thermodynamics, the information system driving decision-making around energy looks like a closed system, where the coal industry tells the IEA what it thinks demand for coal will look like in decades to come, the IEA tells decision-makers that coal will be around for decades, and the companies get to claim that the IEA supports their arguments. A generous way to look at it would be to assume that the industry’s subconscious biases are seeping into the World Energy Outlook. A more sinister view is that the industry is running a self-protection racket.You would think that Department Secretaries, the Planning and Assessment Commission and the Queensland Land Court would research who writes these reports and work out whether their claims stack up. Unfortunately, given our tendency to wrongly attach weight to opinions coming from perceived authorities, communities challenging coal, oil and gas projects have to argue why their claims are more justifiable than the World Energy Outlook.The reality is that, as IEEFA has repeatedly pointed out, coal is on the way out. The technology to power 100 per cent of the entire world with the power of the sun, the wind and the waves, is plummeting in cost and already exists today. What this means for coal-affected communities is that we deserve to be told the truth and to very quickly create a vision for the future of our communities. For financial institutions and companies related to fossil fuel companies, they need to develop a strategy to reduce their exposure to fossil fuels, starting immediately. Decision-makers need to take the WEO reports with a degree of caution. Governments at all levels need to significantly increase their ambition and action to get to a 1.5oC world. Citizens like us need to do what we do best and ramp up our efforts to force decision-makers to speed up the transition.Last year, dozens of companies and governments moved away from coal because of people-powered movements and campaigns. It is far from enough, but we are getting bigger and better at winning. It’s time to get vested interests out of energy analysis. Those who stand in the way of progress have been warned.More: The IEA’s World Energy Outlook and its coal bias