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22 мая, 16:17

"Роснефть" продолжит освоение шельфа Норвегии

НК "Роснефть" планирует продолжить участие в лицензировании новых поисковых блоков в Норвегии, а также рассматривает шельф Норвегии как высокоперспективный для своего участия в его освоении. Об этом говорится в годовом отчете компании. ПАО "НК "Роснефть", через свое дочернее предприятие RN Nordic Oil AS (далее "РННО"), участвует в лицензионных раундах на Норвежском шельфе Баренцева моря. По результатам 22-го лицензионного раунда РННО получила 20% в лицензии PL713 на шельфе Баренцева моря, состоящей из 4 смежных блоков. Оператором проекта назначен Statoil (40 %). Другие участники проекта - North Energy (20 %) и Edison International (20 %). В 2014 году была пробурена первая поисковая скважина на основной структуре участка. Скважиной открыто месторождение газа с запасами 7,8 млрд м3.

19 мая, 16:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Boeing, AbbVie, UnitedHealth, Consolidated Edison and Cisco

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Boeing, AbbVie, UnitedHealth, Consolidated Edison and Cisco

19 мая, 15:33

Consolidated Edison Q1 Results & Investment Plans Impress

Consolidated Edison's (ED) renewable energy production volumes improved a solid 34.4% during the first quarter of 2017, leading to an increase of $20 million in renewable revenues

18 мая, 21:37

The Beginning Of The End For U.S. Utilities?

Capital expenditure projections for the electricity industry in the U.S. were just released by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). The data show a utility industry with plans for continued healthy levels of spending. Interestingly, planned capex is even above projections made last year despite long term kilowatt hour sales trends that can best be described as flat-to-down. (See Figure 1 for projections.). Of this projected capital spending, roughly one third is expected to be devoted to new power generation, a quarter for electric distribution…

17 мая, 16:35

Is Edison International a Suitable Stock for Value Investors?

Let's focus on Edison International (EIX) stock into and find out if it is a good choice for value-oriented investors right now or not.

17 мая, 14:14

DTE Energy Targets Over 80% Cut in Carbon Emissions by 2050

Through this long-term initiative, DTE Energy (DTE) expects to see a 30% reduction in its carbon emissions by the early 2020s, 45% by 2030, 75% by 2040 and finally more than 80% by 2050.

16 мая, 15:02

DTE Energy's Cap-Ex Plans Impress Amid Regulatory Hurdles

DTE Energy's (DTE) share price gained 16.5% in the last one year, outperforming the Zacks categorized Utility-Electric power industry's 0.6% decline.

12 мая, 22:30

Компании, которые платят дивиденды уже более 100 лет

Вы наверно знакомы с аристократами – это компании которые входят в индекс sp500, и на протяжении последних 25 лет увеличивают свои выплаты по дивидендами. Но, в этот раз, я выбрал компании, которые выплачивали дивиденды не менее 100 лет. Они не каждый год увеличивали размеры дивидендов, но многие из них, как минимум, не уменьшали размер выплат. Большая часть этих компаний, имеет скромное происхождение, но со временем переросли в мультимиллиардные корпорации.  Давайте посмотрим на самые старые компании. Начнем с Exxon Mobil Corporation [XOM:NYSE] – нефтяной гигант, входит в десятку самых больших компаний американского фондового рынка, включен в индекс S&P500 и DJ30. Компания создана в 1870 году, как производная от Standard Oil Trust Джона Рокфеллера. Компания начала выплачивать дивиденды в 1882 году. За последний год, компания выплатила дивиденды в размере 3,66%. Следующая компания – это Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. [SWK:NYSE]. Компания была основана как производитель ручного инструмента еще в 1840 году. На данный момент, это компания с капитализацией более 21 млрд.$, и входит в индекс S&P500.  Компания начала выплачивать дивиденды в 1877 году. За последний год компания выплатила дивиденды в размере 1,67%. И самая старая компания – это The York Water Company [YORW:NASD], основанная в далеком 1816 году (более чем 200 лет тому назад). Она начала свой бизнес как небольшая компания по водоснабжению города Йорк и других прилегающих городов. Компания начала платить дивиденды c 1816 года. В прошлом году, размер дивидендов составил 1,88%. Мы рассмотрели три самые старые компании, но в общем, таких компаний есть около 15. Среди них есть такие гиганты, как Consolidated Edison, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive и другие известные компании.Еще по теме — "Деньги на алкоголе".

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12 мая, 00:00

Why Did Bethune-Cookman Invite DeVos in the 1st Place?

Barrett Pitner, Daily BeastAs Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke, the graduating class of Bethune-Cookman University turned their backs and booed her every word. At one point, university President Edison O. Jackson interrupted DeVos’ commencement address and implored those in attendance to quietly return to their seats, even threatening to mail home their diplomas (that is, end the ceremony) if they did not silence their voices. The booing continued, despite the threat from Jackson, and DeVos eventually finished her remarks.

11 мая, 03:31

Betsy DeVos Booed at Historically Black College

While delivering a commencement speech, the U.S. education secretary highlighted the importance of open dialogue.

10 мая, 20:33

Graduating seniors boo Betsy DeVos at commencement in Florida

Hundreds of graduating seniors of a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Fla., booed and turned their backs on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as she stood up to deliver a commencement speech today."Let's choose to hear each other out," DeVos said, straining to be heard above the crowd at Bethune-Cookman University. "We can choose to listen, be respectful and continue to learn from each other's experience." But most of the graduating seniors stood and turned their backs as the crowd applauded. University President, Edison O. Jackson took the podium and tried to quiet the crowd, threatening to end the graduation. "Your degrees will be mailed to you. Choose which way you want to go."It appeared as if faculty members at the podium with DeVos stood in support of her and many -- although not all of the students -- eventually took their seats. During the speech, DeVos emphasized the Trump administration’s support for historically black colleges and universities, citing its efforts to restore year-round Pell Grants as one example.“I am at the table fighting on your behalf, and on behalf of all students across this great nation,” she said. The university's invitation asking DeVos to speak at the graduation has snowballed into a major controversy for the administration as the NAACP in Florida called on Jackson to resign and teachers' unions have helped gather petition signatures in opposition.

10 мая, 20:14

Betsy DeVos Booed During Speech At Historically Black College

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was greeted by rounds of boos on Wednesday as students turned their backs to her during a graduation ceremony where she was the keynote speaker. DeVos was selected to speak at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, a historically black university, despite strong opposition by many students and community members to her presence.  “I am honored to become a Wildcat,” DeVos began her speech, after receiving an honorary doctorate, raising her voice as a chorus of boos attempted to drown her out.  #bethunecookmanuniversity graduates turn there backs as Besty De Vos speaks. Let's save our #HBCU #notmypresident #betsydevos is not for #ourchildrenmatter A post shared by Allie_Pinkliproject (@allie_pinkliproject) on May 10, 2017 at 10:14am PDT “If this behavior continues your degrees will be mailed to you,” Bethune-Cookman President Edison Jackson told the crowd as the boos continued. “Choose which way you want to go.” DeVos said she welcomed the opportunity to speak with students, including those who disagree with her. “I want to reaffirm this administration’s commitment to and support for HBCUs and the students they serve,” she said. “Please know this: we support you and we will continue to support you.” A large number of grads have their backs to DeVos now as she speaks. It's a little hard to hear her words. pic.twitter.com/yVXsqLVJQv— Molly Hensley-Clancy (@mollyhc) May 10, 2017 Students also shouted in opposition when Jackson acknowledged White House communications official Omarosa Manigault, who was sitting in the audience. “You don’t know her, and nor do you know her story,” Jackson admonished the crowd, sparking more boos.  DeVos’ speech ignited immediate controversy when it was announced earlier this month, and students criticized the school for selecting her after she downplayed the role of racism in the creation of historically black colleges and universities. Protesters on Tuesday delivered petitions to the school’s leaders, calling on them to cancel DeVos’ speech due to her ignorance of HBCUs and lack of support for student loan borrowers. Organizers said they had collected 50,000 signatures. DeVos praised HBCUs as “real pioneers when it comes to school choice” after meeting with school leaders in February. “They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution,” she said in a statement. The comment sparked immediate backlash for “whitewashing” the history of the institutions, formed in response to systemic discrimination that denied black students access to existing schools. DeVos later said that HBCUs were born “out of necessity, in the face of racism.” On Sunday, she issued a statement saying she was looking forward to the commencement, while reiterating her “support for HBCUs.” “For someone to come and speak at my commencement that cannot relate to me or know what I have been through is kind of like a slap in the face,” graduating student Jasmine Johnson told the Washington Post. The anti-DeVos petition described her invitation as an “insult” to the legacy of school founder and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune, and the NAACP Florida State Conference called on Jackson to resign. Bethune-Cookman explained their selection by comparing DeVos to Bethune. “Her mission to empower parents and students resonates with the history and legacy of Dr. Bethune,” the school said when annoumcing her speech. During her speech, DeVos called Bethune a “visionary leader” and urged graduates to follow her example and dedicate themselves to service. Jackson expanded on the decision to bring DeVos to campus in a letter to the community following the initial outcry. “I am of the belief that it does not benefit our students to suppress voices that we disagree with, or to limit students to only those perspectives that are broadly sanctioned by a specific community,” Jackson wrote. “If our students are robbed of the opportunity to experience and interact with views that may be different from their own, then they will be tremendously less equipped for the demands of democratic citizenship.” During her speech, DeVos repeatedly pressed students to listen to those with different perspectives:  Spend just a few minutes watching your favorite cable news channel, and you’ll experience the startling polarization happening across the United States. On social media, groups and individuals pit themselves, one against another, not to discuss the merits of deeply help beliefs, but to see who can yell the loudest, score the quickest political points or best silence the other’s voice. The natural instinct is to join in the chorus of conflict, to make your voice louder, your point bigger and your position stronger. But we will not solve the significant and real problems our country faces if we cannot bring ourselves to embrace a mindset of grace. We must first listen and then speak with humility to genuinely hear the perspectives of those with whom we don’t immediately or instinctively agree. President Donald Trump also met with HBCU presidents in February to promote an executive order affirming the White House’s support for the schools. Some also criticized that meeting as merely a photo op, and his plans for HBCUs came under further scrutiny last week when he suggested that a construction financing program for the schools might be unconstitutional. In a followup statement, Trump said he has “unwavering support for HBCUs and their critical educational missions.” Devos, a billionaire Republican donor and education activist from Michigan, was picked to lead the Department of Education by Trump despite her lack of professional experience in public schools. She is a leading backer of the school choice movement, supporting charter schools and voucher programs. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58b98807e4b05cf0f3ffe7a8,58b59757e4b060480e0c00d2 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 мая, 19:05

50,000 Petitioners Say Betsy DeVos Has No Place At HBCU Commencement

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will deliver her first commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday, despite continued calls from alumni and students demanding the historically black college drop her from the program. B-CU community members expressed their outrage over her invitation to speak when the Daytona Beach, Florida, school first announced the news in early May, comparing DeVos to the school’s founder, civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Students noted that DeVos’ ahistorical description of HBCUs as an example of “school choice” in February was problematic and a reflection of her lack of understanding of black colleges and the issues they face. On Tuesday, protesters delivered more than 50,000 signatures ― collected through Change.org, Color of Change and Florida Education Association ― to the school’s leaders, pressuring them to rescind DeVos’ invitation, according to The Washington Post.  Alumnus Dominik Whitehead, who started a Change.org petition, told WaPo that though he doesn’t see anything wrong with DeVos going to speak on campus in general, she is the wrong person to give the commencement speech. “Do not use Bethune-Cookman as a photo op,” he said. “Come to the table with something that is going to actually do something in terms of policy, funding.” Whitehead’s petition points to DeVos’ lack of “understanding of the importance, contributions, and significance of HBCUs” and her weakening consumer protection for student loan borrowers as reasons why it would be an “insult” having her speak at graduation. Taylor Durrant, a graduating senior who signed the petition, told NewsOne that someone who “embodies the characteristics of the university” should be delivering the commencement speech.  “DeVos will give a monologue. She’s a controversial political figure who will overshadow the graduating class and push an agenda,” Durrant said. “I want someone who works in the community and can relate to me. She doesn’t know anything about HBCUs. I want someone who will inspire me to serve the community. Now I’m sitting in anxiety and confusion.” In addition to students and alumni, the NAACP Florida State Conference also stepped into the fight against DeVos, calling on the secretary to decline the invitation to speak. Adora Obi Nweze, the group’s president, said in a statement that if DeVos speaks and is awarded with an honorary degree, it would be insulting to women and people of color, according to WaPo.  The organization is also calling for the resignation of University President Edison Jackson and Board Chairman Joe Petrock, claiming that there are “multiple allegations” that the university is intimidating faculty and staff by threatening them with termination, degree withholding or fines if they protest.  Jackson sent a letter to the B-CU community stating that the opposition to the school’s decision is healthy. “I am of the belief that it does not benefit our students to suppress voices that we disagree with, or to limit students to only those perspectives that are broadly sanctioned by a specific community,” he wrote. “If our students are robbed of the opportunity to experience and interact with views that may be different from their own, then they will be tremendously less equipped for the demands of democratic citizenship.” DeVos is “looking forward” to speaking at the HBCU’s graduation and wants to engage in “productive dialogue with the students, faculty and staff during her visit,” a Department of Education spokeswoman told WaPo. The morning of commencement day, protests have already begun. Journalists Jackie Orozco and Adam Harris shared photos and videos outside of The Ocean Center, where the graduation is taking place: pic.twitter.com/psjOJJ1qsh— adam harris (@AdamHSays) May 10, 2017 Small group gathering to protest @BetsyDeVos as @bethunecookman commencement speaker #fox35 pic.twitter.com/JaG7aHSetU— Jackie Orozco (@ReporterJackie) May 10, 2017 NAACP, @bethunecookman alumni & others protesting the commencement speaker @BetsyDeVos today #fox35 pic.twitter.com/b2ujbKi7Fl— Jackie Orozco (@ReporterJackie) May 10, 2017 Protestors outside at Bethune-Cookman pic.twitter.com/x2cYgSwvgH— adam harris (@AdamHSays) May 10, 2017 More @BetsyDeVos protestors coming out along Atlantic Ave in front of Ocean Drive. She's scheduled to speak at noon #fox35 pic.twitter.com/ePjmYJjW3y— Jackie Orozco (@ReporterJackie) May 10, 2017 Protests are expected to continue during Wednesday’s ceremony. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

10 мая, 15:09

Maxwell (MXWL) Posts In-Line Q1 Loss, Revenues Top Estimates

Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) incurred adjusted loss of 27 cents per share in the first quarter of 2017 (considering stock-based compensation as a regular expense), which came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

09 мая, 21:04

Sempra Energy (SRE) Beats on Q1 Earnings, Keeps '17 View

Sempra Energy's (SRE) first-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) came in at $1.74, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.59 by 9.4%.

05 мая, 15:18

Consolidated Edison (ED) Tops Q1 Earnings, Sales, Keeps View

Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) posted first-quarter 2017 adjusted earnings of $1.27 per share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.19 by 6.7%.

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04 мая, 23:36

Inside The South Boston Edison Power Plant, A 2M SF Mixed-Use Development-In-Waiting

We go inside South Boston's Edison Power Plant before developers move ahead with a 2M SF mixed-use project aimed at activating the neighborhood's waterfront.

04 мая, 12:15

The H-1B Visa Debate, Explained

It’s hard to overstate the significance — and complexity — of the H-1B visa system in the U.S. It is the country’s largest guest worker visa program, and an important channel for high-skilled immigration. It allows companies to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs that can be challenging to fill. It has benefited the tech industry enormously, and other sectors, including health care, science, and finance, have also used it to fill gaps in their workforces. But in April, just after U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted its annual lottery for selecting H-1B visas (it received 199,000 petitions for the available 85,000 visas), President Trump signed an executive order that will put H-1B and similar programs under new scrutiny. Titled “Buy American and Hire American,” it directs federal agencies to review whether existing policies adequately prioritize American products and protect American workers. The order is the latest development in a long-running debate over how companies use the H-1B program and how it affects American workers. Much of the dispute surrounds whether companies take advantage of the program to hire foreign workers for lower pay, displacing Americans from those jobs. But it’s important to understand the underlying elements of this debate: one level rests on the heavy use of H-1B visas by outsourcing firms; another rests on the disagreement over whether the program increases companies’ access to scarce skills, or merely helps them minimize costs. The H-1B Visa ProcessThe H-1B visa was established, as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, to let companies recruit trained foreign workers (with at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent) to work in “specialty occupations” for which there are few qualified local candidates. The visa allows guest workers to stay at their sponsoring company for up to six years, and it has become an important pathway to gaining permanent resident status in the U.S.; workers who hold the “dual intent” visa can apply for a green card. Spouses and immediate family members of H-1B visa holders can come to the U.S. upon obtaining an H-4 visa. The number of new H-1B visas that can be issued each year is capped at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 available to workers with a master’s degree or higher. Jobs at universities, nonprofit research institutions, and government research facilities are exempted, as are workers from certain countries and any current H-1B holders applying for renewal. Because demand for H-1Bs has exceeded the cap in recent years, visas have been allocated through a random lottery. There were approximately 180,000 new H-1B visas issued in 2016, according to State Department data. Who gets H-1Bs? H-1B visas are granted through an employer-driven system, meaning employers petition the government for visas tied to specific roles. These must qualify as “specialty occupations,” which typically require a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) and are found in fields such as science, engineering, information technology, medicine, and business. Companies have to attest that they could not find a qualified American worker for the position and will not pay the H-1B worker less than they would an American — but it’s often said that this hardly functions as a rule and is not strictly (if at all) enforced. There is also criticism that it opens up various loopholes that firms can exploit. For example, as a Kellogg Insight research summary explains: The standards for determining prevailing wages are shaky, and companies can take advantage of loopholes, such as hiring the person through a third-party service. In addition, increasing the supply of workers might drive down everyone’s pay over time because employers have more potential employees to choose from and thus do not have to offer high salaries or raises to attract and retain staff. The program is most often associated with the tech industry, where H-1B workers hold about 12%–13% of jobs, according to a Goldman Sachs report. (For comparison, they hold around 0.6%–0.7% of U.S. jobs overall.) Being able to recruit globally is supposed to help tech powerhouses like Facebook and Amazon find the talent they need. The companies that bring in the most H-1B workers, however, are not Silicon Valley tech firms but IT services firms, many based in India, that specialize in consulting or outsourcing. These companies, which include Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro, Accenture, IBM India, and Deloitte, are contracted by other companies to do IT work. According to an analysis by Ronil Hira, a professor of public policy at Howard University, in 2014 nearly one-third of new H-1B visas went to 13 of these so-called “outsourcers.” (Tata received the most visas, with 5,650, while Amazon, the tech company with the highest number, got 877.) Compared with Silicon Valley firms, IT services companies tend to hire H-1B workers for lower-paying entry-level work. For example, Axios reported that 72.4% of Tata’s H-1B visa filings were for jobs paying between $60,000–$70,000 a year. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft mostly filed for jobs that paid well above $100,000. This difference in pay gets at one of the main criticisms of the H-1B program: Rather than bringing the world’s “best and brightest” talent into the country to work alongside Americans, the system appears to be bringing in cheaper foreign labor that can hurt American workers’ employment and income prospects. It’s a compelling argument: Numerous American IT workers have been laid off (and then asked to train their H-1B replacements) after their employers chose to outsource IT department work instead of keeping it in-house. These decisions by companies have resulted in a few high-profile lawsuits, such as those brought by workers against Disney and Southern California Edison. And a number of studies have found that H-1B workers can have negative effects on American workers, in terms of displacement and lower earnings. On the other side of the debate, H-1B supporters argue that the program brings needed skills into the labor market, which helps firms remain innovative, productive, and competitive. A wealth of academic literature has documented how high-skilled immigrants, particularly in STEM, and including those who would enter the U.S. on H-1B visas, boost the economy by increasing innovation, productivity, and sometimes even employment. It is not exactly easy for many companies to obtain H-1B visas, and members of the tech industry have lobbied Congress to raise the cap on H-1B visas to help meet demand. In 2008 Bill Gates testified before Congress to advocate for more H-1B visas to help compensate for “a deficit of Americans with computer science degrees.” (A bill was introduced in 2015 to raise the cap and liberalize other rules around H-1Bs, but died in Congress.) Companies like Tata, Infosys, and Wipro have also lobbied against restrictions on the program, arguing that their services help corporations become more competitive. More broadly, many tech leaders have emphasized the contributions of high-skilled immigrants to the economy — and have spoken out against anti-immigrant actions like President Trump’s travel bans. Is There a Shortage of Technical Skills in the U.S.? There is mixed evidence about the existence and the extent of a STEM skills shortage. Companies say they struggle to find qualified workers for specialized positions, suggesting there is a shortage of necessary skills. Some experts say that there are plenty of American workers who could fill these jobs, and that if employers were truly desperate for skills, wages for skilled positions would surge (but they haven’t). An analysis led by Hal Salzman, a professor at Rutgers University, found that the U.S. graduates more STEM workers than the tech industry needs and that STEM wages have stayed depressingly flat. They write: For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job. In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. A literature review by Yi Xue and Richard C. Larson of MIT found that there is and isn’t a STEM skills shortage — it depends on where you look. In the academic job market, for example, they conclude there is no noticeable shortage; in fact, there is an oversupply of PhDs competing for tenure-track faculty positions in many fields (e.g., biomedical sciences, physical sciences). But the government sector and private industry have shortages in specific areas. In the private sector, for instance, software developers, petroleum engineers, and data scientists were found to be in high demand. There is other evidence of a strong demand for workers with tech skills. The Economist has reported that the number of unfilled U.S. jobs in computing and information technology could top one million by 2020: “The number of young Americans graduating with qualifications in IT subjects is rising, but nowhere near fast enough to satisfy the burgeoning demand for their skills. Last year, American campuses produced fewer than 56,000 graduates with the sort of qualifications sought by information technology (IT) firms.” When it comes to how much immigrant and native-born U.S. tech workers earn, research by Gordon Hanson of UC San Diego and Matthew Slaughter of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business has found that while immigrants usually earn less than native-born workers across most occupations (controlling for factors like age, education, and gender), this difference tends to be smaller in STEM fields. They also found that wages for immigrants in STEM have actually increased: In 1990 native-born STEM workers earned more than immigrants; by 2012, this reversed. “The workers coming in on H-1Bs are a diverse crowd,” Hanson says. “You have superstar computer scientists at Facebook and Amazon and folks doing back-office IT work. But, on average, the earnings of those [foreign] workers, after just a little time in U.S., exceed [Americans’] in comparable jobs.” Hanson cautions, however, that their results do not discount the possibility that the arrival of foreign-born engineers is driving down earnings for U.S.-born engineers. “Standard economic models would say that’s happening,” he says. “But more engineers is a good thing. There may be some lower earnings opportunities for U.S.-born engineers, but there’s more innovation for the country as a whole.” Similarly, an analysis of 2010 H-1B petitions by Jonathan Rothwell and Neil Ruiz, both formerly of Brookings, found that H-1B workers earned more on average ($76,356) than American workers with a bachelor’s degree ($67,301), within the same age group and occupation. (It’s worth noting that the process of petitioning for an H-1B visa costs companies thousands of dollars, which suggests that they pay a premium for foreign workers’ skills.) Hanson and Slaughter’s paper also noted that although H-1B visas disproportionately go to STEM workers, this is not an inherent feature of the H-1B program. “That most H-1B visas are captured by STEM workers may simply be the consequences of strong relative labor demand for STEM labor by U.S. companies,” they write. Contrarily, Hira, who has been outspoken about abuses of the H-1B visa system, rebuffs the skills shortage theory. “If there was this terrible shortage, I’d think you’d see different behavior and practices,” he says. “If there was really a skills shortage, you’d see more diversity in the tech industry — they’d hire underrepresented minorities and women, they’d be training people and investing, they’d be retaining incumbent workers, not laying them off by the thousands, and you wouldn’t see rampant age discrimination.” According to Hira, the skills shortage argument is a red herring that has clouded the conversation about how H-1Bs are used. “The top occupation of H-1B workers is computer systems analyst. These are back-end IT workers. I don’t see how anybody could argue there’s a shortage of those folks,” he says. “Hiring an H-1B should, but doesn’t, require an employer to demonstrate any shortage, so the shortage argument is moot. If there is a severe shortage, then it would be easy for employers to show one. Yet they’ve opposed any such requirement.” How Much of the Debate Is About Outsourcing? One of the most consequential criticisms of the H-1B program is its heavy use by IT outsourcing firms such as Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro. Outsourcing has been a trend in information management for years, as companies have increasingly hired contractors (at lower cost) to do tasks such as software programming and data entry, processing, and storage. Here’s a simplified way to explain how this plays out: Say you’re a big company with your own IT department. To reduce overhead, or to cut costs, or to increase efficiency, you decide to contract out (outsource) some or all of your IT work. So you hire an IT services firm to do that work on a temporary, as-needed basis. That firm sends workers, many of whom are on H-1B visas, to do those tasks. Sometimes, these contract workers supplement your IT staff; other times, you lay off your IT staff and the contractors effectively replace them. Because these IT firms receive so many H-1B visas, there are fewer for other companies. “No matter what your view on outsourcing is, this was not the original intent of the program,” says William Kerr, an economist at Harvard Business School who has studied the effects of high-skilled immigration in the U.S. “One of the implications of this is it reduces the number of visas available for their original purposes.” “The outsourcing companies bring lower-level workers than the American tech companies,” Kerr says. “That work has $60,000 salaries, which is not minimum wage by any means, but it’s lower paid than a typical computer scientist at a large U.S. tech employer.” IT companies in India and the U.S. have lobbied against making the H-1B program more restrictive, arguing that they help American companies become more competitive by handling their IT operations. They’ve also said that the visa programs allow them to keep jobs in the U.S., so reducing the number of visas they’re allowed may result in them shifting work back to India. (However, Bloomberg recently reported that Infosys plans to create thousands of new jobs for Americans over the next two years.) What Could Change? Any big changes to the H-1B program would have to be passed by Congress. At least four proposals to reform it have recently surfaced, and USCIS has suspended expedited processing of H-1B applications. Wider reforms would change the way many companies, especially tech and IT firms, recruit and hire highly skilled talent. Further restricting the number of visas could cost the U.S. a competitive edge in the global war for tech talent. “This might sound self-serving, coming from someone who works in academia, but one thing that has helped maintain our technological leadership is innovation and technical research, and immigration has helped us do that,” Hanson says. “Immigration is an important part of why the U.S. is able to maintain its elite status.” Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” order aims to address some of the concerns surrounding the H-1B visa system. The larger effects on high-skilled immigration — and on the economy — remain to be seen.

03 мая, 21:36

'From The Ashes' Is A Gripping New Documentary On How The Coal Industry Affects Us All

A couple of months ago, I walked into the lobby of a New York City movie theater and was approached by a tall, lanky man in his late 20s wearing a backwards baseball hat. He asked if I cared about the environment, climate change and clean energy. He was trying to get Con Edison customers to switch to Green Mountain Energy by espousing the virtues of clean, renewable energy ― oh, and he’d give me a $10 AMC gift card. I ended up switching because I didn’t realize I had a choice of energy service company, nor that I had a say in how that energy was sourced. (As this site points out, it’s impossible to know where exactly energy comes from, but signing up for a greener company sets aside more money for renewable resources.) It’s something I kept thinking about while watching “From the Ashes,” which explores the issues surrounding the coal industry and how it affects Americans. Fittingly, the idea of where our power comes from is one of the first things the film’s director Michael Bonfiglio mentioned to me in an interview the day after the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.  “I think most of us, myself included, until I began working on this film, when we flip our light switch on, we don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s just coming from an electricity factory somewhere. We don’t know what’s actually generating our power,” he said. “We are all making a decision when we turn on our lights. It certainly affects people who are not directly involved in the industry.” About 30 percent of electricity in the United states is generated by coal, but it’s “the most polluting form of energy on the planet. It’s the biggest contributor to climate change,” says Mary Anne Hitt of environmental group the Sierra Club in the film.  In March, President Trump signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era energy policies designed to curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Trump vowed to begin an “energy revolution” and said signing the order would “eliminate federal overreach” and “start a new era of production and job creation.” But coal company executives have already admitted that Trump’s executive order won’t single-handedly save the industry and bring back jobs. “From the Ashes” shows that many of these jobs have already been replaced by mechanization and aren’t coming back. What’s more, the film explains that coal companies are the reason that states like West Virginia remained reliant on the industry for jobs, halting development of any alternative economic base. “[Coal companies] can block legislation, they can block economic initiatives. Any kind of industry that can compete with them, they want to keep it out,” Appalachia historian Chuck Keeney explained in the film. The documentary, which is an excellent primer for those who don’t know anything about coal, looks at its affects on our climate, public health and the economy. And Bonfiglio even admitted that he “knew next to nothing” when the film was first pitched to him.  “You want to make a film about coal? I thought, Is there any more boring topic? You know: It’s a rock. Who cares?” he said. “And then I very quickly started to get educated on the issue and realized that it’s something that has so many different issues and affects people’s lives in ways that we’re not even aware of.” One of the issues concerns coal ash ― the waste material produced from burning coal that contains arsenic, mercury, lead and other heavy metals.  “I mean there are these coal ash pits all over the place, and I think as [the Sierra Club’s] Bruce Niles says in the film, ‘They are ticking time bombs all over the country that are unlined pits full of poison.’”  Bonfiglio added that even if someone was fully aware that their power comes from coal, they probably aren’t thinking about the next step: What do you do with the leftover ash? “What’s been done for decades and decades is just dumping [the ash] into unlined pits that are usually right near waterways and near the aquifers,” he said. “So, at this moment, people are drinking water somewhere in the United States that is being poisoned because the industry has not been responsible in the way they clean up after themselves. It’s mind-boggling.”  Viewers of “From the Ashes” will likely see it that way as well, if not outright infuriating. But Bonfiglio said he hopes people who watch the film will walk away with “some hope that it is possible to make a change and the understanding that the supporting the communities that have worked so hard and made so many sacrifices to keep the lights on in this country for generations.” He continued, “That there are ways to support those communities in making a just transition to [a] cleaner, safer, healthier, more economically sustainable way of life.” “From The Ashes” airs on National Geographic Channel on June 25 at 9 p.m. ET.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.