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CSX Announces Joint Venture to Build Hydrogen Locomotives in Huntington

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CALGARY, AB and JACKSONVILLE, Fla., June 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ – Canadian Pacific Kansas City (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) (CPKC) and CSX Corporation (NASDAQ: CSX) (CSX) today announced their intent to enter into a joint venture for the building and deployment of hydrogen locomotive conversion kits for diesel-electric locomotives.

As an initial step in the collaboration, CSX plans to convert one of its diesel locomotives using a hydrogen conversion kit developed by CPKC. The conversion work will be done at CSX’s Huntington, West Virginia locomotive shop.   

“This innovative collaboration expands our hydrogen locomotive program beyond a single railroad and represents an exciting next step in proving the long-term viability of hydrogen as a solution to emissions reduction for our industry,” said Keith Creel, CPKC president and chief executive officer. “Our hydrogen locomotive went from concept to reality in 24 months with the first zero emissions hydrogen locomotive having already pulled freight in revenue service. We look forward to this collaboration as we work to create a lower carbon future.”   

“CSX looks forward to working as a partner with CPKC in the development of the hydrogen locomotive program as it demonstrates our commitment to implementing alternative fuel solutions that could further enhance our emissions performance and offer our customers an even more environmentally-friendly transportation solution,” said Joe Hinrichs, CSX president and chief executive officer. “This exciting initiative will greatly benefit from the expertise of CSX’s advanced, large-scale facilities, where the locomotives will be built.”

Nearly the entire freight locomotive fleet of all railway operators in North America consists of diesel-powered units, representing the industry’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Rail has an important role to play in a lower carbon economy and the industry needs a long-term, effective alternative fuel solution.

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In December 2020, Canadian Pacific (CP) announced plans to develop North America’s first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive by retrofitting a diesel freight locomotive with hydrogen fuel cells and battery technology to drive the locomotive’s electric traction motors. The prototype, designed and built by in-house CP engineers, made its first movement under its own power in late 2021. By the end of 2022, the locomotive had made its first revenue moves and now has accumulated more than 1,000 miles of testing in revenue service.

CPKC has deployed a second hydrogen locomotive for testing in terminal operations, a program expansion supported by funding awarded by Emissions Reduction Alberta and the Government of Canada Low Carbon Economy Fund. The second hydrogen locomotive is expected to enter service later in 2023. 

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Secretary of State launches WVBAT to combat human trafficking in the Mountain State

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From WVSOS

On October 10th, the WV Secretary of State’s Office officially launched West Virginia Businesses Against Trafficking (WVBAT). WVBAT is a statewide coalition of businesses and business owners who will use their storefronts and facilities to raise awareness of the state’s “You Can” campaign against human trafficking.

To understand the role WVBAT plays in West Virginia’s campaign to end this evil requires shedding light on a deplorable side of modern society that we would rather not have to address.

But, let me be clear, human trafficking does occur in West Virginia. Sex trafficking and labor trafficking are both crimes that can be hidden in plain sight. Victims can be of any age, gender, nationality, or race. A trafficker can even be a family member or guardian trafficking a child in exchange for money, drugs, and other valuables. In some cases, a victim may not even be aware that they are being trafficked or know how to ask for help.

The “You Can” campaign prioritizes public awareness because knowledge is our greatest asset in fighting human trafficking. Businesses can support victims by providing access to potentially lifesaving information available in public areas they frequent. Information on what qualifies as human trafficking and how to seek or send signals for help may make all the difference to a victim who does not have access to, or is unable to use, a cellphone or computer.

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Customers and employees of businesses who may be witnesses to human trafficking also play a role in combatting the problem. Being educated on the signs of trafficking could lead to a report of actionable intelligence to local law enforcement. Information provided to WVBAT business partners for display in their stores provides valuable insight on common indicators and how to submit a tip.

My petition to business owners considering a partnership with WVBAT is simple: if your participation can assist in rescuing even one victim in your community, is this not a cause worth championing? Imagine the incredible impact of every truck stop, hospital, grocery store, gas station, department store and hotel within the state becoming a force multiplier for identifying traffickers and victims. West Virginia has an opportunity to become a national leader in this effort and inspire others.

Membership in the WVBAT program is free and open to any business that is operating in West Virginia and shares a commitment to promote awareness of human trafficking. Upon signing up as a member, the business will be provided with a certificate of membership to be displayed; a packet of educational materials and display items for businesses to educate the public about available resources; and continuing training and educational opportunities to assist in the education and empowerment of those in our communities.

Please join us in fighting this evil. Learn the indications of trafficking, learn the signs of “help” by those being trafficked, and help spread the word that there are people and agencies willing to help.

Read the entire story here: WVBAT: West Virginia businesses can help fight human trafficking in the state

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Coalfield Development Selects Jacob Hannah as New CEO

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Last week, Coalfield Development Corporation’s Board of Directors unanimously approved Jacob Hannah, current Chief Conservation Officer, to be the next Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia-based nonprofit. Hannah will assume the position effective January 1, 2024.

The October 17th vote occurred after a month’s long search process involving more than 40 applicants for the position.

“I am incredibly honored and excited for this opportunity to continue to serve Appalachia in this dynamic and transformative role. And through the innovative succession model that Brandon Dennison has thoughtfully established for this role transition, I heartily believe that our organization is stepping into a new phase that will empower the momentum for a truly just transition,” Hannah said.

Hannah replaces Coalfield’s founder and current CEO, Brandon Dennison, who was named Vice President of Economic Development at Marshall University in July of this year. Dennison will continue supporting Coalfield Development as Executive President. In this new role, Dennison will help shape strategy, partnerships, and fundraising. Coalfield’s new leadership model resembles the CEO/Executive Chair model more prominent in for-profits.

“This is an important milestone for Coalfield Development. I am genuinely excited for the organization, and I have complete confidence in Jacob as the new CEO. He is going to lead this organization to achieve greater impact than ever before, but he’ll do it with integrity, compassion, and creativity,” Dennison said.

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Dennison added, “Jacob is the right leader at the right time for our region. He has lived the mission of Coalfield Development, growing up in a coal mining family. Since joining us in 2018 Jacob has served multiple leadership roles within the organization, standing up entirely new programs and supervising more than 25 employees. And Jacob has been instrumental in the ACT Now Coalition, which recently brought $100 million of new investment to southern West Virginia.”

Coalfield Development Board of Directors President Kenzie New Walker applauded the diligent efforts of the board’s search committee.

“I want to commend our search committee for shepherding such a strong hiring process. This committee was diligent and persistent in running a thorough search which connected our organization with high caliber candidates. Jacob rose to the top of this competitive group, and we’re we appreciate all the applicants who applied,” she said.  

Hannah has been an employee of Coalfield Development for five years. He previously held the role of Chief Conservation Officer.

“I come from three generations of coal mining in my family, and I am a 5th generation West Virginian. My leadership style is to integrate an empathetic and grounded approach to the strategy of triple-bottom line sustainability; balancing People, Planet, and Prosperity in harmony with each other with a lens towards a fair and just transition.

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Hannah’s work intersects the throughline of environmental considerations with social wellbeing and economic development.

“This is truly an exciting time to be at Coalfield Development and the work we are doing to better the lives of our Appalachian communities,” he said.

About Coalfield Development: Coalfield Development is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization headquartered in Huntington, West Virginia focusing on rebuilding the Appalachian economy through social enterprise creation, job training, and community-based real-estate development.

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Congresswoman Miller Leads Efforts in Introducing “Unfair Tax Prevention Act”

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In a bid to protect American businesses and level the playing field, Congresswoman Carol Miller has spearheaded the introduction of the Unfair Tax Prevention Act. This groundbreaking bill aims to curb unfair taxation practices and foster a more competitive business environment.

The bill seeks to address a pressing concern for many entrepreneurs and businesses across the nation. Unfair taxation has long been a challenge, with some companies facing burdensome taxes that hinder growth and innovation. The Unfair Tax Prevention Act comes as a beacon of hope, promising much-needed relief for these struggling businesses.

The core focus of the bill is to promote fairness and transparency in the tax system. One of the key provisions aims to put an end to convoluted tax loopholes that have allowed certain corporations to exploit the system, leading to an uneven playing field for their competitors. By closing these loopholes, Congresswoman Miller and her colleagues are taking a vital step towards a more equitable business landscape.

Additionally, the Unfair Tax Prevention Act introduces measures to simplify the tax code, making it more accessible and manageable for small businesses. This streamlined approach is expected to reduce compliance costs and bureaucratic red tape, allowing companies to direct their resources toward productive ventures rather than getting tangled in complex tax regulations. By providing tax credits for research and development investments, the bill encourages companies to explore new technologies and create cutting-edge products, bolstering economic growth and job opportunities.

The Congresswoman, known for her bipartisan approach, has garnered support from across the aisle for the Unfair Tax Prevention Act. Both Democrats and Republicans recognize the significance of this legislation in bolstering the nation’s economy and promoting job creation.

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In a statement regarding the bill, Congresswoman Miller expressed her optimism, saying, “The Unfair Tax Prevention Act is a crucial step towards empowering American businesses and ensuring their success in a competitive global marketplace. By leveling the playing field and encouraging innovation, we can set our economy on a path of sustained growth and prosperity.”

As the bill progresses through the legislative process, Congresswoman Carol Miller remains determined to support businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, is a testament to her dedication to the economic well-being of the nation.

The Unfair Tax Prevention Act, championed by Congresswoman Carol Miller, represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of fair taxation and economic growth. With its focus on closing loopholes, simplifying the tax code, and incentivizing innovation, the bill has the potential to transform the business landscape, benefiting companies, workers, and consumers alike.

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