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PRESS ROOM: 100 Years of American Energy

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Partnering with the best and brightest technical experts from government, academia, and industry, The American Petroleum Institute (API) has developed almost 700 standards to enhance the safety of our workers and protect the community and environment.

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U.S. success demonstrates the reality that people can reduce emissions and increase production of the energy that powers economies and supports modern daily living. (Photo: iStockphoto / NNPA)

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Historically, the oil and gas industry hasn’t been known for diversity and inclusion efforts with its businesses regularly comprising a demographic that’s about 90 percent white and male.

However, the American Petroleum Institute (API), which counts as the largest U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, has worked to change the landscape by putting in place strategic and definitive initiatives that address diversity and inclusion.

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of API, which has established industry standards and disseminates best practices across the industry, nationwide and globally.

With alliances with NNPA, – the Black Press of America with more than 215 African American owned newspapers and media companies – and the National Association of Hispanic Publications, the American Association of Blacks in Energy and others, API hopes to encourage minorities and women to be petroleum engineers, geologists, welders, electricians, accountants, business managers and fill other necessary posts.

“The Black Press, probably more than any organization in the nation has a history of communications with the Black community, reaching policy leaders in the community as well as young folks,” said Frank Stewart, a consultant for API and president of Frank M. Stewart & Company.

“We believe we have a unique opportunity and the way to reach the community is by [aligning] with the people they trust,” Stewart said.

“The analogy is also [true] with the Hispanic Press,” said Dr. Carlos Rodriguez, an API consultant.

Additionally, API has an Energy Research Collaborative (ERC) with strategic partners focused on workforce development and engagement with nontraditional allies.

The ERC also includes Asian Americans in Energy, the Environment and Commerce, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Hispanics in Energy, National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, The Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and others.

The group meets regularly and continues to provide feedback and recommendations to API, which traces its beginning to World War I, when Congress and the domestic oil and natural gas industry worked together to help the war effort.

“The U.S. energy industry has always been at the forefront of powering positive change – from supporting the war effort during World War I, to the energy revolution that has made the U.S. the world’s leading producer, refiner, and exporter of natural gas, and No. 1 reducer of emissions,” said API President and CEO Mike Sommers during a recent celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary.

API’s member companies still play a central role in America’s security, Sommers said.

API establishes industry standards and disseminates best practices across the industry, nationwide and globally.

Partnering with the best and brightest technical experts from government, academia, and industry, API has developed almost 700 standards to enhance the safety of our workers and protect the community and environment.

Certification programs developed by API’s Global Industry Services division help companies operationalize standards, providing consistency, interoperability, and reliability.

The United States leads the world in production of natural gas and oil, and in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions – supplying affordable, reliable energy while serving as the world’s gold standard for safe, environmentally responsible energy development.

The U.S. has reduced CO2 emissions to their lowest levels in a generation while the rest of the world’s emissions have dramatically risen. The energy landscape is evolving to meet consumer needs in cleaner, safer and more reliable ways.

Just 15 years increasing imports and peak oil were a focus, and some didn’t even mention clean U.S. natural gas as an electricity source, Sommers said.

Due to dramatic technological innovations, the US now leads the world in natural gas and oil production, fueling the world’s growth and adhering to the safest and most environmentally responsible standards in the world, he said.

Affordable energy gives U.S. manufacturers and major competitive advantage, and is a key factor revitalizing communities across the nation.

The U.S. energy industry is producing energy at record levels – meeting record demand and decreasing reliance on foreign suppliers.

The EIA forecasts that the United States will be a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products by 2020 – boosting economic growth and enhancing energy security for the United States and allies.

Projections confirm a need for more natural gas and oil, not less, in the decades ahead, Sommers said.

U.S. success demonstrates the reality that people can reduce emissions and increase production of the energy that powers economies and supports modern daily living.

Growing energy demand means better, safer quality of life for billions living in poverty around the globe, API officials said. Nearly 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to electricity, and 2.1 billion live without safe drinking water at home.

“Energy is the key to improving health, security and opportunity for millions. And the United States is the world leader in meeting demand growth safely and cleanly,” Sommers said.

“With API’s leadership, we’ve set the world’s goal standard for safe, environmentally responsible operations and enhanced America’s energy security. As we honor a century of industry-driven progress, we also look ahead to a future made safer, brighter, and more prosperous for communities around the world by continued energy innovation,” he said.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dr. Benjamin Chavis

    Dr. Benjamin Chavis

    April 1, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    @StacyBrownMedia @APIenergy @NNPA_BlackPress Many opportunities for people of color to engage the en… https://t.co/PNyzh4tAt3

  2. Bob

    April 1, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Another blacks thanku…

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Philadelphia honors Pattie LaBelle with a street – but spells her name wrong

DEFENDER NEWS NETWORK — Philadelphia honored singer Patti LaBelle with her very own street earlier this week. Unfortunately, the signs didn’t get her name right. The city’s Streets Department didn’t capitalize the “b″ in the legendary soul singer’s last name on the signs that were put up before Tuesday’s ceremony on Broad Street. A stretch between Locust and Spruce streets was renamed “Patti LaBelle Way” in honor of the Philadelphia native.

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Patti LaBelle (Photo by: The Heart Truth | Wiki Commons)
Patti LaBelle (Photo by: The Heart Truth | Wiki Commons)
By Defender News Service

Philadelphia honored singer Patti LaBelle with her very own street earlier this week. Unfortunately, the signs didn’t get her name right.

The city’s Streets Department didn’t capitalize the “b″ in the legendary soul singer’s last name on the signs that were put up before Tuesday’s ceremony on Broad Street. A stretch between Locust and Spruce streets was renamed “Patti LaBelle Way” in honor of the Philadelphia native.

City spokeswoman Deana Gamble tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the city is aware of the error and plans to install signs with the correct capitalization next week.

A sign that LaBelle autographed and held during the ceremony had the correct spelling.

She thanked all the fans who came out to the ceremony and reminisced about her parents walking down that very stretch of Broad Street.

This article originally appeared in the Defender News Network.

Defender News Service

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Customer on Front Line of DWP Billing Debacle Files $25,000 Claim Against City

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — The man who sued the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power over grossly inaccurate utility billing he received years ago has filed a claim against the city over the way in which it handled the case, documents obtained by City News Service show.

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Photo by: lasentinel.net)
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Photo by: lasentinel.net)

By City News Service

The man who sued the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power over grossly inaccurate utility billing he received years ago has filed a claim against the city over the way in which it handled the case, documents obtained by City News Service show.

Antwon Jones, who was a plaintiff in a settlement in 2017 when the DWP was forced to refund customers after a massive billing snafu, claimed on Wednesday that the city owes him $25,000 due to “wrongful acts and omissions” and fraud committed by Paradis Law Group, which he retained during the first lawsuit.

However, Paradis had also committed to defending the DWP in a separate case and had secured about $30 million in consulting contracts to do so, creating what has been called a conflict of interest. The contracts with Paradis later were severed by the DWP.

Jones also said the city representatives breached their fiduciary duties to him by “unjustly enriching themselves” at his expense.

Claims are typically filed as a precursor to a lawsuit. If the city doesn’t honor the claim, it would give Jones the latitude to sue.

“Mr. Jones’ allegations against the city are completely without merit,” said Rob Wilcox, a spokesperson for the City Attorney’s Office. The city attorney facilitated the hiring of Paradis to help the DWP with its legal
issues years ago.

The debacle prompted a class-action lawsuit that led to a settlement requiring the DWP to reimburse customers about $67 million — new attorneys on the case reported last week that ratepayers could get an additional $50 million, as the settlement is being examined.

FBI agents served search warrants at the downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles DWP and City Hall East last week as part of a probe into the city’s handling of the litigation and settlement over the botched rollout of a DWP billing system.

The billing system in 2013 led to thousands of customers receiving inaccurate bills, with some being wildly overcharged.

The city and DWP, meanwhile, sued PricewaterhouseCoopers over its handling of the system’s rollout.

But PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year questioned the city’s relationship with Paul Paradis, an outside attorney it hired to handle the litigation against the company.

PricewaterhouseCoopers argued in court papers that the arrangement with Paradis was made specifically to secure a more favorable legal outcome for the city and DWP.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a class action lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in federal court by customer Dennis Bradshaw against City Attorney Mike Feuer and attorneys involved in the Jones lawsuit, alleging professional malpractice, unjust enrichment and more.

Bradshaw, a Los Angeles renter and DWP customer, received a credit to his December 2017 bill as part of the Jones settlement. His suit alleges that Jones’s attorneys and the city colluded to deprive the customers of their rights in that case, the Times reported.

This article originally appeared in The Los Angeles Sentinel.

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Memphis third grade reading scores dip as district builds case for retaining students

NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — Fewer Memphis third grade students than last year are accomplished readers, according to Shelby County Schools’ annual state test data released is discussing in meetings with parents. About 24% of third graders in Shelby County Schools scored proficient in reading on the state’s standardized assessment TNReady. That’s down from about 27% last year, and in contrast to 36% of elementary students statewide who tested proficient.

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Student read a book during a reading circle at Gardenview Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht/Chalkbeat TÑ)
Student read a book during a reading circle at Gardenview Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo: Karen Pulfer Focht/Chalkbeat TÑ)

By Lee Eric Smith

Fewer Memphis third grade students than last year are accomplished readers, according to Shelby County Schools’ annual state test data released is discussing in meetings with parents.

About 24% of third graders in Shelby County Schools scored proficient in reading on the state’s standardized assessment TNReady. That’s down from about 27% last year, and in contrast to 36% of elementary students statewide who tested proficient.

The full results from spring testing are scheduled to be released next week, but Memphis district officials shared the statistic this week at a meeting with parents on a new retention policy that will hold back second grade students who aren’t reading on grade level. The policy will begin in the 2021-22 school year.

Antonio Burt, the district’s chief academic officer, declined to speculate on why the scores dipped. Rather, he said the district would be looking to hone existing strategies — such as daily 45-minute small-group instruction and teacher leaders dedicated to foundational reading skills — and equip new second grade teacher assistants.

“The work and the need around K through 2 is so important,” he told Chalkbeat after Wednesday’s community meeting at Gaisman Community Center to explain the district’s retention plan.

“And as a state, we’re still recovering from the standards shift,” he added later about the state’s 2016 change to a new test with tougher requirements.

The news is a blow to the district’s efforts to strengthen early literacy, which has been a priority for the Memphis district. Superintendent Joris Ray and his leadership team often point to the correlation between third grade reading levels and a similar percentage of students considered college-ready on the ACT test.

Antonio Burt, the chief academic officer for Shelby County Schools, speaks to parents and teachers about the district’s upcoming second grade retention policy and strategies to improve reading. (Photo by: Laura Faith Kebede/Chalkbeat)

Antonio Burt, the chief academic officer for Shelby County Schools, speaks to parents and teachers about the district’s upcoming second grade retention policy and strategies to improve reading. (Photo by: Laura Faith Kebede/Chalkbeat)

“We know that if our kids that don’t master reading prior to third grade, they’re four times more likely to drop out of school,” Burt told parents Wednesday evening. “That same student would then be four times more likely to be incarcerated.”


Related: Learn more about the English curriculum that was introduced in late 2017


Shelby County Schools is aiming to have 90% of its third grade students reading proficiently by the year 2025. That’s higher than the state’s goal of 75% for that same year.

This year’s kindergarten class would be the first group that could be held back a year because of Shelby County Schools new retention policy, Burt said. The district will require students to meet eight of 12 benchmarks, including minimum report card grades and reading scores, throughout the year in order to pass second grade.

Candace Marshall, a prekindergarten teacher and parent, said she mostly favors the retention policy and had faced resistance at a Memphis charter school when she wanted her niece to repeat first grade.

“I don’t want her to be a statistic. It made me question how many other kids get passed along,” she told Chalkbeat.

The post Memphis third grade reading scores dip as district builds case for retaining students appeared first on Chalkbeat.

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender

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Duo teams up for food and clothing drive for homeless veterans on Saturday

NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — Memphis is experiencing a serious problem with homelessness and poverty among veterans but a new nonprofit is hoping to ease the burden.

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(l-r) Jalissa Marshall and Sequoria Wilson-Chatmon are teaming up to raise funds for homeless veterans. (Photo by: /tri-statedefender.com)
(l-r) Jalissa Marshall and Sequoria Wilson-Chatmon are teaming up to raise funds for homeless veterans. (Photo by: /tri-statedefender.com)

By Destiny Royston

Memphis is experiencing a serious problem with homelessness and poverty among veterans but a new nonprofit is hoping to ease the burden.

On Aug. 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Help the Homeless Veterans will hosted a food and clothing drive in downtown Memphis at the corner of Adams Avenue and Main Street.

Sequoria Wilson-Chatmon, who served in the Army for 10 years and went on four combat tours to Afghanistan and Iraq, is spearheading the event that will provide food, clothing and other needed items for the homeless and those who are struggling. Wilson-Chatmon and her husband are both disabled veterans..

Jalissa Marshall, who is the wife of another disabled vet, will be alongside Wilson-Chatmon helping with the event to bring awareness to homelessness.

“Jalissa and I discuss these issues all the time,” said Wilson-Chatmon. “We decided it was time to turn words into actions, and that was the birth of ‘Help the Homeless Veterans Food and Clothing Giveaway.’

Being a disabled vet, Wilson-Chatmon knows the harsh reality about men and women who have served the nation who now face homelessness and hunger.

Veteran or not, people who are in need of items, food and clothing are encouraged to come to the event, as many organizations around the city that assist those in need have strict qualifications that many don’t meet. Their goal is to look out for everyone because homelessness and hunger know no criteria.

The ladies hope to serve at least 50 personnel. Wilson-Chatmon wants to continue sponsoring events like this so that she and her team can become a well-established nonprofit organization that does more than hand out items in Memphis.

She wants to provide shelter and help rebuild communities and cater to everyone, especially those who don’t meet the qualifications of the larger organizations.

“No one deserves to sleep on the streets. As a community, it starts with us,” said Wilson-Chatmon. “We hope to inspire others to act no matter how small.”

Supporters of veterans can donate items such as water and clothing at Watson’s Barber & Beauty Shop on 2236 Pendleton St., until Aug. 9.

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender

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Push to ban plastic bag sat groceries falls short

NEW TRI-STATE DEFENDER — Plastic bags will still be used in grocery stores, despite some Memphis City Council members’ efforts to ban them. Tuesday, the council rejected an ordinance that would have required grocery stores to ban the use of plastic shopping bags.

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By Erica R. Williams

Plastic bags will still be used in grocery stores, despite some Memphis City Council members’ efforts to ban them. Tuesday, the council rejected an ordinance that would have required grocery stores to ban the use of plastic shopping bags.

“This is an effort for us to do something different in the State of Tennessee,” Councilman Berlin Boyd, who sponsored the ordinance, said before the vote.

Boyd has continued to push for the ban despite a recent state law barring cities from regulating single-use plastic such as grocery bags. He argues that using them is costing the city too much money.

“If we pass this here, it will give us the leverage to negotiate on a state level,” he told fellow council members.

Some have complained that lawmakers are considering the bans to cater to plastic-industry lobbyists. Boyd said that’s not it, pointing out that the city’s Division of Public Works spends $3 million each year to dispose of the bags.

Last year before proposing the ban, Boyd suggested a seven-cent fee on plastic bags that shoppers take from retail stores. He then reduced the proposed fee to five cents earlier this year.

In other action

* Memphis 3.0 was dropped from this council meeting’s agenda. Last month council members voted on hiring an outside consultant to review the comprehensive development plan. They will delay voting until after the consultant’s review of the plan.

The consultant has until September 17 to present findings.

The Memphis 3.0 plan had been challenged by New Chicago community members who believe the plan excludes some neighborhoods based on race. A $10 billion lawsuit filed against the city was later dismissed.

Mayor Jim Strickland has signed an executive order that allows parts of the 3.0 plan to move forward.

* Council members approved an honorary street name change for Bishop David Allen Hall Sr., longtime pastor of Temple Church of God In Christ at 672 S. Lauderdale. The resolution calls for a street name of East Georgia Ave. between South Lauderdale and South Orleans. Councilwoman Cheyenne Johnson sponsored the resolution.

* The council delayed voting on the third and final reading of an ordinance that would present new rules for public art placement.

This article originally appeared in the New Tri-State Defender

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The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) TV Honors Winners Announced

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL — Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” earned four wins from the African American Film Critics Association, who today, announced the winners of its upcoming AAFCA TV Honors. The highly popular Netflix limited series about the infamous Central Park rape case that resulted in the arrest and false imprisonment of five Black youths, received the following group awards: Best Limited Series, Best Ensemble, Best Writing and Breakthrough Performance for Jharrel Jerome who plays Korey Wise in the series.

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Angela Bassett (Photo by: David Shankbone | Wiki Commons)
Angela Bassett (Photo by: David Shankbone | Wiki Commons)

By Sentinel News Service

Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” earned four wins from the African American Film Critics Association, who today, announced the winners of its upcoming AAFCA TV Honors. The highly popular Netflix limited series about the infamous Central Park rape case that resulted in the arrest and false imprisonment of five Black youths, received the following group awards: Best Limited Series, Best Ensemble, Best Writing and Breakthrough Performance for Jharrel Jerome who plays Korey Wise in the series.

Other big wins went to the popular Starz drama “Power,” which begins its sixth and final season August 25th, and the CBS comedy, “The Neighborhood” starring Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold now entering its second season. Angela Bassett and Sterling K. Brown earned Best Performance Female and Male awards for their respective portrayals in the series “9-1-1” on Fox and “This Is Us” on NBC.

In all, the sixteen-year-old association will give out ten awards during its inaugural event, including honoring mega-producer Ryan Murphy with the AAFCA TV Icon Award and big three network, CBS, with the AAFCA Inclusion Award for its diverse programming and talent.

“It is impossible to ignore TV’s popularity and remarkable influence on America’s pop culture landscape today,” says AAFCA president Gil Robertson IV. “As the stature of the small screen continues to expand, it has become increasingly more diverse and inclusive, a movement that we at AAFCA wholeheartedly embrace and champion. The honorees for our first AAFCA TV Honors represent the very best of television programming. They all successfully put a mirror up to our world to tell stories that are refreshingly diverse and authentic. We feel that this new wave of innovative, thought-provoking storytelling is inspiring and deserving of celebration.”

The honorees will be feted at AAFCA TV Honors during a private brunch on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at the California Yacht Club in Marina Del Rey, CA.

AAFCA TV HONORS 2019 Winners:

Best Drama – “Power” (Starz)

Best Comedy – “The Neighborhood” (CBS)

Best Limited Series – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Best Performance Female – Angela Bassett (9-1-1) FOX

Best Performance Male – Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) NBC

Best Ensemble –– “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Best Writing – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Breakthrough Performance – Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us” (Netflix)

AAFCA TV Honors Inclusion Award – CBS

AAFCA TV Honors ICON Award – Ryan Murphy

This article originally appeared in The Los Angeles Sentinel.

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