Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Facing his parents sitting proudly in the front row next to his three daughters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo let the oratory soar, and the crowd roared, “Four more years!”As the climax of his acceptance speech drew near, he was finally hitting his stride at the podium and it didn’t matter if the rising cheers and standing ovation drowned out his words. Everyone there was on the same page already. Cuomo was beaming broadly because he’d finally generated enough energy in the Grand Ballroom at the Huntington Hilton to honor his old man, the acknowledged master mouthpiece of the Democratic Party back when Mario Cuomo was in his prime as the lyrical liberal and the nation seemed to hang on every word in the summer of 1984.Now, decades later, it was the son’s turn to shine, rhetorically speaking, at the New York State Democratic Convention, and the younger Cuomo’s task was much more pragmatic: unite upstate and downstate, quash any debate over policies he didn’t like, avoid mention of any contentious issues—like fracking, Common Core, and gun control—proclaimed on the placards of protesters lined up outside the hotel grounds, and inspire the Democrats inside to return to their home counties, whether Onondaga or Cattaraugus, Genesee or Montgomery, all fired up for the fall campaign.The semi-official motto for Cuomo’s run for re-election is “New York is on the move,” followed by the variation on the theme: “We ain’t going back,” and “We’re not stopping until we make the Empire State stronger and better than it’s ever been.”Will these words be enough to produce a margin of victory so impressive this November that he could become a possible presidential contender in 2016 should Hillary Clinton do the unthinkable and not run? Certainly Cuomo shows no signs of taking this race for granted even though, in some recent polling, the governor starts the Memorial Day weekend with a 30-point lead over the Republican nominee, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Certainly, the contest will get closer—it always does—but so far Cuomo is going all out.Anti-fracking activists protest outside Democratic Convention at Huntington Hilton. (Spencer Rumsey/Long Island Press)For his running mate, he picked Erie County’s former clerk, Kathy Hochul, who served one term in Congress, because he wants to be competitive in western New York, where she’s a “household name,” according to current Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who spoke at the podium right before she did. When it was her turn, Hochul flailed the opposition, which went unnamed but the target was clear to the assembled throng, for spinning “their narrative of negativity” because they “aren’t happy with progress.”“I’m telling you right now,” said Hochul to Republicans, “if you want to mess with Buffalo and upstate New York, you’ve got to get through me!”From the other end of the state, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio made clear there’s very little daylight between his progressive policies and the governor’s, at least when it comes to providing universal pre-k in the state, or so he claimed from the podium. He said that he and the governor have been friends for more than 20 years, starting when Cuomo worked for the Clinton Administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The governor will certainly need a big turnout in the liberal bastion of New York City to offset any Republican gains in the more conservative suburbs and rural counties—so he’s counting that DeBlasio can deliver.But the governor is also keeping his other ballot options open, despite an effort by Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs to compel Cuomo to shun the Independence Party endorsement, which Jacobs said was a “corrupting influence.” Jacobs’ proposal reportedly had the backing of the Democrats’ Progressive Caucus but it fell short on the convention floor Wednesday afternoon and was permanently tabled. How that move will play out with the left-leaning Working Families Party at their convention in Albany on May 31 remains to be seen. So far this third party has not announced a formal challenger to Cuomo despite their complaints that the governor isn’t liberal enough, is far too comfortable with Republican control of the State Senate under Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and the more conservative Independent Democratic Conference. Before Cuomo came to the podium, an array of Democrats from President Bill Clinton to Harry Belafonte, Billy Crystal, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as the former governor and first lady of the state, Mario and Matilda Cuomo, were shown on the giant video screens in the hall endorsing the governor’s re-election.“He’s made this state greater than it was,” said the elder Cuomo about his son in a feeble voice, “and given another opportunity, he will make it still greater.”Once the governor himself took the stage, he thanked “my father, my hero, the greatest governor in the history of New York,” before listing his own accomplishments such as turning a $10 billion deficit into a $2 billion surplus, reducing state income taxes to their lowest level since the 1950s, raising the minimum wage and passing marriage equality. Cuomo’s new running mate, former upstate Congresswoman, Kathy Hochul. (Spencer Rumsey/Long Island Press)He took credit for New York having more jobs now than it ever had. He promised to rebuild the State University of New York (his twin daughters now attend Harvard and Brown) under his “SUNY 2020” project. He boasted that under his administration the Tappan Zee Bridge will finally get a much overdue renovation, and he said he’ll follow that example by rebuilding John F. Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia, although he didn’t spell out how.Judging by their joyous reaction to his speech, this audience was not focused on the details. They were looking at the big picture, and Cuomo was happy to paint it in the broadest strokes.Describing the contrasts of his vision with the other party’s, Cuomo said, “Their view is an ultra-conservative social agenda that sees society through a lens of fear and division. Our view sees society through a lens of optimism and inclusion. They see government as a vehicle for corporate opportunity. We see government as a vehicle for individual opportunity.”He alluded to the Statue of Liberty, calling New York State America’s “laboratory of democracy,” and in halcyon terms barely audible above the cheers, he shouted, “We are one and in our unity is our strength!”Once he was done speaking, he was joined on stage by his parents—his father planted a kiss on his cheek—and his daughters and Sandra Lee, his celebrity chef girlfriend. He raised Hochul’s hand in the air in triumph and then posed for pictures with the rest of the Democratic ticket, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, as the music blared Bon Jovi’s “Who’s Gonna Work for the Working Man?”Tellingly, the next song up was Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.”
Offshore oil and gas exploration and production companies in the UK will need to spend £200bn in existing operations and new opportunities to add a generation of productive life to the UK North Sea basin, Oil & Gas UK said in a report on Wednesday.A North Sea platform / Image source: BPOil & Gas UK’s Business Outlook 2019 finds investors are cautious due to continued uncertainty in commodity markets, with forecasts showing a conservative outlook for prices.Companies are looking to maintain unit operating costs at current levels, with operating expenditure running at around £7-7.5bn through 2019.Against this backdrop, OGUK said, exploration and production companies remain focused on cost whilst striving for further business and operational improvements.“A sustained focus on cost and efficiencies with ongoing uncertainty in commodity markets marks the “new reality” for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector,” the report said.15 wells in 2019While the report finds 62 percent of contractor companies have an improved outlook for 2019, many areas of the supply chain are still experiencing challenges as industry emerges from one of its most difficult downturns, the report finds.According to the report, production on the UK Continental Shelf has increased by 20 percent over the past five years, following 14 years of decline.On the exploration front, OGUK sees the momentum is building around exploration activity, with up to 15 exploration wells expected in 2019, including several potentially high-impact prospects, however, the report has said that the drilling activity remains at record low rate.Despite the low level of activity, up to 485 million boe have been discovered so far from exploration wells drilled in 2018 – a similar total to discovered volumes in Norway but with 20 fewer wells, OGUK said.2019 expected to match 2018 by number of approved projects The largest ten E&P companies accounted for just over half of production in 2018 compared to more than two-thirds in 2008, reflecting an increasingly diverse corporate landscape. Production from the UKCS continues to provide around 60 percent of the UK’s oil and gas demand reducing reliance on importsMore new projects were approved in 2018 than the previous three years combined, unlocking over £3.3 billion of new capital investment and more than 400 million boe of new reserves – a similar number are expected in 2019.“Around £200 billion will need to be spent to add a generation of productive life to the basin, providing significant opportunities for both supply chain and E&P companies”“Around £200 billion will need to be spent to add a generation of productive life to the basin, providing significant opportunities for both supply chain and E&P companies,” OGUK said.OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said: “Our Business Outlook Report 2019 shows that industry’s approach during the downturn is delivering results. Following 14 years of decline, production has increased by a fifth over the past five years.“Cost improvements are being sustained and there is building momentum around exploration, with more new opportunities being drilled and the largest two conventional discoveries for a decade made in the second half of 2018.“Our report finds an industry that’s getting better at what it does, getting smarter in how it does it and is well positioned to deliver attractive returns on investment within this environment, maintaining our global competitiveness. This is the new reality and we need to embrace it.“However, challenges remain across parts of the supply chain, with revenues and margins still under pressure and cash flow stretched. If capabilities and resources are to stay anchored here in the UK, there must be a competitive proposition for supply chain companies to invest in too.“With focus on adding a generation of productive life to the basin, our report reveals around £200 billion will need to be spent to find, develop and operate the reserves of the future.“In a year in which output from the UK Continental Shelf met around 60 percent of primary UK oil and gas demand, the importance of our hard-fought investment conditions is reinforced – not only for our industry but for the UK economy.“This is a UK industry which is critical for security of energy supply, at the heart of the move to a lower carbon economy, supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes billions to the economy.“With the new reality clear and clarity around the future potential, there is all to play for.”
What channel is the NASCAR race on today? What time does the NASCAR race start? These are the questions that plague race fans every Sunday, when each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will be on either Fox or FS1 for the first half of the 2019 season with differing start times.As for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, the first of three road course races on the Cup Series schedule, the channel that will broadcast the race is FS1. The start time for the race at Sonoma is 3 p.m. ET, and the start time for the pre-race show on FS1 is 2:30 p.m. ET. MORE: Watch the Sonoma race live with fuboTV (7-day trial)The 3 p.m. ET start time for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma is only the second such start time this season (Texas was the other). As for the TV channel, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to FS1 for the final time this season. As part of Fox’s TV deal with NASCAR for the 2019 season, Fox was slated to show nine Cup races this year, and FS1 was scheduled to show eight, including the All-Star Race.Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, which will consist of three stages (20 laps, 20 laps, 50 laps), is the 17th race on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule (16th when not counting the All-Star Race).Sonoma Raceway, located at Sears Point in the southern Sonoma Mountains in Sonoma, Calif., has been reconfigured back to its original 2.52-mile configuration. For the first time in 22 years, the course will again use the “The Carousel” turn, a tight corner that leads to the track’s long straightaway and hairpin turn. So this race actually will be 226.8 miles around the hilly road coarse.Below is all the info you need regarding how to watch Sunday’s NASCAR race at Sonoma.What channel is NASCAR on today? Time, TV for Sonoma raceRace: Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma RacewayDate: Sunday, June 23Start time: 3 p.m. ETTV channel: FS1Live stream: Fox Sports Go | fuboTVRadio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR RadioThe Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday will be the eighth and final race of the season to be shown on FS1. NBC and NBCSN will take over as the broadcast networks for the second half of the season, starting at Chicagoland next week. That also means this race will be the last for retiring Fox broadcaster Darrell Waltrip after 19 years on the network.In addition to the TV coverage on FS1, Sunday’s race at Sonoma is available via live stream through Fox Sports Go or fuboTV. New fuboTV users can sign up with a seven-day free trial.MORE: Who will replace Waltrip in the Fox NASCAR broadcast booth?In a development that shocks nobody, Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are being tabbed as two of the favorites to win Sunday’s road race at Sonoma. They are the only two-time Sonoma winners in the field, evidence of their driving skills on such a physically demanding track.”It’s different, for sure,” Busch said this week. “There are a lot of guys out there who have the road racing background, who know a heck of a lot more about road racing and technique than we do. The neat thing about road racing is just being able to have — it’s like — a vacation weekend. You just go out there and have fun and do the best you can and you’ll either do really well or you’ll do really badly, and you just go on to the next one. We don’t have a lot of testing for it and you try to pick up on it but, with respect to who you’re racing, you can expect to race a little bit of a different crowd.”I think the biggest thing you do for Sonoma is watch some film, look at things from the past few years that have worked and some things that haven’t, and look at what has made you better there. You always have to be mindful of what has made you good there and what you can improve on.”MORE: Full 2019 NASCAR Cup Series schedule As for Joey Logano, the driver who stole the NASCAR Cup Series points lead from Busch last week with his win at Michigan, the Team Penske driver has never won at Sonoma. Logano does have two top-fives and four top-10 finishes in 10 starts at this road course, but his 18 laps led (over three races) at Sonoma is his third-lowest laps led mark of any track the series currently visits. The only other tracks at which he has led fewer laps are the other road courses, Watkins Glen (nine) and the Charlotte ROVAL (zero).Also among the favorites Sunday at Sonoma are Stweart-Haas Racing drivers Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer. Harvick, who won at Sonoma two years ago, has finished sixth or better in the last four consecutive races at this track. Even without a win so far this season, Harvick is only two points behind three-time race winner Brad Keselowski, who is third in the points standings.As for Bowyer, he boasts the best career average finish at Sonoma in the field (10.077), the third best mark all-time behind only Jeff Gordon (8.304) and the late Dale Earnhardt (8.583).