U.S. to force drone owners to register devices soon, report says

18 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

All drones to require federal registration.

The federal government will announce a plan within days that will require anyone who buys a drone to register it with the Department of Transportation, NBC reported Friday evening. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Administrator Michael Huerta of the Federal Aviation Administration will release more details on Monday at 12:30 p.m. Department of Transportation.” According to the report, the Government will work with drone makers to set up a registration system that could be in place by Christmas.

Eastern time. “The hobbyist drone community has self-regulated itself for decades,” said Lisa Ellman, co-chair of the unmanned aircraft systems practice at Hogan Lovells, a New York–based law firm. “But with the technology getting so cheap and improving so much, we have more and more drones.” Florida lawyer Jonathan Rupprecht, author of a book on drone law, said he believes any plan centered around drone registration is a necessary first step toward regulating drones but is curious how the regulation will play out and whether the rule will apply to hobbyists with small drones. “It could get people off our backs,” Rupprecht said, referencing fears about drones’ use in spying operations and about crashes. “At some point the industry is going to have to realize we’re going to have to be regulated and we’re going to have to give up concessions right now.” “Who is going to regulate this? The report is unclear whether existing owners would need to register along with those purchasing new drones, but we may not have to wait long to find out—NBC News says the Government plans to announce its proposal on Monday.

The agency said earlier this month that it expects more than 1 million drones “under Christmas trees this year.” Given the numerous incidents already—hobby drones flying near busy airports or obstructing firefighters from putting out blazes—it’s clear regulations are needed before these flying gifts are unwrapped. Over the summer, as PBS reported at the time, hobbyists flying a drones hampered efforts by firefighters to quell multiple wildfires in Southern California. Drones weighing less than 1 pound can be purchased for less than $100 from companies such as the French drone maker Parrot PARRO, -1.85% Drones are also widely sold online, including on Amazon.com AMZN, +1.48% and via the Apple Store.

Back in 2013, Amazon proposed a delivery-by-drone service, but said it couldn’t actually launch the service until the FAA had regulations in place for commercial drone flight. (Earlier this year, the FAA proposed rules that would allow for some commercial drone uses, but not drone deliveries.) Meanwhile, just last week, Senator Barbara Boxer introduced a bill that would make it a federal misdemeanor to “knowingly operate a drone within 2 miles of a fire, an airport or any other restricted airspace,” as our John Ribeiro explained. Currently, operators using a drone for commercial purposes must have FAA authorization to fly commercially through what’s called a Section 333 exemption. The FAA estimates that there will be roughly 7,500 commercial drones in the skies within the next five years, but some in the drone community suspect that figure is low. The owner of that drone, an off-duty government employee, turned himself in. “The law says drone operators can’t recklessly endanger the public, but if you don’t know who (the drone operator) is, you can’t really enforce the law,” Ellman said. “People are buying these as toys and not realizing they need to be truly responsible.”

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UPDATE 1-Western Refining to buy rest of Northern Tier

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Upgrades Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI) to “Neutral”.

Under the deal, Northern Tier unit holders would receive $15 a unit in cash and 0.2986 Western Refining share for each common unit held, or roughly $26.21 a unit based on Monday’s close. EL PASO, Texas and TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE:WNR) and Northern Tier Energy LP (NYSE:NTI) today jointly announced that they have entered into a merger agreement whereby Western will acquire all of NTI’s outstanding common units not already owned by Western. Northern Tier Chief Executive Dave Lamp in prepared remarks Monday said that the MLP model “has not been rewarded by the equity market, as evidenced by the historical disconnect between NTI’s high yield and low unit price.” “With a simplified corporate structure and diverse geographic base, the new Western will be well positioned to unlock additional value for shareholders,” Mr. As an alternative to the cash and stock consideration, each NTI unitholder may elect to receive, per NTI unit, either $26.06 in cash or 0.7036 of a share of WNR.

Assuming completion of the proposed transaction, NTI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WNR and NTI common units will cease to be publicly traded. Jeff Stevens, President and CEO of WNR said, “The merger of Western and NTI will result in the combined entity owning three of the most profitable independent refineries on a gross margin per barrel basis, with direct pipeline access to advantaged crude oil combined with an integrated retail and wholesale distribution network. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the WNR Board of Directors and the Conflicts Committee of the Board of Directors of NTI’s general partner, which negotiated the terms on behalf of NTI. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock.

The call and slide presentation can be accessed on the Investor Relations section of Western’s website, www.wnr.com, and on the Investor Relations section of Northern Tier’s website at www.northerntier.com. The Company has refining, retail and logistics operations that serve the Petroleum Administration for Defense District II (PADD II) region of the United States. Goldman Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Western, and Vinson & Elkins, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Richards Layton & Finger acted as legal counsel to Western. This press release includes “forward-looking statements” by Western (which are protected as forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) and by NTI.

The Company’s retail segment operated 165 convenience stores under the SuperAmerica brand and also supported 89 franchised convenience stores, which are also operated under the SuperAmerica brand. These statements are subject to the risk that the merger is not consummated at all, including due to the inability of Western or NTI to obtain all approvals necessary or the failure of other closing conditions, as well as to the general risks inherent in Western’s and NTI’s businesses and the merged company’s ability to compete in a highly competitive industry.

If you are reading this article on another website, that means this article was illegally copied and re-published to this website in violation of U.S. and International copyright law. In addition, Western’s and Northern Tier’s business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Western’s and NTI’s control, which could materially affect their respective financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of the merged company.

The forward-looking statements are only as of the date made, and neither Western nor NTI undertake any obligation to (and each expressly disclaims any obligation to) update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date such statements were made, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is unlawful. Any such offer will be made only by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, pursuant to a registration statement filed with the SEC. The retail segment includes retail service stations, convenience stores, and unmanned fleet fueling locations in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. Beyersdorfer (602) 286-1530 Michelle Clemente (602) 286-1533 Northern Tier Investor and Analyst Contact: Paul Anderson (651) 458-6494 Alpha IR Group (651) 769-6700 nti@alpha-ir.com Media Contact: Gary Hanson (602) 286-1777

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