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DOT eliminates daily paperwork requirement
LP Gas
The U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that professional truck drivers will no longer have to complete Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). This became effective as of Dec. 18.
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MEMA Technical Education Center - MTEC



MTEC propane night classes
MEMA
A very limited number of seats remain in February's Propane + Natural Gas night classes, beginning Feb. 10! Online registration is the fastest and easiest way to ensure your seat is held.
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Why should you choose a career in HVAC?
MEMA
Whether it's job security and great benefits you are after, or you are just ready for a career change, take a moment to Explore the HVAC Industry to determine if this is a good career fit for you or someone you know. The future looks bright for HVAC!
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2014 MTEC students and alumni appear in WMTW channel 8 commercial
MEMA via Facebook
WMTW and MTEC came together to create two great new commercials, both featuring current 2014 MTEC students and some well-recognized alumni! Be sure to follow MTEC on Facebook to stay current with breaking news, course announcements and more interesting videos!
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Legislative Updates



Good policy, good data drove Susan Collins' trucking rule
The Bangor Daily News
Special interest groups have deliberately misled Congress and the public by distorting the safety record of the industry. For example, they have selectively chosen a narrow period, e.g., 2009-12, rather than the long term, to paint a negative picture of trucking. In fact, over the past decade — 2003-12, the most recent year available — truck-involved fatalities declined 22 percent, and the truck involved fatality rate, accounting for increased mileage exposure, dropped 37 percent.
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Maine and Vermont's Yankee connection: Nuclear shutdown, natural gas, dry casks
The Bangor Daily News
After a 42-year run, the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor recently stopped sending electricity into the region's grid. The reactor's shutdown has implications for Maine's electric ratepayers since it accelerates New England's growing dependence on a single source — natural gas — for electricity, a phenomenon that has meant higher electricity prices this winter. And as attention shifts to the long decommissioning process that lies ahead at the reactor site in Vernon, Vermont, the shutdown also highlights the failure of the federal government to follow through with a permanent solution for storage of nuclear waste.
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Plans for wood chip factory take prospect residents by surprise
Maine Public Broadcasting
The developer of a proposed wood chip factory in Prospect, near Bucksport, is pitching the project as a badly needed source of employment in a region hit hard by the closure of the Verso paper mill. The proposed facility would abut a nearby salt marsh managed by the state, and that has raised concern among locals, along with the way the project came to light.
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Sen. Schumer: Pipeline veto would be upheld
Portland Press Herald
If Republicans push through Congress a measure approving the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline, Democrats would have the votes to uphold a presidential veto, a top Senate Democrat said recently. Republican leaders say that when lawmakers return to Congress, a bill approving Keystone, which has support of most Republicans and some Democrats, will be an early priority.
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Maine tax dollars shouldn't support wind development
Morning Sentinel
Maine residents are being led to believe that we need to make Maine a clean producer of electricity, by turning us into a wind-producing state. Ninety-nine percent of Maine's electricity generation already comes from clean sources other than coal and oil, according to www.maineenergysystems.com/carbon_by_state. Maine has the highest renewable portfolio standard in the nation.
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2015 NFPA 54: Top 3 areas of concern for marketers
Butane-Propane News
Right on schedule, the 2015 edition of the National Fire Protection Association's National Fuel Gas Code, NFPA 54, is ready for dealers to study and make sure they are in compliance with the updated codes. The new edition incorporates several substantive changes that impact new installations.
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Industry Headlines



Methane leaks flare in climate debate
The Washington Post via Portland Press Herald
The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near this desert trading post may be colorless and odorless, but it's not invisible. It can be seen from space. Satellites that sweep over energy-rich northern New Mexico can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling rigs, compressors and miles of pipeline snaking across the badlands. In the air it forms a giant plume: a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud, so vast that scientists questioned their own data when they first studied it three years ago.
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Could 2015 herald a 'new oil order'?
CNBC
Last year was a tumultuous year for oil, with Brent crude prices declining around 50 percent since June on the back of an over-supplied market and lack of global demand. From "old school" oil producers Russia and Saudi Arabia in the east to shale oil in California and oil sands in Alberta in the west, the glut of oil and its impact on currencies and economies has been felt across the world.
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More weatherization, lower oil prices means Mainers saving
Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal
Like a lot of Mainers, last year's high fuel costs and cold winter motivated homeowner Dan Ryder to weatherize his residence. He had an energy audit done, then carried out the audit's recommendations, hiring Upright Frameworks to insulate his attic and basement. Once the insulation was in, "you could feel the heating staying," Ryder said. "We are saving hundreds of dollars, if not thousands."
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5 energy surprises for 2015: The possible and the improbable
By Kurt Cobb
The coming year is likely to be as full of surprises in the field of energy as 2014 was. We just don't know which surprises! I am not predicting that any of the following will happen, and they will be surprises to most people if they do. But, I think there is an outside chance that one or more will occur, and this would move markets and policy debates in unexpected directions.
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Oil price drop saving consumers hundreds of dollars
WCSH-TV
Maine home and business owners should be ending the year with a smile, at least when they look at their heating bills. Because of the dramatic drop in the world price of crude oil, the cost of heating oil and propane is also way down. The Governor's Energy Office announced the latest numbers recently. It says the average price of home heating oil is $2.75 per gallon. That's at least a dollar less than the price last year. Propane and kerosene prices are also significantly lower than they were last winter.
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The 'Oil War'
The Bangor Daily News
"Did you know there's an oil war? And the war has an objective: to destroy Russia," Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in a recent live television speech. "It's a strategically planned war ... also aimed at Venezuela, to try and destroy our revolution and cause an economic collapse." It's the U.S. that has started the war, Maduro said, and its strategy was to flood the market with shale oil and collapse the price.
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Nest continues quest for smart home domination
Mashable
Google wants to be at the center of your future smart home, and its Nest thermostat is well on its way to becoming the control center. To encourage customers to join the smart-home bandwagon, Nest is pitching its products as a way to save on energy costs, and streamline at-home tasks by working with third-party products.
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Convenience Store News



Will 2015 be the year of the digital wallet?
NACS
This year may very well go down as the year of the corporate hack, with numerous breaches occurring in retail, banking, entertainment and government. Some consumers, feeling that their data is not secure in the traditional channels, have begun moving their payments to so-called digital wallets, such as PayPal or Google Wallet, as well as making payments via mobile systems such as ApplePay.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Natural gas expansion hits obstacles (Oil & Energy Online)
US DOT eliminates $1.7 billion annual paperwork burden for trucking industry (U.S. Department of Transportation)
Maine regulators agree to trim Summit Natural Gas fine from $100,000 to $25,000 (The Forecaster)
Natural gas expansion: Lower rates or greater dependence? (YouTube)

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MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Christina Nava, Content Editor, 469.420.2612  
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