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Natural gas bonanza has a downside
Portland Press Herald
The arrival of natural gas as a major player in the Kennebec Valley last year has created hardships for the region's sewer and water districts. The Augusta district, for example, responded to nearly 3,000 requests to mark underground lines, about five times more than the year before.
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Member Updates



LePage issues emergency declaration to assist Mainers to keep warm
Maine.gov
Gov. Paul R. LePage has signed a third limited Emergency Proclamation that will allow Maine fuel transport and delivery trucks to drive additional hours to ensure timely heating fuel deliveries during the cold winter weather. "The declaration allows heating fuel to be delivered to Maine families when they need it most," Governor LePage said. "Keeping homes warm is critical to protect the public health and safety of Mainers."
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Summit spokesman: Natural gas could fuel local economy
The Kennebec Journal
Savings in heating costs and new jobs that are expected to result from natural gas now flowing into Kennebec Valley homes and businesses should also get millions in disposable income moving in the region, a gas company official told a crowd of mostly businesspeople recently.
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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event More Information
Feb. 26 Modern Art: The Evolution of the Energy Industry MEMA Headquarters
March 25 MEMA Day on the Hill TBA
April 16 Federated Insurance presents 'Designated Risk Management' MEMA Headquarters
Aug. 24 32 Annual J Garrie Murray Golf Classic MEMA Headquarters



Legislative Updates



Move over for Maine police, or pull over — for ticket
Portland Press Herald
State police say they have begun enforcing a 2007 law that requires drivers to move over and slow down for parked emergency vehicles and wreckers along Maine roads, in response to six accidents in which cruisers were hit. Any driver who is videotaped by police violating the "move over" law will be issued a summons and fined $311. The violation will also go on their driving record.
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Environmental groups laud solar bill support
Mainbiz
A bill that would elevate solar power development in Maine was expected to be a priority at a news conference held at the Senate House Welcome Center by The National Resources Council of Maine and a coalition of 27 other environmental and conservation organizations. The Portland Press Herald reported that the news conference, scheduled at 11 a.m., would focus on the group's priorities for this legislative session, and the solar bill was expected to be a priority.
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South Portland council set to select tar sands committee
The Forecaster
A former state senator, a former city Planning Board member, and a former U.S. Senate staffer are among the 12 applicants to serve on the committee that will try to draft an ordinance banning tar sands oil from the city. More than half the applicants introduced themselves at a City Council workshop, Jan. 13. Their formal introductions were found in applications the city has declined to make public.
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Industry Headlines



Lincoln's heating aid program swamped with requests
Bangor Daily News
The bitter weather has more than doubled the number of families turning to the town's home-heating aid program for help, but civic leaders want to see the voluntary donation fund exhausted before they put money in it. As of recently, the town's program had issued $12,647 in aid to 52 Lincoln families, totaling 141 people — including two families of laid-off Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC workers — since October. Last winter the program supported 23 families, totaling 66 people, said town Treasurer Melissa Quintela.
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Better to export natural gas fracking or advanced coal technologies?
Forbes
France, meantime, has said that fracking for shale gas — and shale oil — would be off limits and that its parliament would need to vote to make any changes. Many, of course, are making the case that such drilling is safe and that the country will need to access those deposits to achieve its climate and energy goals, if it cuts its nuclear energy production. Government reports there suggest that the drilling technology must improve before it would be gradually implemented within the country.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Maine family in fuel business born to deliver (Portland Press Herald)
South Portland council to pick oil sands committee members (Portland Press Herald)
FMCSA delays elimination of rule requiring drivers to carry paper medical certificates (PMAA)
Saudi billionaire prince: Fracking competitively threatens 'any oil producing country in the world' (CNS News)
This Wall Street bull says the US energy boom could go on for decades (Quartz)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Cold Maine weather strains firewood supply
Maine Sun Journal
The return of frigid weather to Maine could put additional strain on people who heat their homes with firewood. Firewood dealers say many woodpiles may be running low because the cold weather in December and early January caused people to burn more wood than usual. Some dealers are scrambling to get customers resupplied.
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Cumberland Center, Foreside to get natural gas this year
The Forecaster
Installation of the main natural gas line into Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth is due to begin in May, and Blanchard, Tuttle and part of Foreside roads are among those to be brought online this year. The Town Council heard a natural gas progress report from Emily Fisher, a special projects coordinator for the town, who worked with fellow college student Eliza Porter on the project. Summit Natural Gas is expected to hook up the Center and Foreside areas of Cumberland this year.
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What happens after the shale revolution?
Real Clear Energy
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he viewed the increase in U.S. oil production as a new source of supply that will help stabilize oil markets. Oil from shale is providing a buffer against an unsteady Middle East market, but it's not too early to consider what happens to markets after the revolution. Naimi said during a meeting in Riyadh with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz the increase in U.S. oil production was adding a level of stability to an international oil market unsettled by problems in the Middle East and North Africa.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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