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LePage administration focuses energy plan on lowering costs and weatherizing homes
Maine Public Broadcasting
On yet another cold and snowy day, the LePage administration presented its energy plan for 2015 to a panel of state lawmakers. It includes provisions aimed at diversifying energy sources, and bringing the state's energy costs more in line with the rest of the nation.
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Legislative Updates



Energy policy coming to Congress
NACS
House Republicans could soon bring forth comprehensive energy legislation, "which would include language that could secure the U.S. electric grid, bolster infrastructure like transmission and gas pipelines, promote energy efficiency and offer programs to prepare workers for jobs in the energy industry," reports EENews.net.
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Portland Pipe Line sues South Portland over ban on loading crude oil
Portland Press Herald
The Portland Pipe Line Corp. filed a federal lawsuit against South Portland on Feb. 6, seeking to overturn the city's ban on loading crude oil into tankers in Portland Harbor. The measure, adopted last summer, is aimed at preventing the flow of the South Portland-to-Montreal oil pipeline from being reversed, bringing Canadian oil — and potentially tar sands oil — into Maine.
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Debate over South Portland tar sands ordinance heading to court
Maine Public Broadcasting
Environmental advocates, along with some local residents, are fighting a lawsuit filed on Feb. 6 against the city of South Portland. The suit, filed by the Portland Pipe Line Company, complains that the city acted unfairly in adopting an ordinance which would ban crude oil from being shipped east to South Portland and loaded onto tankers. Opponents, meanwhile, accuse the tar sands industry of ignoring the will of the people.
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Tar sands suit filed; environment groups to intervene
Maine Public Broadcasting
Two entities with an interest in the shipment of tar sands crude have filed a lawsuit against the city of South Portland over its Clear Skies ordinance passed in June. The South Portland-Portland Pipe Line Corporation and the American Waterways Operators group allege in their complaint that the ordinance, which effectively bans tar sands transport in the municipality, is unconstitutional.
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EPA approves new woodstove emissions standards
Portland Press Herald
The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 4 released long-awaited rules aimed at reducing air pollution from wood-burning heaters, including wood stoves, pellet stoves and both indoor and outdoor wood boilers. The rules in general will require many stove makers to begin producing heaters that are less polluting beginning this year, and up to 70 percent cleaner by 2020. The new emission limits target fine particles and toxic compounds associated with smog and various health concerns.
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Alberta Premier: Keystone XL pipeline benefits US and Canada
Maine Public Broadcasting
Jim Prentice, the premier of Alberta, Canada, says the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline has been a long and tortured process. But, he adds, if President Barack Obama vetoes a bill that would approve construction, the issue will not necessarily go away. There is enormous opposition among environmentalists to the $8 billion pipeline project that's designed to bring crude oil extracted from the Canadian tar sands to refineries along America's Gulf Coast.
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Insurance Topics



A bad combination: Drugs and alcohol in the workplace
Federated Insurance
Where do substance abusers work? Anywhere they can! Seventy-two percent of drug users are employed — but you won't find them working at businesses with effective drug- and alcohol-free workplace programs. Statistics on substance abusers are frightening.
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MEMA Technical Education Center - MTEC



Propane + Natural Gas night classes offered
MEMA
Click here for the schedule.
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Winter HVAC Professional Certification Program full
MEMA
Enroll now for the fall session!
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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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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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Industry Headlines



What's ahead for the oil market?
Energy Intelligence
After predicting correctly in 2012 that a supply surplus was likely to emerge in the world petroleum market because of the growth of production capacity, many people have asked what will happen now and in the near future.
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Potential to expand hydropower in Maine dries up
Portland Press Herald
A new report on Maine's hydropower potential found limited opportunities to expand power generation at existing dams, but suggests the state could encourage hydropower development by tweaking state policies. The report released recently by Gov. Paul LePage's Energy Office identified 56 megawatts of additional power — beyond the more than 750 megawatts of installed capacity — that might be available by expanding or upgrading facilities that produce power now or by restarting dormant facilities with new technology.
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Exports to change the nature of propane businesses
LP Gas
What do Europe's winter temperatures have to do with propane consumer markets in the U.S.? How about China's petrochemical facilities or cooking fuel for third-world countries? Factors like these had not previously moved propane from the U.S. to the world market, but the global supply landscape and the role of the U.S. within it have changed.
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Miss an issue of MEMA Randoms? Click here to visit MEMA Randoms archive page.


How jerky got to be big business
NACS
Recently, Hershey announced that it was purchasing jerky maker Krave, the first time the candy giant has purchased a company that doesn't sell candy, chocolate or other sweets. They must be on to something, because jerky — once relegated as a male-dominated meat treat, known mostly by the Slim Jims brand — is branching out and up.
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Handwriting on the wall
Biomass Magazine
The most resounding, and most expected, election victory was achieved by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, who received almost 70 percent of the vote in Maine. Bell shares Collins' efforts in the biomass industry and other legislative impacts.
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Convenience Store News



Proposed budget would double tobacco tax
NACS
Among the new taxes proposed in President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget is an increase to the tax on tobacco products. The administration proposes to nearly double taxes on cigarettes and small cigars to about $1.95 per pack — from about $1.01 per pack — and index the tax for inflation.
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Maine lawmakers consider new regulations on e-cigarettes
Maine Public Broadcasting
Do you know someone who is a "vaper?" Or maybe someone who belongs to a "vaping club?" Vaping is the practice of using electronic cigarettes — or e-cigarettes, which are smokeless but deliver the user a vaporized blend of chemicals, including nicotine. The Maine Legislature is preparing to consider proposed new regulations for e-cigarettes — or "personal vaporizers" — governing where they can be used to how they are taxed. And the effort is drawing bipartisan support in Augusta.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Letter to the editor: Climate-warming statistics often intentionally deceive (Portland Press Herald)
Obama floats plan for 1st-ever drilling lease in Atlantic (The Associated Press via Portland Press Herald)
Al Franken brings the 'you didn't build that' to fracking boomers (The Huffington Post)
Exxon could be the big winner of the oil crash (Bloomberg)

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

 



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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