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NORA re-established by Congress
NORA
We are pleased to announce that the National Oilheat Research Alliance will resume full operations in 2014, after Congress decided to extend the program by five years. This will provide an opportunity for retailers of oilheat to pay the $.002 per gallon fee, and ensure a strong future for oilheat.
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Legislative Updates



An alliance of commodity derivatives end-users and consumers
CMOC
The Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition and its member organizations appreciate the opportunity to provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with the below comments and recommendations concerning the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Position Limits in Derivatives. We commend the CFTC and its Commissioners and staffs for the careful consideration of input received from market participants and the general public. Please note that this letter does not preclude the submission of additional comments and recommendations by various CMOC-affiliated organizations or their constituent industries or member companies.
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Obama should stop 'studying' Keystone XL and approve it
Washington Examiner
It appears increasingly clear that the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline project is being studied to death as President Obama dithers over whether to approve it. The massive project to move Canadian oil to American refineries should already be under construction, but the president can't decide whether to pander to Big Green environmentalists who rabidly oppose it or to the trade unions who want to build it and benefit from the thousands of jobs that it would create. So he keeps moving the goal posts, from one study to the next, desperate to avoid responsibility for the final decision.
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Heating oil customers on budget plans facing increased monthly payments
Bangor Daily News
Citing an extended cold snap that began in December, heating oil suppliers are increasing the monthly payments of certain customers who are burning more oil this winter than expected. Customers from Dead River Co. and Downeast Energy who contracted for oil at a set per-gallon price have reported having their monthly payments increased by the companies. The per-gallon charge remains the same, but the monthly bills have gone up to reflect higher-than-projected use.
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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



Emergency declaration 49 CFR and extension of state declarations notice
U.S. Department of Transportation
Pursuant to Title 49 CFR, I Curtis L. Thomas Regional Field Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, declare an emergency exists that warrants issuance and extension of the State Regional Emergency Declarations continuing the exemptions granted in accordance with section 390.23 and 390.25 from part 390 through 399 of the Federal Regulations (Federal Motor Carrier Regulations) except as otherwise restricted by this declaration.
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State agencies and service organizations to assist veterans and current service members
Maine.gov
In a coordinated effort to assist veterans and those currently serving in the military with obtaining state licenses and locating jobs, state and private partners will hold an Occupational Licensing and Job Fair on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 4, in Portland. Current and past military members are invited to attend, receive a printed Verification of Military Education and Training and use relevant military experience toward licensing requirements in four licensed trades. Veterans must provide proof of honorable discharge (DD 214).
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City Council hears fears on Sea-3 propane plan
SeacoastOnline.com
City residents concerned with the potential effects a propane freight business may have on the community made their voices heard in front of the City Council at City Hall. A handful of residents living in and around the Spinnaker Way and Atlantic Heights neighborhood went before the council in an effort to address a pending proposal from Newington business Sea-3 to expand operations to allow it to off-load more propane from tank cars.
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Industry Headlines



Former Obama official: Fracking has never been an environmental problem
Fuel Fix
Former U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar said that he believes hydraulic fracturing is safe, and the energy industry should work to convince the public that it doesn't pose a safety threat. Salazar spoke in Houston at the North American Prospect Expo, a three-day conference where landowners from around the globe look to make deals with oil, gas and pipeline companies.
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Fuel-switching from natural gas to oil helps moderate Northeast winter natural gas demand
U.S Energy Information Administration
Recent extreme cold weather in the Northeast boosted natural gas demand beyond the capacity of the natural gas delivery system that supplies New York and New England. As a result, the spot price of natural gas rose above the price of distillate and residual fuel oil (on an energy-equivalent basis) in the Northeast on some days this winter. Because decisions regarding the dispatch of electric generation units are generally based on variable operating costs, the use of oil for power generation can increase when natural gas prices are higher than distillate or residual fuel prices in cases where fuel-switchable or oil-only units are available to operate.
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Tar-sands group set to meet
Keep Me Current News
During a 90-minute workshop recently, the South Portland City Council seemed to settle the question of what, exactly, it expects from the recently created Draft Ordinance Committee. Councilors seemed clear at a Dec. 11 workshop, when they authorized creation of the three-member group, that it should devise a way to block diluted bitumen, more popularly known as "tar sands," from flowing through South Portland.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    NORA Reauthorized in Farm Bill (PMAA)
Can butanol be the new ethanol? (Fuel Freedom)
When government plays in markets, customers pay (Bangor Daily News)
Letter to the editor: Governors' natural gas push not the best energy solution (Portland Press Herald)
Letter to the editor: South Portland tar sands ban reflects public opinion (The Portland Press Herald)

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


Long-awaited study on HOS restart comes under fire
NATSO
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently released its long-awaited field study on the 34-hour restart provision of the Hours-of-Service rule. The study, which was mandated in the last highway bill and issued nearly six months late, found that the current rule for truck drivers is more effective at combating fatigue than the prior version. The provision requires drivers to take off two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during their 34-hour restart.
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Bangor Gas parent company activates part of Loring line
Mainebiz
The Ohio-based Gas Natural Inc., parent of Bangor Gas Co., announced it has activated the first 60 miles of its Searsport-to-Limestone Loring Pipeline, a liquid pipeline the company is converting to transport natural gas.
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Town warms to gas line expansion
Keep Me Current
The Freeport Town Council is interested in helping the town's Natural Gas Task Force in its efforts to expand natural gas pipelines in areas of the town east of U.S. Route 1, including South Freeport village. While council Vice Chairwoman Kristina Egan told Natural Gas Task Force members during a workshop that she favors going forward with a request for proposals, she emphasized that the town should not spend money on infrastructure to facilitate expansion of the service.
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MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Brent Mangum, Content Editor, 469.420.2602  
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