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President vetoes Keystone XL pipeline
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
As expected, President Barack Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline approval bill. Last month, nine Senate Democrats joined all Republicans to approve the legislation. Democrats in support included: Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.
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Industry Headlines



EPA official offers hint on RFS future
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
On Feb. 19, a high ranking EPA official indicated that the agency plans to base its 2014 RFS blending volumes on actual biofuels production and fuel consumption. Additionally, 2015 RFS blending volumes will be based on actual production to date and projected gasoline demand through the rest of the year. Chris Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, acknowledged the lack of compatible retail infrastructure have impacted EPA's ability to increase the corn-based ethanol mandate in recent years.
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In cold snap, Maine heating oil dealers pushing to keep customers' tanks full
Portland Press Herald
Reports of delays have been isolated across Maine, despite a month of heavy snow and unusually cold weather. While Maine's energy delivery system is "performing well," there have been some delays in eastern Maine because of a tight kerosene market, according to a top state energy official.
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PMAA leader earns shell honors
Petroleum Marketers Association of America
The Shell Pecten and Pearl award has been an enduring tradition at the Shell National Conference and Trade show where Shell recognizes wholesalers that have impacted their community through extraordinary deeds that truly transcends the business. Recipients of the Pecten and Pearl award are nominated by the Shell Territory Managers and selected by a review panel.
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Analysis shows fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year
The Associated Press via Portland Press Herald
The federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S. The projection comes from a previously unreported analysis by the Department of Transportation that reviewed the risks of moving vast quantities of both fuels across the nation and through major cities.
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Pika Energy wants to be standard-bearer for microgrid technology
Bangor Daily News
The renewable energy company that began in a garage in 2010 and by 2013 attracted about $1.1 million in funding now has its sights on building the standard platform for small-scale electricity grids. Ben Polito, the company's co-founder and president, said the company is planning another round of fundraising from investors this year to further develop its system to manage various sources of renewable power, power storage and power from the electric grid.
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Why oil refinery strike has had little bite at gas pump
The Associated Press via PennEnergy
Gasoline prices can spike for all kinds of reasons that make skeptical drivers roll their eyes: "tension" in the Middle East, a refinery suddenly shuts down for maintenance or the annual springtime switch to summer blends of gasoline. A refinery strike, however, would seem understandable. Yet three weeks into a walkout at 11 refineries around the country, the impact on the prices of gasoline, diesel and other fuels is barely discernible.
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New England energy companies detail plan to boost natural gas to region
Concord Monitor
Three of the biggest energy companies operating in New England are teaming up to propose a plan that they say would lower regional electricity costs by charging ratepayers to help expand natural gas pipelines. Eversource Energy — formerly Northeast Utilities — Spectra Energy and National Grid are planning to expand existing natural gas pipelines that run through Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
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Legislative Updates



2nd day of DEC's LPG hearing focuses on noise, alternatives
Finger Lakes Times
Legal wrangling over a proposal to store 88 million gallons of liquid propane and butane in salt caverns adjacent to Seneca Lake continued at a recent state Department of Environmental Conservation hearing in Horseheads, New York. Attorneys argued in the second day of the two-day DEC "issues conference" over noise levels, alternative sites for the project and the financial ability of Houston, Texas-based Crestwood Midstream to cover costs in the event of a major catastrophe.
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LePage's meddling in energy contracts fits dangerous pattern
Bangor Daily News
For the second time in two years, Gov. Paul LePage is interfering with energy contracts. This time, he has pushed the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reopen the bidding process for two long-term contracts the PUC already approved and is in the process of finalizing. LePage may have valid concerns the PUC has too much authority to enter into long-term power agreements, but reopening the bidding process just weeks after contracts were finalized sets a dangerous precedent and adds regulatory uncertainty that could drive needed investment away from the state.
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John Kitzhaber saga fuels conservatives' fight on clean energy
Politico
For years, conservatives have decried efforts at the state and federal level to support renewable energy producers as crony capitalism. In Oregon, Gov. John Kitzhaber, they may now have their poster child. The downfall of Kitzhaber — the Democrat who said recently he would resign because of conflict-of-interest allegations over his first lady's consulting contracts — hands conservatives on and off Capitol Hill ammunition to use against billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, green nonprofit groups and national Democrats advocating clean energy.
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LePage joins governor coalition that's working to expand offshore drilling
Portland Press Herald
Gov. Paul LePage has joined a coalition of governors supporting offshore drilling and exploration for oil and natural gas. The Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition announced recently that LePage had become the first governor from the Northeast to join the group. The coalition receives support from the Consumer Energy Alliance, a Houston nonprofit formed in 2006.
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Waterville Council OKs tax district encompassing gas pipeline
CentralMaine.com
City councilors voted 6-0 on Feb. 17 to create a tax district and development plan for a natural gas pipeline that officials say could reap the city $200,000 in the district's first year. The council must take two more votes on the proposal, which also must be approved by the state Department of Economic and Community Development, according to City Manager Michael Roy.
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Energy subsidies aren't just for renewables, fossil fuels get the lion's share
Bangor Daily News
Energy, especially proposals to lower costs, will again be a significant topic of debate in Augusta this year. Renewable energy should be central to that discussion. Unfortunately, lawmakers in recent years have backtracked on the state's commitment to developing clean, local sources of energy. Again there will be attempts to ease requirements for the state's use of renewable energy, including an expected bill from Senate President Mike Thibodeau to cap subsidies, like the state's renewable portfolio standard, to renewable projects.
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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



MTEC to offer EPA A/C class in Brewer and FREE Mitsubishi training in Brunswick!
MEMA
MTEC will be holding an EPA Certification Air Conditioning class in Brewer:
Tuesday, March 10 - Friday, March 13; 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

AND

Join Roger Willett of Mitsubishi for a 3-hour training seminar on cooling and heating:
Friday, March 27, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Click here for more information.

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Convenience Store News



7-Eleven launches Zero Franchise Fee initiative
NACS
Between now and June 30, 7-Eleven Inc. will waive the franchise fee on a select number of its U.S. stores available for franchise, a savings of up to $80,000. The Zero Franchise Fee Initiative was recently announced at the company's annual franchisee convention. While the more than 200 available stores are located in cities across the country, many of the Zero Franchising Fee opportunities are in markets where 7-Eleven has acquired a significant number of stores.
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Dietary panel calls for taxes on sugary drinks, snacks
NACS
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently issued its "scientific" recommendations to the government that are intended to shape federal nutrition policy and policy. Among its recommendations: Eat less red meat and tax sodas and snacks. The nation's top nutritional panel is recommending for the first time that Americans consider the impact on the environment when they are choosing what to eat, a move that defied a warning from Congress and, if enacted, could discourage people from eating red meat.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Pre-qualified vendor list replacing home heating oil tanks (Maine.gov)
Stores running out of wood pellets, some rationing, as low temps continue (Bangor Daily News)
South Portland has allies against Portland Pipeline lawsuit (The Forecaster)
Renewable energy faces close scrutiny at State House (Portland Press Herald)

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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