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Legislative Updates


Senators appeal to Walmart to quit tobacco
NACS
A group of seven Senate Democrats sent a letter to Walmart chief Doug McMillon, urging the retailer to follow in the footsteps of CVS and cease selling tobacco, Politico reports. "We write to urge Walmart, as the number one retailer of cigarettes in the country, to stop selling tobacco products in all of its stores," the senators said. "We recognize the legality of selling and profiting from tobacco products; however, Walmart's position as the nation's largest retailer of any kind puts your company in a unique position to contribute to the health and well-being of all Americans."
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Governors: Obama expects Keystone decision within months
Politico
Republican governors say President Barack Obama assured them that he expects to make a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline within a couple of months. The White House declined to confirm the governors' accounts. But the information contradicts speculation by parties on both sides of the pipeline dispute, who have said Obama could delay the long-awaited decision until after November's midterm elections because of a state court ruling in Nebraska.
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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event More Information
March 25 MEMA Day on the Hill Hall of Flags, State House — Augusta
March 26 Angus Energy presents Modern Art: The Evolution of the Energy IndustryMEMA Headquarters
March 27 Angus Energy presents Modern Art: The Evolution of the Energy IndustryBangor Location TBD
April 16 Federated Insurance presents 'Designated Risk Management' MEMA Headquarters
June 22-24 60th Annual Convention The Samoset Inn & Spa
Aug. 25 32 Annual J Garrie Murray Golf Classic Penobscot Valley Country Club, Orono Maine



Industry Headlines



Northern Penobscot Tech developing natural-gas course to help laid-off paper workers
Bangor Daily News
Displaced paper mill workers are among those who can learn to install and service natural gas and propane lines and burners under an adult-education class being developed at Northern Penobscot Tech, officials said. Workers at the Region III vocational school and Maine Department of Labor officials will hold an informational meeting at 6 p.m. at the West Broadway school for people wishing to learn the skill set, particularly the mill workers. The course will start late next month or in early April, school director Mary Hawkes said.
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Waterville protesters want Obama, Kerry to kill the tar sands oil pipeline
Kennebec Journal
As North America slowly runs out of "sweet oil," industrialists are turning to the more dangerous and dirty "oil sands" from Alberta, Canada, to power the economy, demonstrators said. Oil sands, a low-grade petroleum called bitumen, also known as tar sands oil, would be transported along a 1,700-mile pipeline through the United States to refineries on the Gulf Coast if the controversial pipeline is approved this spring by the federal government.
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Summit Natural Gas to meet with potential Madison customers
Kennebec Journal
Nearly four months after Madison Paper Industries was scheduled to start using natural gas, the timing for the pipeline to be connected to the anchor business remains unknown, said Summit Natural Gas of Maine officials. But Summit officials, who will meet with the public during an informational session recently, said some Madison residents can get connected to natural gas by the end of April.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Report: Gas pipeline not enough to avert New England energy crisis (New Hampshire Union Leader)
Kicking the heating oil habit (The Times Record)
Propane's promise as Maine fuel in jeopardy (Portland Press Herald)
Governor announces 3 nominees to Efficiency Maine Trust Board (Maine.gov)
Bill Nemitz: South Portland's tar sands committee set to do it right (Portland Press Herald)

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


Hundreds sign up as natural gas heads to Cumberland, Yarmouth and Falmouth
Portland Press Herald
Summit Natural Gas of Maine is preparing to break ground in the coming months on a massive project to connect thousands of homes and businesses in Cumberland, Yarmouth and Falmouth to natural gas. And customers are quickly getting in line for service. Those signing up to convert to gas include the local school district and homeowners such as Susan Smith, who expects to save $1,000 per winter on heating her family's 1840s farmhouse. "We jumped on it," Smith said.
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Energy price spread: Natural gas vs. crude oil in the US
CME Group
The energy production boom in the United States over the last seven years has led to a very interesting and dynamic relationship between natural gas and crude oil. From the vantage point of units of energy, the price spread between natural gas and crude oil is significant, with natural gas giving a lot more energy bang per buck compared to oil.
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Big retailers can't meet demand for wood fuel pellets
Bangor Daily News
The harsh winter and increased demand for wood fuel pellets has some big box retailers struggling to keep adequate supplies on store shelves, although Maine mills that produce the pellets are cranking them out steadily. "We are experiencing wood pellet shortages across the Northeast," Tara Gudger, a spokeswoman for Lowe's in Mooresville, N.C., said. The shortages have affected the company's 11 stores in Maine, she said.
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Assessing natural gas supply options for New England and their impacts on natural gas and electricity prices
Competitive Energy Services
Competitive Energy Services LLC. has been retained by the Industrial Energy Consumer Group to evaluate and assess the status of natural gas supply in New England and the impact such supply conditions will have on natural gas prices and the price of electric energy under three scenarios regarding the development of different additional pipeline capacities.
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Convenience Stores



Hess station manager foils skimmers
CSPNet
A manager at a Hess station doing routine inspections found skimming devices placed within the pumps, apparently before data thieves were able to retrieve the compromised data, according to the local sheriff's office. The devices, placed into pumps to steal creditcard information, were located on pumps at a Hess location in Brooksville, Fla.
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CN Brown goes green and gold to support MDA
CSPNet
C.N. Brown Co., is again sponsoring the "Buy a Shamrock" campaign to benefit the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Through March 17, customers can purchase $1 green paper shamrocks or $5 gold shamrocks at any CITGO Big Apple Food convenience store in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Community members can also get involved by "liking" the C.N. Brown Rewards Facebook page to be automatically entered for a chance to win a CITGO Gift Card during the promotion.
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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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