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FMCSA issues out warning about fraud marketing
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
A mass marketing "service provider" is apparently mass emailing misleading and sometimes threatening solicitations regarding general motor carrier compliance and biennial registration requirements to carriers.
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Aggressive and fraudulent marketing guidance
USDOT / Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Why am I getting all these unwanted calls and solicitations since I registered my company with FMCSA?
FMCSA is aware that motor carrier officials and new entrant applicants often receive confusing or misleading solicitations from service providers or third party administrators by telephone, email, text and U.S. Mail. These businesses are able to get your company's information because when you submit an application or update your information with FMCSA, your basic carrier information is publicly available. However, the services offered by these companies are neither authorized nor sanctioned by FMCSA.
States fighting new wood heat emissions rules
The Associated Press via Portland Press Herald
Smoke wafting from wood fires has long provided a familiar winter smell in many parts of the country — and, in some cases, a foggy haze that has filled people's lungs with fine particles that can cause coughing and wheezing.
Citing health concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency now is pressing ahead with regulations to significantly limit the pollution from newly manufactured residential wood heaters. But some of the states with the most wood smoke are refusing to go along, claiming that the EPA's new rules could leave low-income residents in the cold.
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City hires Boston firm to defend tar-sands ban
Working under the clock, the South Portland City Council has hired the Boston law firm of Foley Hoag to help defend the city against a lawsuit filed by Portland Pipe Line Corp. that argues a municipal ban on tar-sands oil is invalid.
In a 6-0 vote on March 2, with Councilor Claude Morgan absent, the City Council agreed that hiring the out-of-state firm was the right thing to do in response to the suit, which was filed in federal court in Portland on Feb. 6.
Maine voters asked to ban fracking
Morning Sentinel via Marcellus.com
Voters at the Town Meeting on March 7 were asked if they wanted to become the first town in Maine to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
The measure's intent is to protect the town's water resources, but the state geologist said no fracking is going on in Maine because there are no known gas and oil deposits in the state, and the state’s rocky subterrain is simply not suitable for the practice.
5 ways the Keystone saga could end
President Barack Obama plans to veto Congress' Keystone XL pipeline bill soon after he gets it — yet that's just the beginning of the unpredictable next phase in the project's journey through the Washington wringer.
A veto could doom the congressional push for Keystone, since Republicans lack the votes for an override. But the White House and State Department still must decide the larger question of whether to allow construction of the $8 billion Canada-to-Texas heavy-oil pipeline, and that means both supporters and opponents will be making a final push in a lobbying feud that has already devoured years and tens of millions of dollars.
US running out of room to store oil and gas
The Associated Press via PennEnergy
The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.
For the past seven weeks, the U.S. has been producing and importing an average of 1 million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country's main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing U.S. supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department reported recently.
The oil worker strike now includes the largest refinery in the US
As the largest oil worker strike in 35 years rolled over into its 20th day on Feb. 28 at 12 a.m., United Steelworkers Union members at the largest refinery in the U.S. gave notice of a walkout.
Shortly following the cessation of another round of unproductive talks between the USW and oil company representatives ended, the union notified Motiva Enterprises (a joint venture between Shell Oil and Saudi Refining) of a strike by its members at the company's refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, which has a capacity of 600,250 bpd.
PUC study: Solar power delivers economic return
Maine Public Broadcasting
A new study by the Maine Public Utilities Commission confirms what environmental groups have been saying for some time: Solar power delivers a powerful economic and environmental return on investment.
Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says it was a complicated analysis.
Fracking king Harold Hamm's plan for US domination of global oil
For someone who has lost nearly half his fortune in six months, Harold Hamm is pretty chipper when we meet up for dinner on a warm January night in Houston. He's calm, relaxed, fit. He's been walking a lot, tracking his steps with a pedometer, eating right and enjoying his hometown Oklahoma City Thunder. He's even got a lady friend who he likes to spend time with, which is sort of surprising, considering he recently wrote his ex-wife Sue Ann a $975 million check to satisfy a court ruling in their highly public, seemingly endless divorce trial. "I'm just glad that's in my rearview mirror," he says with half a smile.
Low oil prices could stall explosive growth in Montana boom town
Maine Public Broadcasting
What happens when the price of oil tanks and suddenly you're faced with a whole lot less money to deal with your town's explosive growth?
If you're 52-year-old Rick Norby, you lose a lot of sleep.
"I haven't slept since I became mayor," he says. "I really ain't kidding you."
When Norby became mayor of Sidney, Montona, oil prices were at about $100 a barrel. A year later, they've fallen to roughly half that. Yet oil production has continued to churn right along.
A bad combination: Drugs and alcohol in the workplace
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.
|MEMA Technical Education Center - MTEC|
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Join Roger Willett of Mitsubishi for a 3-hour training seminar on cooling and heating:
Friday, March 27, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
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Maine bill would ban Styrofoam food containers
Maine Public Broadcasting
Styrofoam food containers would be banned in the state next year, under a bill before the Maine Legislature.
The measure, which had a recent public hearing before the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, is being sponsored by Rep. Christine Burstein, a Lincolnville Democrat.
Burstein said Styrofoam is a non-biodegradable, petroleum-based product that can take years to decompose and has been linked to cancer.
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