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US oil and gas drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat
The Associated Press via PennEnergy
OPEC and lower global oil prices delivered a one-two punch to the drillers in North Dakota and Texas who brought the U.S. one of the biggest booms in the history of the global oil industry.
Now they are fighting back.
Companies are leaning on new techniques and technology to get more oil out of every well they drill, and furiously cutting costs in an effort to keep U.S. oil competitive with much lower-cost oil flowing out of the Middle East, Russia and elsewhere.
GOP: Fixing $36 million typo in energy bill is not so simple
Bangor Daily News
Republican leaders said recently that the case of the $36 million-a-year typo isn't as simple as it seems, because current legislators might not agree with their predecessors who passed the original bill in 2013.
"It isn't as simple as just grabbing a bottle of Wite-Out and inserting a word," said Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport. "We want to make sure that everyone who was involved has an opportunity to be heard before we make a decision about how we proceed."
Who pays for solar? Utilities, energy firms disagree
The Hartford Courant via Portland Press Herald
One of the more recurring disagreements before the legislature's Energy Committee at a recent meeting centered on whether residents with solar panels are really paying for all they get from the power grid.
It is called cost shifting, a phrase that echoed through the hearing room in the Legislative Office Building during conversations on bills that would expand residential solar and enable shared solar facilities in Connecticut.
Oil council: US should start drilling in Arctic
The Associated Press via Portland Press Herald
The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council says in a study submitted recently.
The U.S. has drastically cut imports and transformed itself into the world's biggest producer of oil and natural gas by tapping huge reserves in shale rock formations.
Downeast LNG to file environmental reports for natural gas terminal
Bangor Daily News
Downeast LNG, which now is proposing to construct a liquefied natural gas import-export terminal on the western shore of Passamaquoddy Bay, expects to file draft environmental resource reports with federal regulators in the coming weeks.
In 2005, the energy development firm announced that it had plans to construct a $400 million liquefied natural gas import terminal on Mill Cove.
|MEMA Technical Education Center - MTEC|
BY POPULAR DEMAND! MTEC offering additional Propane Basic Principles and Practices class
May 4 - 5. Space is very limited - Register today!
Coming to MTEC in May 2015: Save up to $500 on our 40-Hour Heat pump Training with Efficiency Maine Rebate!
The class takes place on May 18-22 at 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., with Instructor Roger Mitchell.
With so much oil flowing, US may be reaching storage limits
Maine Public Broadcasting
Never before has the U.S. had so much oil spurting up out of the ground and sloshing into storage tanks around the country. There's so much oil that the U.S. now rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer.
But there has been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.
South Portland gets discount from law firm to defend oil ordinance
Portland Press Herald
The Boston law firm hired to help defend the city's Clear Skies ordinance in federal court is charging discounted rates in what's expected to be a high-profile lawsuit brought by oil and shipping businesses.
City officials hired Foley Hoag, a firm that specializes in environmental law, after the Portland Pipe Line Corp. filed suit against South Portland in February seeking to overturn the ordinance, which bans loading crude oil into tankers in Portland Harbor.
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Bath Fitter to pay $500,000 penalty for plumbing violations in Maine
Portland Press Herald
A Portland bathroom remodeling company has settled a lawsuit brought against it by the Maine Attorney General's Office for using unlicensed employees, installing plumbing without permits and other unfair trade practices.
Bath Fitter, which is owned by National Bath Systems, was ordered under terms of the agreement in Kennebec County Superior Court to pay a $500,000 penalty upfront, with another $250,000 suspended during a five-year probationary period.
Open data in the oil and gas industry — How far have we come?
By Lucy Wallwork
The oil and gas industry, more than most, has a reputation for opacity and secrecy — deals made on a handshake behind closed doors, secretive contract negotiations and revenues moving in complicated cross-streams among hundreds of corporate subsidiaries. So where does the oil and gas sector fit into the emerging global momentum toward open data, which is no longer being championed only by techie revolutionaries sitting in co-working spaces in Berlin or London, but at the highest level among government officials?
Cigarette smuggling a problem in Maine
Last month, the Tax Foundation released a study analyzing the relationship between cigarette taxes and smuggled cigarettes in each state.
The study is based on data gathered by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The results showed that states with high taxes had large numbers of cigarettes smuggled into their state and sold there.
Portland food retailers gear up for 5-cent plastic bag fee
Maine Public Broadcasting
Maine lawmakers are considering several bills that would discourage the use of plastic bags by retailers, including one that would impose a fee for their use. Meanwhile, food retailers in Portland are gearing up for an ordinance also designed to limit the use of plastic bags.
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