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Reopening of rule-making for Maine fuel board
MEMA
Chapters 1–13 adopted by the Maine Fuel Board Feb. 28 were submitted to the attorney general for approval. Based on the review by the attorney general, it was concluded that there were changes to Chapter 13, Section 13.7 Conversion Burners that represent a substantial difference from the original proposed rule and that further comment should be allowed on all of the provisions of Section 13.7. Therefore, Chapter 13, Section 13.7 is reopened in its entirety for public comment and hearing pursuant to 5 MRS Section 8052 (5)(B).
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US natural gas stockpile low; price could spike next winter
Bangor Daily News
The United States faces a natural gas supply shortfall this year despite the country's fracking boom, threatening more price spikes as energy companies struggle to replenish stockpiles drained to critically low levels after a brutal winter. As the coldest winter in 30 years thaws across North America, some experts worry that stockpiles will not be refilled to levels high enough to meet demand next winter, causing supply disruptions and sudden price surges of the kind that have dented power company earnings and raised residential bills in recent months.
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Work impending on natural gas project 'backbone'
The Forecaster
The first phase of a $42 million natural gas distribution project is imminent, but it's still unknown when residents will be able to begin using the fuel in their homes. That was the takeaway from an informational meeting held April 17, at Town Hall by Summit Natural Gas. Fewer than 10 residents attended the nearly two-hour presentation and discussion. The company is planning more meetings in the near future, including a presentation to address safety concerns.
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Legislative Updates



Maine bill mandating study of solar power becomes law
Kennebec Journal
A bill that aims to boost solar power development in Maine has gone into law without Gov. Paul LePage's signature. The bill sponsored by Democratic Sen. Eloise Vitelli directs the Public Utilities Commission to study the value of solar power generation in Maine. The measure also creates solar energy goals for the state, like ensuring that solar provides benefits to ratepayers and helps reduce Maine's reliance on oil.
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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event More Information
May 7 Angus Energy presents Modern Art: The Evolution of the Energy IndustryMEMA Headquarters
May 8 Angus Energy presents Modern Art: The Evolution of the Energy IndustryBangor Location TBD
June 10-11 New England Fuel Institute's 2014 Visions ConfrenceDCU Center, Worcester
June 22-24 60th Annual Convention The Samoset Inn & Spa
July 30 MTEC Technician TailgateCabela's Scarborough
Aug 25 22 Annual J Garrie Murray Golf Classic Penobscot Valley Country Club, Orono Maine



Industry Headlines



Waterville activists holding fewer tar sands pipeline protests
Kennebec Journal
A group of environmental activists are cutting back on protests in Waterville against a proposed pipeline they say could put the nation on a path toward unavoidable, catastrophic climate change. The weekly demonstrations were begun in January, when it seemed as though a national decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry oil from the tar sands of western Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, was imminent.
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Canada's oil sands: Separating fact from fiction
Keep Me Current
There is a lot of information circulating about Canada's oil sands, not all of which is accurate. As Mainers examine this issue, it is important that this be done objectively, and based on fact and science. There are also numerous environmental, economic, security and safety dimensions to consider, all of which deserve a closer look.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New DOT data reveals the top 10 most common violations at roadside inspections (MEMA)
'Not so fast' (MEMA)
CMP, natural gas attorneys say Augusta claims unfounded (Kennebec Journal)
Billionaire liberal donor gets way on Keystone (Real Clear Politicks)
Maine schools, other facilities slash heating bills with stimulus project (Portland Press Herald)

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


Wood pellet boiler industry pushes changes for new heating systems
Bangor Daily News
In a nondescript warehouse on Presumpscot Street, around a dozen high-tech wood pellet boilers arrived from Denmark aboard a ship from Iceland, bound for installation in Maine. The winding journey took years to align, but leaders of the Portland-based Interphase Energy say the commercial infrastructure has developed enough for Maine's burgeoning wood pellet industry to carve out its own niche in Maine and the Northeast.
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National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
National Registry
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners program was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to improve highway safety and driver health. It requires all medical examiners who wish to perform physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards. After May 21, you must have your medical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry.
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White house disputes report on Keystone XL decision
National Journal
The White House is pushing back against a Rolling Stone magazine story that cites two "high-level" Obama administration sources saying President Barack Obama intends to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. "Nobody who knows POTUS' thinking on Keystone is talking and nobody who is talking knows," White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said on Twitter recently.
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National Wildlife Federation sues for release of tar sands documents
Portland Press Herald
The National Wildlife Federation has filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to force the U.S. Department of State to release documents pertaining to the potential reversal of an oil pipeline to carry so-called tar sands crude oil from Montreal to South Portland's waterfront. The federation filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Vermont recently, according to a news release from the federation.
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Gas leak in Gorham leads to evacuation of 10 homes
Portland Press Herald
Public safety officials had to evacuate 10 homes in a Gorham subdivision after a contractor broke a natural gas line. Gorham Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre said the contractor, Design Dwellings Inc. of Gorham, was using an excavator to dig a hole for a home foundation around 9 a.m. when it inadvertently struck a gas main line causing a gas leak.
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Shrinking natural gas reserves complicate Maine's efforts to expand service in state
Bangor Daily News
Natural gas reserves in the U.S. are at an 11-year low, which has national energy analysts concerned and sets a backdrop in Maine for a series of precedent-setting decisions about expanding pipeline capacity for the fuel used to generate heat and electricity. Patrick Woodcock, director of the governor's energy office, said in a phone interview that low reserves reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration in March could add to challenges in New England, where electricity production is largely dependent on natural gas as a resource that can quickly be called upon to meet spikes in demand.
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Convenience Stores



Democratic group disappointed with FDA proposal to regulate e-cigarettes
NACS
Senate and House Democrats want the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take a harder look at electronic cigarettes, something that the agency's proposed "deeming" rule would do in the future, Roll Call reports. Several Democratic leaders want stricter regulations sooner, rather than later, for e-cigs. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Henry Waxman, D-Calif., blasted the e-cigarette industry's marketing practices in a report. Also, the pair claimed that the FDA already had the authority to classify the electronic cigarettes as tobacco products.
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MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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