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South Portland tar sands ban enacted
The South Portland City Council has voted to ban the export of Canadian tar-sands crude through the city, effectively ending any attempt to bring the crude from western Canada through a pipeline into the city. While there are no such plans in the work, Portland Pipeline Corporation Vice President Tom Hardison spoke against the proposal.
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Tar sands battleground: South Portland
Portland Press Herald
An analysis shows that what’s happening in the city is just one part of an ongoing fight over Canada’s plans to expand petroleum production in Alberta.
South Portland council should vote no on anti-oil sands ordinance
Bangor Daily News
At this moment, the actions of one community threaten the livelihood and jobs of a number of Maine residents. The South Portland City Council is engaged in an effort to overturn a proposal concerning the Portland Pipeline that voters have already once decided. It’s a flawed effort that is being driven by outside special interest groups that does a disservice to the voters and to the impacted business.
UMF heating proposal going to trustees
A proposal for an $11 million natural gas-fired central heating plant for the University of Maine at Farmington campus will go before the University of Maine Board of Trustees.
Maine town fights plan to use pipeline to export oil sands crude
Los Angeles Times
The South Portland City Council is expected to pass an ordinance that would prevent the export of crude oil from the waterfront. The product of a relentless 18-month campaign by residents and Maine environmental groups, the measure is a response to plans by Portland-Montreal Pipe Line, or PMPL, to reverse the flow of its import pipeline in order to export oil sands crude from Canada, the same petroleum that would run through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in the Great Plains.
Pipeline opponents say project is no longer economically justifiable
A group of opponents of the Vermont Gas Systems pipeline say the cost of Vermont Gas Systems’ pipeline from Colchester to Addison County is no longer justifiable in light of a recently announced cost increase.
The increase, announced earlier in July, brings the estimated project cost from $86.6 million up to $121.7 million. The opponents say that increase means ratepayers will be subsidizing the company’s building expenses for almost 30 years — a length of time they say is unprecedented.
Google maps methane leaks
Google’s fleet of city-mapping cars are now working to measure urban natural gas leaks.
The technology giant’s collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, announced on July 16, equips Google’s Street View cars with sensors to detect methane leaking from ageing city pipes, through city streets and into the atmosphere. The sensors were developed by researchers at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Tom Steyer's epic green fail
Tom Steyer, the fossil-fuel-powered hedge funder, has suffered a series of setbacks in his $100 million campaign to save the planet from "global warming" by destroying the U.S. economy.
The Davids and Goliaths of energy
In his book The New Holy War: Economic Religion Versus Environmental Religion in Contemporary America, Robert H. Nelson argues that certain theological debates about society’s relationship to nature are timeless. Today, economists and environmentalists are battling out what was once the domain of theologians. According to Nelson, theologians were divided over whether God’s creation was ultimately a resource for humankind’s enjoyment or a sacred paradise to be safeguarded at all costs.
Nelson’s argument gives some interesting background to this sustainability issue of Alberta Oil.
Obama opens East Coast to oil exploration with sonic cannons
Portland Press Herald
The Obama administration is reopening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, approving seismic surveys using sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor.
The announcement is the first real step toward what could be a transformation in coastal states, creating thousands of jobs to support a new energy infrastructure. But it dismayed environmentalists and people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.
Why Canada would rather export oil than refine it
Real Clear Energy
Despite boasting one of the highest proven oil reserves in the world — second only to Saudi Arabia at 175 billion barrels — a high percentage of Canadian crude is shipped across the border for refining in the United States. This has led to charges that Canada is selling out its vast oil resources to the U.S. and failing to uphold the national interest in ensuring that refineries are built in Canada, with the benefits accruing to Canadians.
Maine contractors bet on active market for 'passive' energy-efficient homes
Bangor Daily News
Weeks ago, builder Josh Wojcik’s crew was tearing the roof off a 1973 ranch house that they’re converting into a high-efficiency home. A passing critic pulled his truck to the curb and leaned out the window.
“He said, ‘You’re doing too much!’” said Wojcik. The perception of overkill is a common challenge for builders of high-efficiency houses that replace traditional heating systems with low-energy heating units. They say the extra upfront investment comes back in energy savings and a reduced carbon footprint.
New propane outboards are a 'green' option
Motorboat engines are now available that have lower emissions and are cheaper to run than conventional models.
There are 2.5 and 5 horsepower engines that use 16-ounce propane canisters, plus 9.9 and 15 horsepower engines that hook up to regular size propane tanks.
Athens biomass plant could get $12 million tax break
A biomass facility in Athens is now eligible for more than $12 million in state tax credits after receiving certifications from the Finance Authority of Maine that will help spur $30.3 million in investments and assist with creating and retaining over 200 jobs.
Athens biomass plant clears financing hurdle
A $30 million biomass plant proposed for Athens has won certification from a state financing agency for $12 million in state tax credits, a step forward for a project that could mean saving or creating about 200 jobs to town, boosting the local tax base and providing a boon to local businesses.
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Loyalty is a retail game-changer for oil companies
Convenience Store Decisions
Difficult economic times are forcing customers to take a hard look at where they can tighten their belts and how they can stretch their hard-earned dollars. To meet their expectations, retailers are offering more digital coupons and in-store promotion redemptions as consumers look to save on a range of items like food, snacks and other household products. Also, gas rewards are another means in which consumers are demonstrating frugality, prompting the gas-centered convenience industry to act accordingly.
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