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Searsport dredging proposal faces stiff headwind
Portland Press Herald
The BBC Amber is at the dock on an early August afternoon, unloading wind turbine tower segments bound for the Passadumkeag Mountain wind project in Grand Falls Township, 70 miles to the north.
At 14,000 tons, it is a relatively small vessel, drawing just 24 feet on arrival, and was able to transit the channel to the Searsport, located at the head of Penobscot Bay, without concern for the 10-foot tides or high spots, where as much as 4 feet of silt has fallen into the channel since it was last dredged a half-century ago.
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MEMA's new Maine Energy Facts website and Facebook page
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FMLA — does depression qualify?
Advisors Law Group and Federated Insurance
Question: An employee has requested a leave due to depression. I advised her to seek medical advice and provided her with FMLA. Is depression usually considered a valid reason to be off work under the FMLA guidelines?
Not on oil? A quick look at the rest of Maine's heating marketplace
Maine Sun Journal
Many homeowners who've moved off heating oil have turned to burning cordwood and pellets, according to Lisa Smith at the Governor's Energy Office.
Thirteen percent of Maine homes now rely on wood heat, the second-highest rate in the country, as counted by the 2010 U.S. Census.
Smith only started tracking wood-pellet prices two years ago, and during that time, prices have risen 6 percent, from $240 per delivered ton to $254. The price is relatively stable, she said.
Eiseman: The pipeline PR pitch
If you watch television, you've probably noticed the ads trying to link support for renewable energy with support for new gas pipelines.
Featuring bona fide New Englanders smiling in the wind and sunshine, these ads are from the Coalition to Lower Energy Costs, a group partially funded by Kinder Morgan and orchestrated by Tony Buxton, lobbyist and lawyer for Kinder Morgan's Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.
Low-cost heating oil to fuel household spending
Maine Sun Journal
Some years, finding a good-news story about heating oil is as likely as discovering a purple unicorn grazing in Baxter State Park.
Then there's this year. Behold, the unicorn:
If prices stay as they are this very minute, Mainers who heat with oil — and most do — will save big this winter.
By their best guess, officials say they expect low rates to last into next year.
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The oil-sands glut is about to get a lot bigger
The last place oil producers want to be when prices plummet to profit-demolishing lows is midstream on a billion-dollar project in one of the costliest parts of the planet to extract crude.
Yet that's exactly where half a dozen oil sands operators from Suncor Energy Inc. to Brion Energy Corp. find themselves with prices for Canadian oil now hovering around $30 a barrel. While all around them projects have been postponed or canceled, their investments were judged too far along when the oil game suddenly moved from offense to defense.
How after-hours out-of-gas situation turns troublesome for marketer
They say the best attorneys can successfully argue both sides of a case. However, it is apparent today that the media and social politics clearly influence liability issues. Outcomes of such debates are not always fair but usually are deemed politically correct for the greater good of society.
Small mistakes can be fanned into big problems with the right slant. It seems that’s what happened when a Kentucky jury assigned $4.1 million in compensatory and punitive liability damages to a propane marketer for not promptly following up on a commercial manufacturer's after-hours out-of-gas situation.
How the expansion of joint employer liability can affect your business
Recently, the National Labor Relations Board announced a massive expansion of joint employer liability under federal labor law. The Wall Street Journal described the NLRB's decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. as "a new joint-employer standard that radically rewrites U.S. labor law and upends thousands of business relationships ... Labor unions are celebrating a decision sure to harm diverse industries in every state."
How this new government ruling destroys the franchise business model
The Daily Signal
The National Labor Relations Board just issued a ruling likely to destroy the franchise business model.
To understand how far-reaching this could be, it should be noted that almost 9 million Americans work at over 780,000 franchised businesses.
From Jiffy Lube to Terminex to Wendy's, franchises enable many Americans to run their own small businesses without having to design and market everything from scratch. Franchising is a particularly important opportunity for minority entrepreneurs.
Startup takes the station out of gas purchases
Business Insider reports that Los Angeles-based Purple is out to change the way consumers purchase gasoline by delivering the fuel to where vehicles are parked. Now, the startup is expanding to San Francisco and introducing overnight delivery, so consumers can go to bed with an empty tank and wake up refueled and ready to go.
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