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DOE clears natural gas exports at two sites
The Department of Energy granted approval on Sept. 10 for two facilities in Louisiana and Florida to export liquefied natural gas to nearly any country.
Sempra Energy's existing Cameron LNG project in southwestern Louisiana will be allowed to export 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day once the company installs the necessary equipment. The Carib Energy plant in Martin County, Florida, has been granted a license to export 40 million cubic feet a day.
Maine regulators to revisit onerous gas-conversion rule
Portland Press Herald
The state agency that regulates heating systems and contractors has put off action on part of a proposed burner-testing rule that the natural gas industry says would have been burdensome, unaffordable and without national precedent.
The action reflects Maine's legacy as a state overwhelmingly reliant on oil for home heating, and its current transition to other fuels, including natural gas.
Changes in heating oil sulfur specifications in the US Northeast will likely increase ultra-low sulfur diesel demand this winter
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Reductions in the maximum sulfur content of heating fuels in five northeastern states will likely result in higher demand for ultra-low sulfur diesel. On July 1, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island reduced the maximum allowable content of sulfur in heating oil to 500 parts per million (ppm) from 20,000–3,000 ppm. It is expected that heating oil meeting the 500 ppm specification will be blended from higher-sulfur heating oil and ultra-low sulfur diesel, which has a maximum sulfur content of 15 ppm. The 500 ppm sulfur limit for heating fuel is an interim step in most Northeast states' plans to reduce the acceptable maximum sulfur level to 15 ppm by mid-2016 (New Jersey) or during 2018.
Groups sue over oil shipments in older rail cars
The Associated Press via Boston Herald
Environmental groups sued the U.S. Department of Transportation on Sept. 11 over the shipment of volatile crude oil in older railroad tank cars.
Accident investigators have complained for decades that the cars are too easily punctured or ruptured when derailed, leading to spills.
The lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and ForestEthics says the agency failed to respond to a legal petition the groups filed in July.
Challenges impede Mainers' switch to natural gas
Portland Press Herald
Captivated by the prospect of cutting their heating bills in half, thousands of Mainers have signed up to convert their homes from oil to natural gas. But signing up is the easy part. Actually getting gas can take patience and perseverance. Just ask Bruce Falconer of Waterville. Falconer has been trying since last summer to make the switch.
Roadcheck 2014 facts at a glance
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Driver results for 2014 were as follows:
- All inspections that included drivers: 95.2 percent of drivers had no OOS violations, and 4.8 percent were placed Out of Service (4.3 percent were Out of Service in 2013).
- Level I inspections: 96 percent of drivers had no OOS violations, and 4 percent were placed Out of Service (4.3 percent were Out of Service in 2013).
- HazMat: 97 percent of drivers carrying HM had no OOS violations, and 3 percent were placed Out of Service (2.4 percent were Out of Service in 2013).
- Passenger carrying vehicles: 96.1 percent of drivers had no OOS violations, and 3.9 percent were placed Out of Service (3.1 percent were placed Out of Service in 2013).
Bangor-area gas line breaks spark talks about how to ensure safe digging
Bangor Daily News
On four occasions this year, emergency responders and Bangor Natural Gas personnel rushed to the scenes of natural gas leaks, all of which were preventable.
In three of those cases, third-party contractors digging near gas lines punctured a pipe, setting loose a stream of nasty-smelling, mercaptan-scented natural gas. In the fourth instance, a person mowing the grass at Buffalo Wild Wings clipped the above-ground connection to the building, which caused a leak.
Maine seeking information about hard-to-fill jobs
The Associated Press via Maine Sun Journal
Maine officials want to know which jobs businesses have a hard time filling. The Department of Labor's Center for Workforce Research and Information is sending a survey to 3,500 Maine businesses this month. Officials hope the results will help the department tailor its worker training programs to ensure Mainers have the skills they need to get open jobs.
Proulx fuels change in transportation
The Portsmouth Herald
What does the Mount Washington Auto Road have in common with a school transportation company in Brentwood, New Hampshire?
Both are either planning to convert or have converted vehicles to run on autogas or propane fuel. It's an energy-efficient and cleaner-burning trend taking place all over the country, including in New Hampshire.
A gamble on gas for New England's energy future is the wrong way to go
The Bangor Daily News
New England is at a critical energy crossroads that demands leadership and foresight to deliver us to a future of clean, affordable and reliable resources. In his Sept. 2 BDN OpEd, Marc Brown focused on the importance of getting these decisions right so that energy costs are affordable. He blames the retirement of power plants, ineffective markets and renewable energy programs for placing New England in a costly bind from which escape will be difficult. Where Brown sees challenge, we see an opportunity for the region to balance today's demands with advances in energy policies and infrastructure that will meet the needs of the future.
Big oil vs. college kids, part 2
The idea of divestment from fossil fuels is gaining traction on U.S. college campuses. Here is a list of major arguments that have come up from college students in favor of divestment and why divestment won't work.
New weapon to fight credit card fraud at the gas station
Criminals who steal credit or debit cards or make counterfeit ones with stolen account numbers need somewhere to use them without getting caught. At self-serve gas stations, pay-at-the-pump terminals are the perfect place because there's no clerk involved who might spot the fraudulent transaction. Conexxus, a technology organization that represents convenience stores and gas stations, estimates that the industry lost at least $250 million to credit and debit card fraud last year — losses that get passed on to customers in the form of higher prices.
Dropping like a rock — beware of falling gas prices
Convenience Store Decisions
Just under $2.50 gallon is where the U.S. gasoline futures market found support during the second week of September amid a massive selloff in domestic and global crude oil prices, with lower trending oil battered by bearish readings for forward oil demand by the three major forecasters.
Oil prices were already trekking down on growing global oil supply even as Saudi Arabia cut output by 400,000 bpd in August from 10 million bpd, with crude production in the U.S. setting a fresh 28-year high last month at 8.6 million bpd per data from the Energy Information Administration.
Survey ranks most popular convenience store chains
CSP Daily News
QuikTrip is North America's favorite convenience store chain, according to a new study by customer-intelligence firm Market Force Information. It polled more than 5,000 consumers for the study, designed to uncover which convenience stores consumers prefer and why. For the rankings, Market Force asked participants to rate their satisfaction with their most recent convenience store experience and their likelihood to refer that store brand to others.
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