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Energy Department says heating costs should drop
Portland Press Herald
Heating bills should be lower this winter because the deep freeze that chilled much of the nation last year is unlikely to return.
Last year, persistently low temperatures across the Midwest, South and East forced people to crank up the heat. The high demand jacked up the price of some fuels, especially propane. Heating bills soared.
This year, milder temperatures should reduce homeowners' fuel use, according to the Energy Department's annual prediction of winter heating costs.
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At our request, because of the number of questions to us from you regarding the process, MSHA will be holding 4 vendor training sessions.
These are intended to help make your life with the LIHEAP program easier! I believe they will as simple explanations, for example, best and simple ways to complete the consumption reports, can make a big time difference.
The goal is to make the LIHEAP program as little of a burden as possible for you and your customers.
Please see the attached notice and registration for more complete info.
Steyer's NextGen flops in Maine
The Maine Wire
Mainers are familiar with S. Donald Sussman — the billionaire hedge fund manager whose largesse has propped up the liberal-leaning Portland Press Herald, the Maine Democratic Party and a consortium of Democratic non-profit groups and political action committees. But there is another liberal billionaire from away who has set his sights on Maine: Thomas Steyer.
Rail groups try to end federal rule requiring notices to states of large Bakken crude shipments
Portland Press Herald
Two railroad industry trade groups have quietly asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to drop its requirement that rail carriers transporting large volumes of Bakken crude oil notify state emergency officials.
The railroads have maintained that they already provide communities with adequate information about hazardous materials shipments and that public release of the data could harm the industry from a security and business standpoint. But they haven't been successful in convincing numerous states or the federal government.
Brave new world meets same old rhetoric
The U.S. energy supply has entered a strange new era that would have seemed unfathomable just a few years ago — one where gasoline prices keep falling even as a jittery world faces turmoil in the Middle East and beyond.
But when it comes to political talking points, Democrats and Republicans keep singing the same old tunes.
Oil, natural gas prices confound New England
Pipeline bottlenecks that drove up natural gas home heating prices in New England last winter could cause trouble when the weather again turns cold, but oil prices that once climbed to record territory continue to fall.
That unusual sequence of events — higher prices for natural gas prices, which is promoted for its cost advantage relative to oil that's falling in price — was detailed by the U.S. Department of Energy's recent annual outlook. The wild card is the weather and how cold this winter will be.
Winter of discontent ahead
The Portsmouth Herald
New Englanders are facing a "dire situation" this winter, with electricity prices skyrocketing in some cases to 130 percent higher than last winter, and state officials from New Hampshire and Maine agree, there is going to be no relief in sight for at least the next several years.
In New Hampshire, the state Public Utilities Commission approved a 47 percent increase for Liberty Utilities customers this winter, and Unitil is seeking an increase of 44 percent.
Faith in the warmth of wood
After making the switch to natural gas, Amy Calder reaffirms her trust in reliable wood heat for a back-up system.
It was a good source of warmth in her youth, and, she's concluded, perhaps the most reliable of all heating options.
She's not saying oil or gas are any less desirable though.
Big drop for gas prices in Maine
Gas prices recently fell 6.5 cents per gallon in Maine to $3.31.
GasBuddy.com, which surveyed 1,228 gas stations in Maine, reports the average price of a gallon of gas on Oct. 13 is down 19.1 cents per gallon compared to a year ago and 19.3 cents per gallon compared to last month.
Survey shows 1 in 9 Americans have worked at a c-store
Convenience Store Decisions
One in nine American adults has worked in a convenience store and they say that the experience gave them valuable experience in how to work with people, how to manage processes and how to run a business, according to a national consumer survey released recently by the National Association of Convenience Stores.
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