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Insurance Topics


Workers Compensation Self-Insured Trust to return $150,000 to its members
MEMA
Once again the Trust will be releasing just before Christmas a total of $150,000 to its members. Two years ago $750,000 was released. Historically since 1994 the trust has returned approximately $4.5 million dollars in surplus to its participants! This remarkable record is a testimony to the commitment made by participating companies to work hard at increasing workplace safety and reducing the incidence and severity of workplace injuries by implementing safety programs and other safety measures which have directly resulted in an improved loss record.
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MEMA's Health Trust enters 3rd year without a rate increase — no plan changes
MEMA
The MEMA Health Trust will be renewing on 1/1/15. In the past two years there has been a rate decrease and a rate hold. Again for 1/1/15 there is yet another rate hold unheard of outside the trust. Are you struggling with age-banded rates? Do yourself a favor and look at the Trust's plan designs and rates where there is no age banding. There are four PPO Plans through Anthem as well as a two dental options (rate reduction in 2015), vision and life. MEMA handles all the billing for you, helps solve Claims issues and helps you with compliance. Give us a census, and we will give you a quote. Call and ask for Robin at 207-729-5298 for more info.
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MEMA Directory and Buyers Guide is going digital!
MEMA
The Maine Energy Marketers Association Directory and Buyers Guide is going digital! This online directory and Buyer's Guide will greatly enhance the member-to-consumer relationship in a number of important ways.
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Legislative Updates



Congress will vote on Keystone XL pipeline, with an eye on Louisiana
Maine Public Broadcasting
Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu and Rep. Bill Cassidy — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.
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Keystone XL pipeline bill to be voted on, expected to pass
New England Fuel Institute
For the first time since the fight over Keystone XL began more than six years ago, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate will vote on a measure that would green-light the oil pipeline. New England Fuel Institute is a long-time supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline and supports its immediate approval.
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Obscure Nebraska panel could decide Keystone XL pipeline's fate
Portland Press Herald
Congress is suddenly scrambling to vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but the fate of the oft-delayed $5.4 billion project could still wind up in the hands of an obscure commission in Nebraska that regulates telephones, taxi cabs and grain bins. The Nebraska Supreme Court is expected to rule within weeks on whether the Nebraska Public Service Commission must review the pipeline before it can cross the state, 1 of 6 on the pipeline's route. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman gave the green light in January 2013 without the panel's involvement.
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Farmington pipeline doubts prompts UMF forum on energy
Morning Sentinel
The University of Maine at Farmington will hold an energy forum to speak with the public about the university's previous decision to "explore alternative energy services" after Summit Natural Gas told the school it could not guarantee a gas pipeline to Farmington could be built by 2016. UMF had been negotiating over the timeline and the price for a natural gas contract in anticipation of being the largest customer of the town's first ever natural gas pipeline, but now is back to looking at its options after the proposed project was repeatedly delayed.
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Lawmakers, regulators should warm to solar energy
Portland Press Herald
Maine's Public Utilities Commission is once again considering whether ratepayers should subsidize the extension of natural gas pipelines. The U.S. has an abundant and relatively inexpensive supply of natural gas, and it does burn efficiently. Modern drilling techniques, however, are energy-intensive, and that fact, coupled with the leakage of methane inherent in drilling, means that natural gas and propane are only marginally better than coal and oil in terms of their impact on global warming.
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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event More Information
Dec. 2-4 December Dealer Meetings Falmouth, Augusta, Bangor + Caribou



Industry Headlines



Will US shale oil undermine its own success?
OilPrice.com
The continuous fall in oil prices over the past five months has created a significant stir in global oil markets. Key reasons for this sudden fall lie in a combination of factors: weak demand in Europe and Asia, higher than expected levels of production in politically unstable areas such as Libya and Iraq, increased U.S. production and OPEC's decision not to cut production. The downward oil price trend might continue in 2015. Analysts predict that prices could fall to $70 and $80 for the WTI and Brent benchmarks respectively in the second quarter of 2015.
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Maine should not subsidize liquified natural gas
Portland Press Herald
A giveaway to pipeline interests and the conscious decision by Augusta to spit rejection into Statoil's face don't make sense. A long-term strategic plan for powering sustainable living in Maine needs to be developed. Natural gas is normally delivered via urban gas lines installed long ago. New lines would need to be installed under all roads to bring natural gas to businesses and homes, which isn't economically feasible due to the geological nature of our state.
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Liberty Utilities agrees to gas pipeline deal
New Hampshire Business Review
Liberty Utilities — the state's largest natural gas distributor — has reached an agreement to buy natural gas carried by a proposed new pipeline that would run across Massachusetts into New Hampshire. Under the deal, Liberty says it would buy enough gas to heat 65,000 New Hampshire homes on the coldest day of the winter.
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Fred Fuller deal pending, but consumers should file claims to protect their interests
New Hampshire Public Radio
It looks like there's a solution in sight in the saga of Fred Fuller Oil and Propane. The Hudson-based company recently filed for bankruptcy. Now, the state says there's a buyer — Rymes Propane & Oil — and that the buyer will honor customers' pre-buy oil contracts.
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For the environment, oil prices hit sweet spot
Portland Press Herald
Deepwater drilling rigs are sitting idle. Fracking plans are being scaled back. Enormous new projects to squeeze oil out of the tar sands of Canada are being shelved. Maybe low oil prices aren't so bad for the environment after all. The global price of oil has plummeted 31 percent in just five months, a steep and surprising drop after a four-year period of prices near or above $100 a barrel.
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Convenience Store News



Hundreds show up to oppose town's tobacco ban
NACS
​The public hearing on the Westminster, Massachusetts Board of Health proposal to prohibit the sale of tobacco products came to a sudden and early halt on Nov. 12 after some of the attendees — most of them opponents of the ban — repeatedly refused the chairwoman's request to come to order.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New innovative solution to help you manage your employee benefits program (MEMA)
Daigle Oil Company's new and improved DOC's Place CITGO re-opens doors in Bangor (3BL Media)
Maine's re-elected governor lays out 2nd term agenda (Maine Public Broadcasting)
Community leaders call out gas front group (Nashoba Publishing)

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

 



MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Christina Nava, Content Editor Intern, 469.420.2612  
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