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Member Updates


Sales Tax Bulletin 13 has now been revised, and it is official that nursing homes qualify for the sales tax exemption on sales of propane
MEMA
From MRS:
Maine Revenue Services announces a change in its interpretation of the sales and use tax provisions contained in 36 MRSA § 1760 as they relate to residential electricity (subsection 9-B) and residential gas (subsection 9-C). MRS now interprets nursing homes to qualify for exemption from the sales tax on electricity and gas as a "building designed and used for both human habitation and sleeping." Instructional Bulletin No. 13 has been revised accordingly.
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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event More Information
Nov. 20 2013 Propane Summit Register and Pay Online
Nov. 22
Annual Underground Tank Installer and Inspector Program Register and Pay Online
Dec. 3-5 Annual Dealer Meetings Portland, Belfast, Bangor & Ft. Kent
March 25 MEMA Day on the Hill Visit Maine.gov for more information



Legislative Updates



OSHA's Global Harmonization System Training video for employers and employees
Maine Community College System
The Maine Community College System is pleased to partner with the Maine Department of Labor to provide employees and employers across the state with access to detailed information about new federal standards for working with hazardous chemicals. All employees in Maine are required to be trained in this new Global Harmonization System. A 23-minute video, produced by MDOL, makes it possible for employers to offer the training at no cost to employees wherever it is most convenient — at work, at home or even the local library. Compliance is mandatory by Dec 1. This website will help meet compliance requirements of OSHA. Any questions call Will Beck MEMA office 201-729-5298.
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Government proposes lowering biofuel production
Portland Press Herald
The Obama administration proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply for the first time, acknowledging that the biofuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not working as well as expected. While the proposal highlights the government's struggle to ramp up production of homegrown biofuels that are cleaner-burning than gasoline, it is unlikely to mean much for consumers at the pump.
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LePage asks DEP to convene climate change group
Mainebiz
Gov. Paul LePage has called for the state's top environmental regulator to convene a group to coordinate efforts of natural resource-based state agencies and address impacts of climate change on the state.
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Safety Updates



Pipelines still safer to move oil than rail or truck
Beacon News
While pipelines have been in the spotlight for several years because of opposition from environmental groups, the data shows they are easily the safest way to transport oil. A pair of petroleum-related events in Canada has reinvigorated the public debate over the movement of petrochemicals such as oil and liquefied natural gas.
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Railroads back retrofitting flammable liquid cars
Casper Star-Tribune
Proposed new safety standards for rail cars that haul flammable liquids gained support from U.S. railroads, but it's not yet clear whether the companies that own most of those cars will support the upgrades to prevent leaks. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is considering a plan intended to fix a dangerous design flaw in a rail car commonly used to haul oil and other hazardous liquids from coast to coast.
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Industry Headlines



Aussies buck environmentalists, fight to repeal global warming taxes
The Daily Caller
Australia's new conservative government introduced legislation that would eliminate the carbon tax and cut funding to green energy in a series of aggressive moves to scale back the country's environmental laws. "We have said what we mean, and will do what we say. The carbon tax goes," Prime Minister Abbott told Australian lawmakers. "Repealing the carbon tax should be the first economic reform of this parliament."
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Ethanol runs out of gas
Politico
Biofuel supporters say the administration is just rewarding the oil industry for dragging its feet on making higher-percentage ethanol fuels available. They say the mandate was always meant to encourage greater use of 15 percent or 85 percent ethanol blends — known as E15 and E85, respectively.
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Fast, easy on-site measurement of hydrocarbons in drilling mud and oil in water
ThomasNet
Portable infrared analyzers, such as the InfraCal Analyzers from Wilks, have been used worldwide for measuring off-shore oil in produced water for more than 30 years. They have the advantage over other analytical instruments in that the measurement can be performed by non-technical users and it is relatively unaffected by composition changes in the effluent. They also provide off-shore users with the necessary ruggedness and reliability that is a key requirement.
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6 reasons why some labor is rallying against Line 9
rabble.ca
Last year thousands joined a sit-in in Victoria against the Northern Gateway pipeline. As Susan Spratt, organizer for what was then the Canadian Auto Workers said, "The ongoing risks that these tar sands pipelines and tankers pose aren't worth any price. Tens of thousands of unionized and other jobs depend on healthy river and ocean ecosystems. We will be standing in solidarity with thousands of working people in B.C. and our First Nation sisters and brothers."
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Natural gas gains squeeze family-run oil companies in Northeast (Casper Star-Tribune)
3 South Maine towns eye natural gas installation timeline (Maine Biz)
As natural gas companies snatch up customers, oil providers offer ways to reduce bills (Bangor Daily News)
Fracking protestors gather in Bangor (WABI-TV)
Natural-gas prices are on the rise (Nashoba Publishing)

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


Wary OPEC comes to terms with shale gale
Financial Post
Demand for OPEC crude could fall by a million barrels per day within five years, as North American tight oil chips away at the group's influence on global markets. OPEC, which has long dismissed North America's tight oil production surge as marginal, said in its annual report that shale's impact could be "significant," and the combination of production from North America and other rivals would reduce demand for OPEC crude to 29.2 million barrels per day in 2018, compared to 30.3 million bpd today.
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Train carrying crude oil derails, explodes in Alabama
Bangor Daily News
A 90-car train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in a rural area of western Alabama, leaving 11 cars burning and potentially bolstering the push for tougher regulation of a boom in moving oil by rail. No injuries have been reported, but 20 of the train's cars derailed and a number were still on fire, local officials said. Those cars, which threw flames 300 feet into the night sky, are being left to burn down, which could take up to 24 hours, according to the train owner, Genesee & Wyoming.
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To frack or not to frack: What should you think?
By Stefanie Heerwig
When I tell friends about what industry I am working in, I often get the following question: "So what do you think about fracking?" The question alone often already indicates their bias against the technology because the term "fracking" is usually used by opponents. Obviously, the topic has been controversial for many years now. But even after researching the topic for some time, I don't exactly know what I should think about it. Both proponents and opponents seem to have evidence on their side.
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Convenience Stores



'A Glowing Marketplace'
CSPnet
The growth prospects for the electronic cigarette market are compelling with the entrance of the large tobacco companies legitimizing product beyond the perception of a passing fad, according to a Fitch Ratings report, e-Cigarettes: A Glowing Marketplace.
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Spotlight on the c-store shopper
CSP.net
Breaking into the mindset of the many groups making up modern consumers — from social-media-savvy millennials to yoga-centric females and construction-working Bubbas — can be a daunting task. Take millennials, for instance: By time a retailer can gather data on the latest Gen-Y food trend, most of that group has moved on to the next hot-ticket item. Yet with deep pockets and a willingness to embrace the c-store channel, millennials are hardly a group that can be ignored.
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No flame, plenty of fire over rise in e-cigarettes in Maine
Portland Press Herald
Toby Simon had just dropped off her daughter at Thornton Academy in Saco when she noticed a white Kia Optima wrapped in an advertising banner for SmokeEnds e-cigarettes with the slogan "Your HABIT ... Made BETTER." A tobacco policy specialist, Simon was perturbed by the car's presence on campus. "I just kind of sat there for a while," she said. "Then I got out and took a picture."
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MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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