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When give-and-take is mostly gain: Maine and New England's energy future
Bangor Daily News
Piecing together a joint energy strategy from the individual interests of the six New England states is like assembling a puzzle. But that's what energy officials from across the region have begun working on over the past few months. It's a promising development in a region that has some of the highest energy prices in the nation and where there's significant potential to make renewable energy a greater part of the mix.
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Member Updates



Notice of agency rule-making proposal
MEMA
The proposed rulemaking repeals and replaces the rules of the former Oil and Solid Fuel Board and Propane and Natural Gas Board. Public hearing will be Dec. 12 beginning at 1 p.m., Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, 76 Northern Avenue, Gardiner.
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Regulators give thumbs up to natural gas expansion, angering heating oil dealers
CT News Junkie
A trade association of more than 600 home heating oil and propane dealers is considering all of its options, including legal action against the state for approving a plan that allows three natural gas companies to convert 280,000 customers to natural gas. Chris Herb, president of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, said legal action is just one of the many options his organization is examining as a result of the recent decision by state regulators.
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 MEMA Special Events

Date Event More Information
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



Tar sands gets emotional
South Portland Sentry
The South Portland City Council passed the first reading of a moratorium regarding the possibility of transporting tar sands oil through the city. Nearly 20 people expressed concern, including Edward Rose, who confronted Councilman Michael Pock to disclose his connection to the petroleum industry and urged him not to vote on the moratorium.
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Safety Updates



Eliot wants EPA probe of emissions from plant
Portland Press Herald
Kimberly Richards still remembers how it felt, back in the sixth grade, when she suffered her first episode of bronchitis."It was upsetting, because at that age I was just getting into sports ... basketball and softball," Richards said. The bronchitis — which has become chronic in her life when she is home in Eliot — "definitely affected" her ability to play, leaving her short of breath and lacking stamina, she said.
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Railways must tell cities about dangerous cargo, Transport Minister Raitt orders
Canada.com
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is ordering railway companies to share information with cities about dangerous goods going through their neighborhoods. Flanked by representatives from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Raitt said her new order would require Class 1 railway companies — the largest railways in the country — to provide yearly information, divided by quarter, on the nature and volume of any dangerous good transported by rail.
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Industry Headlines



Residents on Augusta's Arsenal Street briefly evacuated after natural gas line scare
The Kennebec Journal
Public safety officials got a scare recently after an apparent air leak in an inactive natural gas pipeline blew off a manhole cover and cracked pavement on Arsenal Street. There were no injuries in the incident, reported at 9:18 p.m. near the former, now-vacant MaineGeneral Medical Center building on Augusta's east side. The pipeline, operated by Summit Natural Gas of Maine, has not been powered up and is free of gas.
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Old Town Mill making sugars for biofuels out of wood waste
WCSH-TV
For more than a decade, the paper industry in Maine has faced lower profits, mills closing, ownership changes and thousands of jobs lost. The pulp and paper industry has been trying to redefine itself. In Old Town, they are hoping to be on the cusp of a breakthrough for a new process to extract sugars from wood waste that can be used to make biofuels and bioplastics. Darrell Waite is the biorefinery Process Manager at Old Town Fuel and Fiber. "The technology we're developing here at Old Town Fuel and Fiber is really an industry changer," he said.
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Huge leap in natural gas in northern states helps reduce reliance on imports
Columbus Business First
States in the Northeast haven't cut their ties to natural gas piped in from the Gulf of Mexico, but some home-grown production is helping lessen the region's dependence on it. That means lower energy costs in those 15 states, according to a new report from the federal Energy Information Administration. The states extend from Maine in the north over to Ohio in the west.
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Hollywood takes on California's fracking governor
Examiner
Hollywood took on California's Fracking Governor Brown, featuring Malin Akerman, Lance Bass, Julie Bowen, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Darren Criss, Daryl Hannah, Hayden Panettiere, Amy Smart, Wilmer Valderrama, Constance Zimmer and others—in a series of new viral videos, that aim to educate Californian residents about the dangers fracking poses to the Golden State, and to put pressure on Gov. Brown to ban fracking and move toward a renewable energy economy instead.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    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)
OSHA's Global Harmonization System Training video for employers and employees (Maine Community College System)
Government proposes lowering biofuel production (Portland Press Herald)
No flame, plenty of fire over rise in e-cigarettes in Maine (Portland Press Herald)
Spotlight on the c-store shopper (CSP.net)

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


Iberdrola creates holding company for US operations
Mainebiz
Spanish energy company Iberdrola, owner of Central Maine Power, has formed a single holding company for its operations in the United States, a plan that includes consolidating ownership of its electric and natural gas operations in New Gloucester. The new entity, Iberdrola USA, will hold the company's regulated utilities, renewable energy businesses and underground storage facilities under three intermediate holding companies, according to a press release.
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Ethanol takes a hit, finally
Bangor Daily News
Once touted as a climate-friendly renewable alternative to foreign oil, the corn-based liquid ethanol has been exposed as an environmental and economic mistake. Lured by federal subsidies, Midwestern farmers have devoted millions of acres to corn that might otherwise have been devoted to soil conservation or feed-grain production.
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Deciphering M&A activity in the US oil and gas sector
By Lucy Wallwork
Mergers and acquisitions hit the headlines daily in the financial pages, often making it all the way onto the front pages. Someone has swallowed a struggling target company; someone divested assets to focus on others. In the oil and gas sector, the level of M&A activity is used as a weather bell for the broader health of the sector, making investors nervous when things slowed down earlier this year. Now indicators seem to have picked up, but what does it all mean beyond those headlines?
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Sea-3 propane proposal sparking fear in region
Seacoastonline
The proposed expansion of a propane dealer's facility would affect the region, and neighboring towns should have the opportunity to weigh in on the plans, the Planning Board determined recently. Sea-3 Inc. appeared before the Newington Planning Board for a public hearing to reconfigure its terminal to accommodate rail shipments of liquefied petroleum gas, better known as propane.
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Convenience Stores



E-Cig Forum shines light on category's evolution
Convenience Store News
Future growth and regulations were very much on the minds of those who attended the Wells Fargo Securities Inaugural E-Cig Forum, which take place Nov. 21 at the New York Palace Hotel. Both are inevitable for the electronic cigarette segment as it continues to evolve from niche product to a vital part of the tobacco category. Manufacturers, investors and other industry insiders came together at the event to learn more about where e-cigarettes are going as a group, and as individual companies.
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NYC bans tobacco sales to anyone under age 21
The Associated Press via ABC News
Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed landmark legislation banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, making New York the first large city or state in the country to prohibit sales to young adults. During a brief ceremony at City Hall, Bloomberg said raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will help prevent young people from experimenting with tobacco at the age when they are most likely to become addicted. City health officials say 80 percent of smokers start before age 21.
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