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Report: Financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Section 32104 of MAP-21 directed the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives on the appropriateness of the current minimum financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers of property and passengers, and the current bond and insurance requirements for freight forwarders and brokers.
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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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Industry Headlines



Contractor responds to incomplete work claims
NECN
The Maine Attorney General's Office has now heard from at least 40 homeowners who said a contractor from Howland, Maine took thousands of dollars in deposit money from them for work that was never done. The homeowners say say they hired Dave Ireland Builders to convert their home heating systems to natural gas because DIB was promoted in the literature that was being circulated by the utility, Summit Natural Gas.
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Students urge for University of Maine System divestment from fossil fuels
The Maine Campus
Two students played dead on top of a black sheet representing an oil spill on The University Mall on Nov. 21, as students protested the University of Maine System's endowment investment in fossil fuel companies. As the wind blew cardboard fish with Xs as eyes flew into the air. A student in a white Hazmat suit jumped to one of the students playing dead, performing a rendition of CPR. "This is what big oil is doing to us," he screamed.
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Often idle, a Rumford power plant offers lessons
Portland Press Herald
There's a modern, efficient power plant in an industrial park here that can generate enough electricity to serve roughly 250,000 homes. It's well maintained and ready to run 96 percent of the year. But over the past 12 months, Rumford Power was online only 30 percent of the time, including periods last winter when demand during a record cold spell strained the region's electric grid.
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Natural gas utility pledges to help Cumberland, Falmouth, Yarmouth customers failed by defunct contractor
The Forecaster
The utility bringing natural gas service to Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth on Nov. 26 said it will reimburse customers for deposits they paid for work that remains incomplete because a contractor went out of business. Contractor David Ireland of David Ireland Builders also issued a press release, apologizing to the customers hurt by his shutdown and laying much of the blame for his situation on the utility, Summit Natural Gas of Maine.
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Energy efficiency case study: Woolwich, Maine
Boothbay Register
Evergreen Home Performance has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient. Learn how this Woolwich, Maine homeowner reduced her annual oil usage by 63 percent. Then contact Evergreen Home Performance at 594-2244 for your FREE energy-smart consult, and discover how you can gain comfort and cut costs in your home!
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Proulx Oil & Propane receives Energi award
Foster's Daily Democrat
Proulx Oil & Propane has received Energi'a 2014 Excellence in Risk Management Award for being a leader in the implementation of Energi safety and risk management programs. Energi, a leading provider of Insurance and Risk Management Programs to the energy industry, recognized Proulx Oil & Propane as being the "Best of the Best" within the energy industry at the annual Energi Risk Management & Insurance Summit in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 9. Receiving the award for Proulx was Tom Proulx, vice president and CFO.
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 MEMA Special Events

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



Legislative Updates



The climate pact swindle
The Washington Post via Bangor Daily News
Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between President Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions.
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Plunge in oil prices has Jekyll-and-Hyde effects
Portland Press Herald
A renewed plunge in oil prices is a worrying sign of weakness in the global economy that could shake governments dependent on oil revenues. Yet it is also a bonus for consumers as prices fall at the pump, giving individuals more spending money and lowering costs for many businesses. The latest slide follows OPEC's decision to leave its production target at 30 million barrels a day. Member nations of the cartel are worried they'll lose market share if they lower production.
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King sides with LePage on natural gas expansion
MaineBiz
U.S. Sen. Angus King supports Gov. Paul LePage in wanting to eliminate New England's natural gas bottleneck, saying more pipeline capacity is needed to battle high energy costs. King told the Lewiston Sun Journal that the issue comes down to pipeline capacity — and not natural gas supply — because New England has close proximity to a large source of natural gas, Marcellus Shale.
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OPEC leaves oil output unchanged despite falling prices
The Associated Press via Portland Press Herald
Reflecting its decreasing oil clout, OPEC recently decided to keep its output target on hold and sit out falling crude prices that will likely fall even lower as a result. Oil prices fell sharply on the news. Even though the decision was largely expected, it showed the once-powerful cartel is losing the power to push up markets to its own advantage.
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The story of fracked gas, the Northern Pass and tar sands in New Hampshire
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
With no east-west interstate and a wild northern section, New Hampshire has long been more of a destination than a pass-through state for human travelers. However, fossil fuels are passing through all the time. Several existing pipelines already carry natural gas and oil through New Hampshire, and many companies want to increase and diversify the fuels and electricity flowing through New Hampshire, most of which would be passing through on its way to somewhere else. These projects include the Northern Pass, a pipeline carrying Pennsylvanian natural gas, and pipelines carrying Canadian natural gas and tar sands oil.
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Convenience Store News



C-store retailers lose menu labeling battle
Convenience Store News
The Food and Drug Administration finally released its finalized rules on menu labeling that, much to the dismay of convenience industry insiders, include c-stores under the regulations. NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, expressed disapproval of the new menu labeling regulations imposed on convenience stores and other food establishments including grocery stores, movie theaters and vending machines.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Amid rush to switch to natural gas, Maine contractor shuts down (Portland Press Herald)
Summit Natural Gas, closed contractor come under fire (Portland Press Herald)
UPDATE: Natural gas utility urged to help Cumberland customers failed by contractor who went out of business (The Forecaster)
Hudson-based Fuller Oil bankruptcy hearing to proceed (Nashua Telegraph)

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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