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As 2013 comes to a close, MEMA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of MEMA Randoms a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 8.
EIA Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook
U.S. Energy Information Administration
From Oct. 9: The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its 2013-2014 Winter Fuels Outlook. Here are some highlights:
- Heating oil customers can expect to pay 2 percent less to heat their homes this winter (currently, heating oil prices are 5 percent lower than last year).
- Customers that rely on other heating fuels, however, are expected to pay more.
- Natural gas leads the way ... consumers can expect to pay an average of 13 percent more than last winter (18 percent for the Northeast).
- The EIA warns of even higher natural gas costs if the winter is worse than expected.
- New England pipeline constraints continue. These constraints led to "extreme spikes" in natural gas spot prices in January and February of 2013.
Economic impact study reveals true cost of WPO on Maine's economy
South Portland Working Waterfront Coalition
From Sept. 25: Flanked by dozens of hard-working Mainers whose jobs depend on our working waterfront, noted Maine economist Dr. Charles Lawton revealed the findings of an economic impact study he conducted to examine the role maritime commerce plays in our region's economy. Lawton was joined at the podium by Maine Energy Marketers Association President Jamie Py, Sprague Energy Vice President Burt Russell, AGC Maine CEO Matt Marks and AGC Maine President Beth Sturtevant.
Vote facts not fear, oppose the Waterfront Protection Ordinance
Keep Me Current
From Aug. 28: Linda Boudreau, a guest columnist for Keep Me Current, writes: "The voters of South Portland now have their own critical decision to make. In November, we will consider whether to adopt the so-called 'Waterfront Protection Ordinance.' After careful consideration, I am voting no on the WPO. Let me take a moment to tell you why. The Waterfront Protection Ordinance was placed on the ballot by citizen initiative. Proponents of the WPO secured signatures in large part by claiming that it was needed to protect Bug Light from 'smokestacks.'"
Analysis: TransCanada's East Coast oil pipeline to change trade dynamics
From Aug. 7: TransCanada Corp's plan to build one of the world's longest oil pipelines has reverberations far beyond Canadian shores. The planned 2,700 mile pipeline, which will bring crude from Canada's energy capital of Alberta to refineries and ports on the East Coast, has the potential to upturn the dynamics of the North Atlantic oil trade squeezing out some imported crude to North America and revitalizing once-ailing refineries.
Summit Natural Gas misses deadline for Cony, Augusta buildings
From Dec. 4: Delays in the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Windsor to Madison, via Augusta, have forced officials to find other ways to heat some prominent public buildings. Cony High School and the attached Capital Area Technical Center buildings in Augusta are being heated by propane so far this heating season, despite a contract with Summit Natural Gas of Maine that specified those buildings and others would have gas by Nov. 1.
Sales tax increase hits Mainers
From Oct. 2:The state sales tax goes up Oct. 1 — The result of the state budget passed by the 126th Maine State Legislature, but vetoed by Governor Paul R. LePage earlier this summer. Mainers will be subjected to a state sales tax rate increase of 10 percent. Additionally, the tax on alcoholic beverages and meals at restaurants and lodging costs will increase by 14 percent.
South Portland puts tar sands issue to vote
The Portland Press Herald
From Aug. 21: The Portland City Council voted to ask voters in November whether they want an ordinance to pre-emptively prevent so-called tar sands oil from flowing through the city. "It's now in the citizens' hands," said Mayor Tom Blake after the vote around 11 p.m. The council could have approved the ordinance itself, but chose instead to put it on the Nov. 5 ballot.
'Tar sands' ordinance set for hearings in South Portland
From July 24: While recent events, including a very public show of support from Mayor Tom Blake, have given the grassroots group Concerned Citizens of South Portland cause to celebrate, acceptance of its petition for a Waterfront Protection Ordinance by the City Council July 1 presented opponents an opportunity to throw a few barbs.
Natural gas gains squeeze family-run oil companies in Northeast
From Nov. 13: The black-and-white photo on the wall of Jennifer Tracey-Carlo's heating oil company shows her father and grandfather standing beside a small fleet of gleaming delivery trucks, offering a glimpse into a time when oil was king and honoring the two men who built the business. Tracey-Carlo, the third generation to run Tracey Energy Services in New Haven, Conn., says oil dealerships like hers once expanded with a growing population and followed the exodus to suburbia. "We have their grandchildren," she said of customers whose families grew up with hers. "As people moved further, we'd move with them."
When give-and-take is mostly gain: Maine and New England's energy future
Bangor Daily News
From Nov. 27: 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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