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CEMA to appeal natural gas lawsuit ruling
Last October, CEMA sued the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for their failure to comply with the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act requirement to conduct a environmental impact evaluation on the state's Comprehensive Energy Strategy as it pertains to natural gas expansion. CEMA's claim is that the CES, which calls for the construction of 900 miles of new natural gas pipelines and the conversion of 300,000 homes and businesses from heating oil/Bioheat® and propane fuels to natural gas, would cause significant environmental damage and therefore requires an environmental impact evaluation.
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Connecticut Department of Revenue Services determines GRT applicable to mixed-use propane tanks
In Connecticut, propane sold for use to fuel a home electric generator is subject to the state's gross receipts tax. But what about mixed-use tanks that supply both an electric generator and other appliances, such as a furnace for home heating? The state's Department of Revenue Services has issued a ruling that in such mixed-use cases, the entire sale of propane is subject to the gross receipts tax (currently 8.81 percent on the first applicable sale of the product in the state).
DMV to shut down for a week to modernize computers
The Department of Motor Vehicles will shut down for a week next month or in September — with the sole exception of driver licensing services — to switch to a new computer system under a $25 million project that's been in the works for the better part of a decade, a department spokesman confirmed. Planners say that the new system will make more services available online to customers, such as reprinting registration certificates on a home computer and ordering replacement plates — and, in a later phase of the project, people would be able to notify DMV from home of a change of address.
In memoriam: Jerry Ragaini
Gerarco "Jerry" Ragaini, 70, of 240 Shepard Ave., Hamden, formerly of Douglas Drive, Hamden, died July 18 at home, surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Maria Ricciteli Ragaini. Jerry was born in Germany, Nov. 6, 1944, the son of the late Eufisio and Miranda Fabri Ragaini and came to the U.S. in 1964, residing in Hamden. He founded and operated Jerry Fuel since 1971. Spending quality time with his family was the most important thing to Jerry.
Convenience store and gas station seminar, Aug. 17
CEMA will hold a seminar on regulatory compliance at convenience stores and gas stations in Connecticut Aug. 17, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Best Western Hotel, 201 Washington Ave., North Haven. The seminar will include all new material including these new or upcoming regulations.
US EPA issues final underground storage tank requirements
PMAA via CEMA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published the final underground storage tank system testing and inspection rule July 15. The PMAA UST Task Force was successful in this effort reducing annual costs of the final rule from $6,966 per site to $2,377 per site. Overall, total annual compliance costs on the industry as a whole were reduced from $1.5 billion to $530 million as a result of PMAA's efforts.
Unseen risks: New EPA vapor instrusion guide for leaking petroleum underground storage tank sites
by Brian Freeman, Robinson & Cole via CEMA
In late June, Environmental Protection Agency released a guidance document that recommends actions for addressing potential vapor intrusion into buildings and other structures from leaking petroleum underground storage tanks subject to EPA or related state regulations. EPA intends the guide, Technical Guide for Addressing Petroleum Vapor Intrusion at Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites, to apply to new and existing release sites, as well as previously closed sites where EPA or the state environmental agency believes that vapor intrusion risk has not been adequately addressed.
US House passes another highway extension and also lowers LPG, CNG and propane tax rates
PMAA via CEMA
The U.S. House recently took the lead in passing a five-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund that is set to expire July 31. The bill would also extend expenditure authority for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund, which otherwise expires at the end of the month.
Placarding for split loads of gasoline and diesel/heating oil
PMAA via CEMA
The only time an operator can placard a cargo tank vehicle to the lowest flash point is when both gasoline and petroleum distillates such as diesel fuel or heating oil are shipped simultaneously in a split load in separate compartments of the same cargo tank vehicle. This exemption does not apply to alternating straight loads of gasoline or diesel fuel shipped in separate delivery runs but in the same cargo tank vehicle.
Southern New England Energy Conference Sept. 21-22 — Room reservations at Newport Marriott
The Southern New England Energy Conference, sponsored by CEMA, the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association and the Oilheat Institute of Rhode Island, will be held Sept. 21-22 at the Marriott Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island. The Marriott has just undergone a $35 million renovation, and according to a member who stayed their recently, it's "fantastic." The hotel is now taking reservations. The conference room rate is $189 (plus tax), and reservations can be made online by visiting this customized website. Book your group rate for CEMA 65th Annual Meeting & Southern NE Energy Conference.
NORA recommends procedures for above-ground oil tank securement
During severe flood events, such as those occurring from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, many coastal and low elevation inland areas were subjected to high water conditions. As a result, a number of outdoor above-ground home heating oil tanks were dislodged and, in some cases, caused property damage.
Mini-split training for technicians and sales representatives
Tech training — July 30, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Need to learn about Fujitsu mini-split systems? Spend a few hours with a Fujitsu representative and get the information you need! We will review Fujitsu common installation practices, allowable combinations, basic trouble shooting and installation guidelines to include proper line set lengths, refrigerant charge and basic electrical practices.
Essential gas field training skills for technicians
We've developed a seminar to teach your technicians how to perform basic gas service. Technicians will be able to take what they already know about oil equipment and apply that knowledge to gas equipment. During this two-day seminar, we will cover lots of info relating to both natural and LP gas. Some of the topics are electrical troubleshooting, gas combustion, venting, wiring and controls. They will evaluate sequence of operation, gas pipe sizing, ignition systems and safety. Let's review it in the classroom and work on it in the lab! Each attendee will receive a voltage meter and a gas pressure meter. Lunch is included! To register, click here.
CEMA launches PRO$ realtor outreach program — Seeks member companies to get involved with local realtors
As many of you know, the Partnership for Realty and Oilheat Success has recently been relaunched in Connecticut. The PRO$ program aims to educate realtors — who are the key influencers during the home transaction and who often say the wrong things about oil heat to their customers — about the best ways to list and sell oil-heated homes by explaining the benefits of oil heat, the solutions that oil dealers provide and how conversion away from oil heat is not the answer. PRO$ is managed by Warm Thoughts Communications.
Gilligan selected for top PMAA honor
PMAA President Emeritus Dan Gilligan has been selected to receive PMAA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. The award will be presented at a luncheon held in his honor Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Better MPG with summer gasoline
NACS via CEMA
By June 1, retailers in more than 30 percent of the country are required to sell summer-blend fuels. The annual spring transition to produce, transport, store and sell these fuels is one of the reasons that gas prices have increased an average of 55 cents per gallon each spring since 2000 when the Clean Air Act amendments required that summer-blend fuels be sold in many areas of the country.
Mass AG to study New England natural gas needs
Hartford Business Journal
As the six New England states negotiate how to best accommodate the region's energy needs — including Connecticut's natural gas expansion — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey will conduct a study of the natural gas demand and ways to meet it through 2030. Decisions in Massachusetts and other New England states could have great significance on Connecticut's energy policies and realities, as the installation of pipelines to bring more natural gas to the region require multistate agreements.
Malloy says PURA exemption about pragmatism, not secrecy
A spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says legislation protecting communications between members of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority from disclosure doesn't violate a pledge the governor signed during the fall campaign to support state freedom-of-information laws. The spokesman says the intent of the legislation is to improve PURA's efficiency and not to curtail what commissioners are required to make public.
$2 gas will be back after Iran nuclear deal
Gas may only dip a few cents when the Iranian oil first starts to flow again, but by September drivers could see big savings. "Once we get past Labor Day, we should see gas falling by 10 to 15 cents a month," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with the Oil Price Information Service. "By December, a lot of places are going to see gasoline at $2 or less."
Critics of natural gas pipeline claim underused facilities already exist to meet need
American Energy Coalition
A proposed $5 billion natural gas pipeline for New England is needed only to meet peak winter demands on 30 to 40 days per year, according to pipeline critics quoted in a recent, in-depth article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. They say that the region is already served by underutilized facilities that could meet the demand "before ratepayers are forced to pay for a new pipeline that could, they argue, drive gas prices up rather than down."
Missed an issue of CEMA Pipeline? Click here to visit the CEMA Pipeline archive page.
UIL withdraws $3 billion merger application
Hartford Business Journal
Rather than facing an outright denial, New Haven utility parent UIL Holdings withdrew its application for Connecticut regulators to approve the company's proposed $3 billion acquisition by Spain utility giant Iberdrola. The move gives UIL and Iberdrola the opportunity to start the regulatory proceeding over from scratch, although it significantly delays their plans to complete the transaction by the end of the year.
Oil prices slide on supply data
The Wall Street Journal
Oil prices sank to a fresh three-month low recently on concerns that the global glut of crude oil is being processed into a glut of refined products.
Natural gas prices rise due to warmer weather estimates
August natural gas futures rose for the third consecutive day. Natural gas prices rose by 3.24 percent and closed at $2.86 per British thermal units in millions July 13. The consensus of rising demand due to warmer weather estimates supported the natural gas price movement.
Emerging reality of gas infrastructure: Destination export
The Huffington Post
New England political leaders, utility companies and multinational energy companies have been telling the same story for years: Natural gas is the answer to New England's energy needs. Recently, this tale has been used to justify multiple new natural gas pipeline project proposals.
Natural gas tops coal as top source of electricity in US
Call it a one-two punch against coal. As global demand for U.S. coal exports continues to sag, domestic demand at power plants has been sliding as well.
For the first time ever, natural gas trumped coal as the top source of electric power generation in the U.S.
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