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CEMA opposes natural gas expansion
CEMA
Last week, CEMA participated in a public hearing at the Public Utility Regulatory Authority concerning natural gas expansion in Connecticut. PURA has opened a docket to consider a request by the natural gas utilities to convert 280,000 customers to natural gas over the next 10 years and expand the infrastructure with an additional 900 miles of new lines. The strategy that CEMA's Legislative Committee (Chaired by Tom Devine of Devine Bros, Norwalk) is pursuing to stop/limit the expansion plan, is to get the utility shareholders to contribute to the cost of the build-out and to get new gas customers to pay for a larger portion of the conversion.
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CEMA NEWS


State regulators begin to weigh in on $2 billion energy plan
CEMA
The fate of the utility plan to expand natural gas in Connecticut will soon be determined by state regulators who must either approve or change the plan by early November as mandated by The State Legislature. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's 2 billion Comprehensive Energy Strategy or CES calls on converting 280,000 homes in Connecticut to natural gas, building 900 miles of new pipelines throughout the state and offers rich utility shareholders a sweetheart deal.
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October 1st deadline approaches for UST owners
CEMA
On Oct. 1, owners of federally regulated underground storage tanks will be required to comply with the federal financial responsibility requirement. Prior to Oct. 1 UST owners were covered by the Connecticut Tank Fund to satisfy FR. UST's containing heating oil, diesel fuel, gasoline and even waste oil for use in your trucks or for resale are required to have a FR mechanism to comply with the law.
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Early renewal options & the Affordable Care Act — Too good to be true?
CEMA
There has been a great deal of market activity stirred up by insurance carriers who are offering "early renewal" options for small employers to essentially afford them more time to adhere to the Affordable Care Act. The intent of the insurance carriers is to provide employers the option of renewing their group medical insurance plan on Dec. 1, thus changing the employer-sponsored plan's year and affording the employer until Dec. 1, 2014 to comply.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Debate over natural gas plan heating up
New Britain Herald
In the words of DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty, the expansion plan filed by Yankee Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas "is a major milestone in fulfilling Gov. Malloy's vision of bringing cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power to our state's residents and businesses." Starting in New Britain, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will take a closer look at this plan for converting 280,000 homes in Connecticut to natural gas and building 900 miles of new pipelines in the state.
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Hearings on natural gas expansion
CT News Junkie
In June, Southern Connecticut Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas and Yankee Gas submitted a joint proposal to expand 900 miles of natural gas lines to 280,000 customers over the next 10 years. The expansion is part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's "Comprehensive Energy Strategy" legislation that was approved earlier this year by the General Assembly. The legislation encourages expansion, but no taxpayer funds are being used to support the construction of the gas mains or residential conversion from oil to natural gas. There had been a proposal to offer a $500 tax credit to residents who converted, but it was eliminated from the final version of the legislation
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Yankee Gas fined over fire
Republican American
Yankee Gas Services Co. was fined $150,000 for its role in a fire that destroyed a multifamily home on March 18. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a ruling that says Yankee Gas violated four federal regulations regarding pipeline safety, which was "the cause of the natural gas release and subsequent fire."
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PG&E to pay $565 million in 3rd-party lawsuit settlements after San Bruno blast
The Huffington Post
California utility Pacific Gas & Electric expects to pay a total of $565 million in third-party settlements for the deadly 2010 gas line explosion that killed eight people and injured dozens in San Bruno, Calif., the utility said. The settlement total is the outcome of hundreds of lawsuits filed by blast victims who suffered injuries, lost family members or homes in the incident. PG&E has settled all but two claims, which it hopes to close shortly.
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Capturing and storing carbon: Is it worth it?
By Stefanie Heerwig
Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, has been widely heard about, widely demonized but also widely misunderstood. CCS is basically the idea that the fossil fuel industry could carry on forever because we can trap carbon dioxide first by capturing it with help of a wide range of technologies, then by compressing and transporting it and injecting it deep underground. President Barack Obama has incorporated it as one of the main actions by the U.S. in the fight against climate change. Research in the field has been immense, though many questions are still open.
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Jobs boom from US oil and gas
ABC News
A forecast by a well-known economics consulting firm says the oil and gas boom in the U.S. is having a larger impact on jobs than previously thought. "The economic and employment contributions from unconventional oil and gas production are now being felt throughout the economy," increasing household incomes, boosting trade and contributing to a new increase in American competitiveness, a new study by IHS finds.
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Greenpeace protests Arctic drilling as polar bears flourish
The Daily Caller
As many as 3,000 protesters took to the streets of London and marched alongside a double-decker-bus sized polar bear puppet, calling for bans on oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic. The environmental group Greenpeace, which organized the protests, argues that oil and gas drilling contributes to global warming, which in turn reduces Arctic ice cover and causes polar bears to become endangered species.
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Oil firms queried on reserves
The Wall Street Journal
The Securities and Exchange Commission is pressing energy companies in the U.S. to disclose how much of their reserves — a key gauge of future profit — consists of oil rather than less valuable liquids like propane. After prodding from regulators, companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. and ConocoPhillips have recently joined Exxon Mobil Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. in agreeing to break out how much of the fuel they can pump at a profit is crude rather than liquids derived from natural gas.
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Keep pressure on for safety
The Bismarck Tribune
Working in the western North Dakota oil patch can be dangerous — especially if the worker is a rookie, a person without experience on rigs or in working with industrial equipment. It's a commonsense judgment that the numbers bear out. Since October 2011, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has conducted 41 fatality investigations. Over the past two years, the number of complaints from workers about unsafe conditions has tripled.
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Safety rules lag as oil transport by train rises
CBC News
The sight of a locomotive hauling 100,000 liters of light crude oil through a small Canadian town like Lac-Mégantic was nearly unimaginable just a few years ago. But as North American oil production continues to outpace pipeline capacity, shipment by rail is increasingly common, and critics worry that safety regulations have not kept up with expansion.
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The other boom: Update on the Arctic Basin and its role in global energy
By Lucy Wallwork
All eyes are currently on the U.S. energy boom, led by the unprecedented exploitation of unconventional reserves. But what progress has there been on exploration of the vast reserves lying under the Arctic Ocean? And how have they been adapting to the transformed market realities? After an initial burst of excitement — as technically challenging Arctic exploration finally became commercially feasible — oil majors have backed off in recent months.
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Gas prices under $3 a gallon may be automotive history
Convenience Store News
Gas prices are about to reach a milestone. For the first time on record, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is set to surpass $3 per gallon on Sept. 17 for the 1,000th consecutive day, reported AAA. This streak began on Dec. 23, 2010. AAA forecasts that the national average will remain about $3 per gallon for at least another 1,000 days, barring a major economic recession.
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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