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CEMA NEWS

Fight natural gas expansion — propose paving ordinance in your town
CEMA
The time to act is now. CEMA is asking members to reach out to your local Mayor, First Selectman, town council members, public works director or anyone who may have an interest in saving taxpayers money and maintaining local roads from the damage that the utilities are doing, as they tear up pavement and leave behind shoddy patch jobs.
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Natural gas prices on the rise
CEMA
The Energy Information Administration reported that they expect natural gas prices to average nearly $1 MMBtu more in 2013 compared to the previous year, and further increases are expected into 2014. EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook also indicates lower heating oil prices for this year compared to last and even further declines in 2014.
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New DMV requirements
CEMA
In order to comply with new federal law, Connecticut DMV recently put up instructions on their website requiring all CDL drivers to submit a form to self-certify the class of driver you are by Jan. 30. It’s free — no cost to fill out this form. The form asks for your license information, name, date of birth and email address and whether you drive out of state or only within state. Basically, if you drive across state lines for any reason, even to pick up fuel, you are Category 1, non-excepted interstate. If you travel only within Connecticut, then you are Category 2, non-excepted intrastate.
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Private Benefit Marketplace implementation ... on and off renewal
CEMA
The Affordable Care Act introduced to America the idea of health marketplaces. These are most familiar to us as exchanges or marketplaces for the federal and state governments (Connecticut's exchange is called Access Health CT while the federal exchange is mired in technical difficulties and politics). But there is an alternative to these government health marketplaces — private marketplaces and CEMA is proud to offer the only private marketplace in Connecticut exclusively to our members. Given the complexities of compliance, which includes benefit administration, human resources, payroll integration and the need for employers to implement policy and management, utilizing a private benefit marketplace is very attractive to employers of all sizes.
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CEMA Seminar and Marketplace demonstration for your brokers and agents
CEMA
CEMA will hold a free seminar for your insurance brokers and agents from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 17, at our office in Cromwell. We will introduce our private health and employee benefits marketplace, so that your broker can learn how they can work with us to serve you better. Current brokers and agents of CEMA members can continue to work with their CEMA member client, without interruption in their current relationship with you and your company.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


ISO-New England: Grid has enough power for winter demand
New Haven Register
Officials with the regional electric grid operator for New England say there are enough resources needed to meet demand for power this winter, but they also warn that certain factors related to how natural gas is used in producing that power could create reliability problems during the season's coldest days.
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NU chief asks subordinates to support Malloy by giving to Democratic Party
The Courant
Saying Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has "battled through issues of historic proportions" in his first term, including the Newtown school massacre and destructive storms, the top executive for Northeast Utilities has asked about 50 of his managers throughout New England to give money to help re-elect Malloy next year. The emailed request — sent on Sept. 17 by NU's CEO and board chairman, Thomas J. May — drew a quick response: $46,500 in contributions have been made since then by more than 20 NU executives in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the Connecticut Democratic Party, campaign finance reports show.
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Projected deficit for next fiscal year tops $1.1 billion
The CT Mirror
State analysts recently projected more than a $1.1 billion state budget deficit in the fiscal year beginning July 1, a gap roughly 1/3 the size of the record-setting shortfall that Connecticut's governor and legislature tried to close just two years ago. The projected shortfall for the coming year is sandwiched between the $365 million deficit Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration reported for the current fiscal year and a long-range forecast for another gap of more than $1 billion in 2014-2015.
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US approves 2nd natural gas export application
American Energy Coalition
The Obama administration recently opened the door to a new era of U.S. energy exports, approving a second liquefied natural gas project, according to a report by Reuters. The Energy Department's approval of unrestricted natural gas exports from Freeport LNG's Quintana Island, Texas, terminal ends nearly a two-year pause in its review of export applications as the administration addressed concerns that exporting domestic natural gas could force U.S. manufacturers and consumers to pay more, the report states.
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NU execs shine brightest as source of cash for Connecticut's Democratic Party
The CT Mirror
Over the previous decade, it's unlikely that anyone at the Connecticut Democratic Party had the top echelon of Northeast Utilities on speed dial. On average, the party squeezed a paltry $307.50 a year out of the entire NU workforce. The company's political action committee would write checks, but individual contributions never exceeded $1,000 in any year from 2003 to 2012. In 2010, the year Dannel P. Malloy was elected as Connecticut's first Democratic governor in two decades, the total was zero.
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Natural gas advances as winter storms pound Texas to Tennessee
Bloomberg News
Natural gas futures climbed to a six-month high in New York as wintry weather stoked demand for the heating fuel. Gas gained 2.9 percent. An icy storm fueled by the coldest air of the season is blanketing the U.S. from coast to coast. New York City may get snow before it changes over to sleet, while West Virginia, the western part of Virginia and Maryland's panhandle may see a half-inch of ice, according to the National Weather Service and AccuWeather Inc.
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Natural gas production destroys the climate, doesn't save it
American Energy Coalition
A major new study blows up the whole notion of natural gas as a short-term bridge fuel to a carbon-free economy, according to a recent article by CleanTechnica.com. "Natural gas is mostly methane (CH4), a potent heat-trapping gas. If, as now seems likely, natural gas production systems leak 2.7 percent or more, then gas-fired power loses its near-term advantage over coal and becomes more of a gangplank than a bridge," the article states.
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Democrats should rethink their embrace of big money
CT News Junkie
There used to be a time when Connecticut Democrats spoke about getting the money out of politics. That doesn't happen so much these days, as the recent eye-popping fundraising numbers illustrate. First, it turned out that to get a seat at a breakfast featuring Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at the Democratic Governors' Association it would cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000. Then it was revealed that the head of Northeast Utilities was, "suggesting" that top managers support the re-election of the governor by contributing to the state Democratic Party.
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CEMA Pipeline
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Brent Mangum, Content Editor, 469.420.2602  
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