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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

EIA: U.S. Oil Imports Have Declined Since 2011

February 25, 2014 11:29 am | by U.S. Energy Information Administration | News | Comments

Since early 2011, a falling volume of crude oil imports as domestic production has risen sharply and the emergence of net product exports have driven the volume and value of net oil imports lower. These reductions occurred even though the annual average oil prices in 2012 and 2013 were at their highest historical levels.

Pa. Firms Expect Gas Boom To Help Manufacturing

February 24, 2014 8:06 am | by Timothy Puko, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | News | Comments

Drillers, business leaders and politicians are hoping the natural gas boom is so big that it brings life to Pittsburgh's stagnant manufacturing sector. The rush of gas from the Marcellus shale and other formations can provide cheap fuel for a renaissance in domestic plastic- and steelmaking.

N.Y. Village Appeals Ban On Fracking Water Sales

February 20, 2014 3:59 pm | News | Comments

Environmental groups and a Steuben County village are headed to an appeals court over water sales to a Shell Oil Company subsidiary for shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania. The state Conference of Mayors says a decision in favor of the environmental groups could endanger thousands of water sale contracts that help struggling towns raise revenue.

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Team To Do Assessment At New Mexico Nuclear Site

February 20, 2014 2:31 pm | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy has appointed a team to investigate the detection of radiation in and near a southeastern New Mexico facility that is the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository in operation.      

2 Solar Projects Approved In California, Nevada

February 20, 2014 12:36 pm | by Christopher Weber, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal officials announced the approval of two solar energy plants on public lands in California and Nevada, angering environmentalists who say the facilities will endanger desert tortoises. The plants were expected to supply 550 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power about 170,000 homes.

BP America Prez: Getting Closer To EPA Agreement

February 20, 2014 11:06 am | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press | News | Comments

The head of BP America Inc. says he believes the company is moving closer toward once again being allowed to bid on federal contracts. Company president and CEO John Minge said Wednesday — without giving details — that he thinks an agreement might be reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice.

Mexico Feels Energy Buzz With N. America Summit

February 19, 2014 3:25 pm | by Katherine Corcoran, Associated Press | News | Comments

The leaders of the three NAFTA nations met Wednesday in Mexico in part to highlight the economic cooperation that has grown since NAFTA joined the U.S., Canada and Mexico 20 years ago. But all eyes, including Madero's, were on one key area that NAFTA didn't touch: energy.

John Kerry Mocks Those Who Deny Climate Change

February 19, 2014 12:02 pm | by Matthew Lee, AP Diplomatic Writer | News | Comments

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday called climate change perhaps the world's "most fearsome" destructive weapon and mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.   

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Higher Gasoline Prices Are On The Way

February 14, 2014 1:53 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Gasoline prices are already creeping higher. The nationwide average price has risen for seven days in a row to $3.34 per gallon, the highest level since October, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express. California, Connecticut and New York drivers are paying an average of $3.65 or more, the most in the lower 48 states.

PwC: Industrial M&A Activity Up In Second Half Of 2013

February 13, 2014 4:11 pm | by PwC US | News | Comments

While 2013 as a whole marks the second consecutive annual decline, deal activity in the second half of the year increased with 83 deals worth $35.7 billion versus 69 deals for $24 billion in the first half. The fourth quarter of 2013 recorded 40 transactions worth $50 million or more.

Study: Manufacturers Will Benefit From Low-Cost U.S. Natural Gas

February 13, 2014 10:59 am | by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) | News | Comments

Low U.S. electricity prices in natural-gas-fired plants, for example, are already encouraging investment in energy-intensive industries such as steel and glass. Not yet visible are the advantages that makers of intermediate products, such as plastic-resin pellets, and makers of finished goods, such as plastic toys and plastic auto parts, will reap from cheaper inputs.

Huge Thermal Plant Opens As Solar Industry Grows

February 13, 2014 8:36 am | by Brian Skoloff and Michael R. Blood, Associated Press | News | Comments

A windy stretch of the Mojave Desert once roamed by tortoises and coyotes has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of mirrors into the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, a milestone for a growing industry that is testing the balance between wilderness conservation and the pursuit of green energy across the West.

Nuclear Fusion Project Takes Key Step In Lab Test

February 13, 2014 7:53 am | by Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Scientists say they've taken a key step toward harnessing nuclear fusion as a new way to generate power, an idea that has been pursued for decades. They are still a long way from that goal. The amount of energy they got out of their experimental apparatus was minuscule compared to what they put into it.

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Industry Group Says Indiana Added 960 Solar Jobs

February 12, 2014 11:41 am | by Rick Callahan, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Solar Foundation said Indiana saw 960 new solar industry jobs last year, up from the 540 such jobs in 2012. The Washington, D.C.-based group's annual report summarizing solar energy jobs in each of the 50 states ranked Indiana 25th in solar employment, up two spots from its previous report.

U.S. Trade Protest Over India Solar Energy Program

February 11, 2014 8:18 am | by Matthew Pennington, Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. brought a trade complaint against India Monday over a solar energy program it says discriminates against American manufacturers, adding another wrinkle to a bilateral relationship strained by the recent arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat.

Tests Show Different Arsenic Levels In N.C. Spill

February 7, 2014 8:30 am | News | Comments

The nation's largest electricity provider, state regulators and an environmental group issued differing data Thursday about the levels of toxins detected in a North Carolina river following a massive spill of coal ash.      

Senator: U.S. Coal Sales Might Have Cost Taxpayers

February 5, 2014 8:35 am | by Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

While exports of the fuel to lucrative Asian markets have surged in recent years, the rules for leasing government-owned coal have remained largely unchanged since 1990. That's stirred concerns that companies could be shortchanging taxpayers by buying coal cheaply from the government based on U.S. market prices and then selling it at a premium overseas.

Branson Hosts Renewable Energy Summit In Caribbean

February 4, 2014 2:17 pm | by David McFadden, Associated Press | News | Comments

Caribbean politicians and renewable power experts gathered Tuesday on British billionaire Richard Branson's private isle to discuss ways of transitioning to clean energy in an effort to spur small island nations to slash their dependence on fossil fuels and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Monadnock Makes The Greenest Paper

February 4, 2014 12:31 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

As it nears 200 years in operation, Monadnock Paper Mills (MPM) remains one of the nation’s foremost manufacturers of technical/specialty, packaging and printing papers for a variety of markets. And it's doing far more than ever to ensure that its local environment remains as pristine as ever.

EDVs Don’t Reduce Emissions

January 31, 2014 3:26 pm | by Chris Fox, Managing Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

Through 108 different scenarios in a model, the researchers found that even if EDVs made up 42 percent of passenger vehicles in the U.S., there would be little or no reduction in the emission of key air pollutants.      

Bringing Big Steel’s ‘Mini-Mill’ To Solar

January 30, 2014 1:39 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

Silicor Materials, in many ways, is turning inward to implement the necessary practices rather than simply trying to respond to volatile markets. In order to make that possible, the company is implementing some philosophies most often seen in another industry altogether: the foundries of Big Steel, which has a long history of adopting new technology and ways of thinking to improve margins and stay in business.

Toshiba International Named To Public-Private Manufacturing Innovation Institute

January 30, 2014 11:12 am | by Toshiba International Corporation (TIC) | News | Comments

Toshiba International Corporation (TIC) today announced a five-year commitment to the Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute, a research and development consortium backed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).   

Hundreds Sue Makers Of Fukushima Nuclear Plant

January 30, 2014 7:49 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

The plaintiffs said that manufacturers — Toshiba, GE and Hitachi — failed to make needed safety improvements to the 4-decade-old reactors at the Fukushima plant. They are seeking compensation of $1 each, saying the idea is to raise awareness of the problem.

IBM, Texas A&M Will Collaborate On Research

January 29, 2014 12:00 pm | News | Comments

IBM and Texas A&M University System will be collaborating on wide-ranging research. The Armonk, N.Y. based company and the university announced the agreement on Wednesday. The work will focus on energy, animal diseases and global food supplies, among other things.

Processing Trends, Chemical Industry Knowledge Lead To Custom Approach

January 29, 2014 10:23 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Currently, the processing market, and in particular the harsher chemical, petrochemical and resins sectors, are seeing growth due to an influx of homegrown energy resources that have helped lower production costs. This growth shines a spotlight on the need for equipment, operational approaches and ERP systems that are scalable, reliable and efficient.

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