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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Navy Debuts Robot That Can Fight Fires Aboard Ships

February 14, 2015 10:57 am | by Brock Vergakis, The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Navy has developed a prototype of a man-sized robot to do one of the most dangerous jobs aboard any ship: fighting a fire. The Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot was developed by researchers at Virginia Tech and made its public debut during a Navy science and technology expo in...

FDA Panel To Review Application For 'Modified Risk' Tobacco

February 13, 2015 3:10 pm | by Michael Felberbaum, AP Tobacco Writer | News | Comments

A Food and Drug Administration panel is planning to review smokeless tobacco maker Swedish Match's request to certify its General-branded pouches of tobacco as less harmful than cigarettes. The Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has scheduled a two-day meeting beginning...

Chemical Safety Board Under Fire

February 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents has come under increasing fire on a number of fronts in recent days, with former employees, members of Congress and even the Obama administration calling its activities into question. Criticism of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is nothing...

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Obama To Focus On Cybersecurity In Heart Of Silicon Valley

February 13, 2015 2:16 pm | by Darlene Superville and Martha Mendoza, The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama, responding to unprecedented data breaches and cyberattacks, is trying to spark alliances between policymakers who want to regulate the online world and tech innovators who traditionally shun federal government bureaucracies. In California's Silicon Valley on Friday, Obama was slated to...

Congress Seeks To Undo Union Election Standard

February 13, 2015 12:29 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Republican lawmakers who now control both houses of Congress are taking steps to counter federal agency decisions they believe favor unions. Their targets include a policy adopted late last year by the National Labor Relations Board that would close the gap between a petition for a union election and the start of voting, as...

The Relationship Between Workplace Safety And Product Safety

February 13, 2015 12:13 pm | by Kenneth Ross | Articles | Comments

One of the most intractable problems facing manufacturers is where the product is used in a workplace environment.  Many times, it is the employer that created an unsafe work condition that contributed to the accident.  And, because the employer is usually not a party to the lawsuit, such cases can be very...

U.S. Appeals To Japanese Business To Help Push For Trade Pact

February 13, 2015 10:31 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Japan and the U.S. are moving closer to reaching agreement on market opening measures needed to conclude a Pacific Rim trade pact, a top U.S. envoy said Friday, urging Japanese business leaders to help bridge the last, difficult disagreements. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken urged members of...

Congress To Postpone Sending Keystone-Pipeline Bill To Obama

February 13, 2015 10:18 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Congressional leaders are delaying sending a bill authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to the White House for a likely veto until after the recess break. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, the chief Republican sponsor, told reporters Thursday it would be better if Congress was in town when...

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FCC Commissioner Speaks Out Against Internet Regulation

February 12, 2015 3:00 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Videos | Comments

While FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has declared his proposal to regulate the internet as a telecommunications service, the rest of the Federal Communications Commission is not exactly decided. The FCC is set to vote on the proposal on February 26th, and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is distinctly...

NAM: For Growth And Jobs, It’s Time For The President To Say “Yes"

February 12, 2015 10:15 am | by Jamie Hennigan, National Association of Manufacturers | News | Comments

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement following House passage of legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline: “Today, the House stood up and said ‘yes’ to jobs, innovation and manufacturing by approving the Keystone XL pipeline...

Congress Clears Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, Setting Up Veto

February 12, 2015 10:08 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

The Republican-controlled Congress cleared a bill Wednesday to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a confrontation with President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the measure. The House passed the bill on a 270-152 vote, endorsing changes made by the Senate...

Delegation: EPA Reaffirms Approval Of ND Haze Plan

February 12, 2015 9:55 am | by Blake Nicholson, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency has reaffirmed its approval of North Dakota's plan to address haze caused by coal-fired power plants, rejecting an appeal by environmental groups who favor a federal plan. The EPA in 2012 agreed with the state Health Department's position that the...

Congress Set To Pass Bill Approving Keystone XL Pipeline

February 11, 2015 10:51 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press Writer | News | Comments

The Republican-controlled Congress is set to send a bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline to President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto it. The House is expected to pass the bill easily Wednesday afternoon, capping weeks of debate over one of Republicans' top...

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A Look At The Upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines

February 11, 2015 10:47 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Dietary advice can be confusing. Is it OK to eat meat and eggs? Is fat in or out? What about grains? How much salt? An advisory committee's recommendations for the nation's dietary patterns are due soon, and some advice may be changing. The committee is expected to downplay...

New Agency Designed To Fight Cyber Threats

February 10, 2015 1:48 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Today, the White House will announce the creation of a new agency named the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) — which will be tasked with thwarting cyberattacks by sharing intelligence across other agencies in the event of a crisis. According to a report from The Verge, the idea behind the new agency is to apply...

CA Pledges Changes In Protecting Underground Water

February 10, 2015 10:11 am | by Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated press | News | Comments

California has proposed closing by October up to 140 oil-field wells that state regulators had allowed to inject into federally protected drinking water aquifers, state officials said. The deadline is part of a broad plan the state sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week for bringing state regulation of oil and gas operations back...

Congress To Vote To Repeal NLRB Rule

February 9, 2015 5:13 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Republican-controlled Congress is planning a vote to repeal a National Labor Relations Board rule that revised procedures covering union representation elections. The effort sets up a likely veto clash with the White House. Republicans announced Monday they will employ a little-used law that permits the Senate to repeal...

Neighboring States Clash On EPA Coal Energy Regulation

February 9, 2015 3:06 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Montana and Wyoming, despite having a similar relationship to the coal energy industry, are planning to approach the Clean Power Act from two opposite directions. According to Benjamin Storrow of the Casper Star-Tribune, the EPA’s plan would require both states to meet a carbon reduction target—21% for Montana and 19% for...

Angry Over Trade, Labor Gets Union-Friendly Pitch From Obama

February 9, 2015 2:23 pm | by Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press | News | Comments

On a cold overcast morning in January, President Barack Obama briefly delayed his departure for an Iowa day-trip to huddle in the Oval Office with AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams. The topic was Obama's upcoming State of the Union...

CA Formally Opens Large Solar Plant

February 9, 2015 6:23 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

California is rushing to expand its use of solar power to meet the renewable energy requirements, and one of the nation's largest solar projects will be dedicated Monday in the Riverside County desert. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to join federal and local officials to...

Why Should Manufacturers Care About Net Neutrality?

February 6, 2015 5:43 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | Blogs | Comments

Earlier this week, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler proposed redefining broadband internet as a telecommunications service rather than an information service. While this change seems like an issue of semantics, it has massive implications for individual internet users, broadband internet service providers, and businesses of all...

Obama To Tout Community College Plan At IN Town Hall

February 6, 2015 2:34 pm | by Jeni O'Malley, The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's proposal to make two years of community college free will get a key test Friday as he travels to Indiana, a red state where making college more affordable and increasing graduation rates are squarely in the spotlight. Obama's plan is part of a proposed budget that increases taxes on the wealthy and aims to...

Fracking Puts CA Governor, Environmentalists At Odds

February 6, 2015 2:24 pm | by Juliet Williams, The Associated Press | News | Comments

In the 1970s, the environmental movement had no bigger political hero than California Gov. Jerry Brown. He cracked down on polluters, ended tax breaks for oil companies and promoted solar energy. Forty years later, in his second go-around as governor, conservationists are among his harshest...

FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Keeps Internet Open For Businesses

February 6, 2015 10:21 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Blogs | Comments

Later this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to reclassify the Internet as a utility and critical to the functioning of the nation, in turn, maintaining “net neutrality.” So what does that all mean? The proposal by FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, means that Internet providers must allow data to...

Obama Budget Includes Extra Funding For OSHA

February 6, 2015 9:48 am | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

President Obama's fiscal year 2016 budget proposal includes a $1.3 billion funding increase for the Labor Department — including millions to bolster the department's regulatory oversight agencies. Of the department's proposed $13.2 billion funding level, $1.9 billion would be allocated to worker protection agencies such as the...

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