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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

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...

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...

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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...

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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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McCain Seeks To Open U.S. Domestic Routes To Foreign Ships

February 6, 2015 3:26 am | by Kevin Freking, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Sen. John McCain, who seems to revel in the occasional lonely crusade, is now taking on America's maritime industry and the longstanding law barring foreign-built ships from transporting goods within the United States. McCain's opposition to the 1920 Jones Act isn't new, but his status as...

FDA Head To Step Down, Chief Scientist Taking Over

February 5, 2015 12:58 pm | by Matthew Perrone, Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press | News | Comments

From food safety to tobacco and politically charged drug approvals, Margaret Hamburg reset the course of the embattled Food and Drug Administration, an agency that had often been seen as ineffective. After nearly six years on the job, Hamburg announced her resignation Thursday in an email to staff. She said the agency's chief...

FCC Chairman Proposes Regulating Internet Like Phone Service

February 4, 2015 3:19 pm | by Anne Flaherty, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Declaring that the Internet must not be taken over by big business interests, a top U.S. regulator on Wednesday proposed dramatically expanding the government's power to oversee Internet service providers and establishing new rules that would prohibit companies from blocking or slowing data. Federal Communications Commission Chairman...

Energy Consumption By U.S. Government At Lowest Level Since 1975

February 4, 2015 3:07 pm | by U.S. Energy Information Administration‎ | News | Comments

The U.S. federal government, with thousands of facilities and vehicles in locations across the United States and abroad, is one of the largest energy consumers in the world, but that consumption is declining. The U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) shows total delivered-to-site energy use by the...

White House Budget Would Boost Labor Regulators

February 4, 2015 2:28 pm | 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...

Obama Plan Would Merge 6 U.S. Trade, Development Agencies

February 4, 2015 2:21 pm | by Ronnie Greene, The Associated Press | News | Comments

A little-noticed proposal in President Barack Obama's $4 trillion budget would eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which has been the subject of an Associated Press investigation into its overseas loans, and merge it for efficiency with five other federal business and trade...

New Rule Allows Idaho Dairies To Dump Waste Without Losing Permits

February 4, 2015 10:41 am | by Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Companies that are part of Idaho's $2.4 billion dairy industry are no longer at risk of losing their operating permits if caught illegally dumping waste into streams and waterways. The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee approved new rules Tuesday that would no longer allow the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to revoke...

China, Argentina Team Up To Discuss Upcoming Energy Projects

February 4, 2015 10:32 am | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor | News | Comments

A global partnership between Argentina and China was strengthened today as leaders from both countries agreed to collaborate on two new nuclear power plants. President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina and President Xi Jinping of China signed the nuclear power plant agreement and fourteen other agreements...

White House Budget Would Fund Additional Manufacturing Hubs

February 3, 2015 5:15 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The Obama administration's budget proposal unveiled this week calls for seven new national manufacturing innovation hubs, along with funding to build toward a national network of 45 such sites. Much of the president's budget is considered dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress, and GOP lawmakers who've complained about...

Health, Industry Groups Spar Over Ozone Rule

February 3, 2015 5:11 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Health advocates and environmental groups are urging federal officials to adopt stricter limits on ozone, while an industry group argued taking that step would needlessly hamper manufacturing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed reducing the threshold for ground-level ozone, or smog, from the current 75 parts per...

State Department Won't Intervene In Nissan-UAW Dispute

February 3, 2015 2:57 pm | by Andy Szal, Real Time Digital Reporter, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

The dispute between Nissan Motor Company and the United Auto Workers union over organizing workers at a Mississippi auto plant will continue without intervention from the federal government. The UAW, which has sought to unionize Nissan's Canton, Mississippi plant for more than a decade, last spring asked the...

Obama's Budget Includes Billions For Coal States

February 3, 2015 12:01 pm | by Adam Beam, The Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's new budget proposal includes more than $3 billion worth of tax credits and other spending to help the Appalachian region recover from the job losses and economic impact of the declining coal industry. But the new Republican-controlled Congress appeared skeptical of the...

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