Welcome to the IMA Energy & Environment Blog. The blog format reflects our efforts to provide IMA members with timely, relevant and thought provoking information in a form that is accessible for easy reference. IMA’s Energy & Environment Blog will be updated on a regular basis. Weekly news update emails will be sent out to notify subscribers of new information posted on the blog. IMA members are welcome to submit material for the blog, or request specific information. Simply email Editor Stefany Henson at shenson@ima-net.org with your information or request. Editorial submissions are subject to review.



Obama Takes Aim at Big Trucks

By Lauren Aragon, National Center for Policy Analysis — June 22, 2015

On Friday, the Obama administration officially announced plans to further lower carbon emissions in the United States. This new rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Transportation Department, aims to increase the fuel efficiency of the large trucks crossing the country everyday. New regulations will also affect other trucks, such as delivery vehicles, dump trucks and buses.

Two categories of standards were created, one for the front part of big trucks, called tractors, and one for trailers that trucks haul. The tractor standard will be implemented for those built in 2021 and require efficiency increases of up to 24 percent. This will be the first time, however, that regulations extend to trailers. The first federal standards for big trucks were announced in 2011 for any truck models built between 2014 and 2018.

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EPA Strengthens Underground Storage Tank Requirements to Improve Prevention and Detection of Leaks

The U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) is strengthening the federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements to improve prevention and detection of petroleum releases from USTs, which are one of the leading sources of groundwater contamination. EPA’s action will strengthen existing requirements and help ensure all USTs in the United States meet the same release protection standards. “These changes will better protect people’s health and benefit the environment in communities across the country by improving prevention and detection of underground storage tank releases,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Extensive and meaningful collaboration with our underground storage tank partners and stakeholders was vital to the development of the new regulations. The revised requirements will also help ensure consistency in implementing the tanks program among states and on tribal lands.”

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How One Metal Manufacturer Reduced Electric Costs By 20 Percent

By Anthony Wittrock, from Constellation’s Energy4Business Blog

The heavy machinery used to cast and sand metal can be a huge drain on energy. Fifteen years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for Aurora Metals Division in Montgomery, Ill., to spend $55,000 to $60,000 per month on electricity alone.

CEO Dave Bumbar and CFO Mike Schultz knew they needed to get a better handle on those costs to stay competitive globally. The company is a longtime member of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, which endorses Constellation.

“We were by no means electrical experts, (nor did we understand) the depth of our bill (to the extent) we felt we needed to when they rolled out a program such as this, but we felt very comfortable (in our decision) knowing that the IMA (endorsed the program),” Bumbar said.

Since the company began using Constellation as its electricity and natural gas supplier in 2001, Aurora Metals has reduced its electric costs by 15 to 20 percent. Some of that was due to the reduced costs of electricity resulting from deregulation in the Illinois market, which at one time had some of the highest rates in the country.

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U.S. DOE: Register for the Better Plants Mid-Year Update Webinar

Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy — Advanced Manufacturing Office

Please join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for a webinar on Thursday, June 25, as they recap the Better Buildings Summit, share important partner and program-wide accomplishments, and describe exciting new initiatives. Specifically, they will share:

• Summaries of impactful presentations delivered at the Summit

• Success stories from Better Plants Partners

• Details on the Better Buildings Challenge Water Savings Initiative

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Register for our 2015 Energy Market Outlook Webinar and learn about the energy market trends  that may affect your future contracting decisions. Register here.

Topics to Include:

  • Gas & Power Outlook – Gas and power demand outlook for Summer 2015.
  • Gas Supply & Demand – The current state of gas production: What does this mean for customers?
  • Regulatory Update – An update on regulatory changes in power and gas markets.
  • Falling Oil Prices – The impact of falling oil prices on demand in 2015.