AUGUST 17, 2015
Ohio Energy Resource Alliance

OCTC in the News:  Pipeline Would Fuel Renaissance in Manufacturing — Op-Ed

Plenty has been written about the effect an abundant supply of natural gas has on heating our homes and producing low-cost electricity.

And it’s important to note that the low-cost energy produced by an increased supply of natural gas also means a considerable boost to Ohio’s chemical manufacturing industry.

Not long ago, the chemical manufacturing industry was in decline. That decline was felt acutely here in Ohio, but in recent years,chemical producers in our state and nationwide have surged back to life – and that’s been very good news for our state’s economy.

If we hope to sustain this recovery, then it’s vital that we improve the pipeline infrastructure
through which we can tap into our state’s ample supply of natural gas.

Pipelines are the safest and most efficient means of moving natural gas across our country.

That’s why we need to approve, and construct, critical infrastructure projects like the Rover Pipeline.

Click here to read full article.

OCTC Joins Hundreds of Business Groups Opposing Changes to Ozone Standards

OCTC, along with 369 other business groups, sent a letter to the White House Chief of Staff stating that the U.S. EPA’s proposal to change ozone air quality standards is costly and unnecessary to continue improving air quality.

“As associations representing many businesses, both large and small, that employ millions of Americans, and local governments in which those businesses thrive, we are deeply concerned about the harmful impact that EPA’s recently proposed rule to make ozone standards more stringent could have on the still struggling economy,” the letter says. 

“The air is getting cleaner, and the current ozone standards need an opportunity to work. Therefore, in light of the potential economic hardship and uncertain benefits related to the stringent ozone standards that EPA is now considering, we call on EPA to retain the existing ozone standards in the final rule.”

Request for Information: Policies for Water Bottles in Production Areas

OCTC has received a request from a member company regarding industry-wide policies on the use of personal water bottles in production areas. 
  1. More specifically, what is your policy on the use of personal water bottles in production areas?
  2. Do you allow personal water bottles to be used in control rooms, chemical production or laboratory areas?  
Responses will not be attributed to specific companies, and the results will be compiled by OCTC and shared with all of our members.

This is a great opportunity to share information among your peers and could further enhance your existing program.

You can send your responses to OCTC President Jenn Klein.

Marijuana Legalization Initiative Cleared For November Ballot

A ballot campaign to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use in Ohio will go before voters on Nov. 3.

The constitutional amendment would legalize the drug for adults over age 21, establish regulations and list 10 growing sites.

At the same time, voters will decide if they want to stop monopolies from being written into the state constitution, an issue pushed by Ohio lawmakers to derail ResponsibleOhio’s plan.

What remains unclear is what happens if voters approve both issues.

Secretary of State Jon Husted offered his opinion that the anti-monopoly issue would prevail because a legislative-initiated amendment takes effect earlier than a citizen-initiated issue.

The Ballot Board must now approve the ballot language that voters will consider this fall.

OCTC is reviewing the issue to determine the position it should take on each of the ballot initiatives.    

Ohio and Other States Ask Federal Court to Block CPP 

Fifteen states, including Ohio, petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to issue an emergency stay blocking the U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP), as they challenge the rule in court.

"This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation's history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out," said West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming joined West Virginia in requesting the stay.

MarkWest, Energy And Mineral Group Announce $1 Billion Pipeline System For Utica Shale

Two companies will partner to develop a $1 billion dry gas gathering system in the Utica Shale.

MarkWest Energy Partners and the Energy and Mineral Group on Wednesday announced their planned pipeline, which once operational is expected to gather more than 2 billion cubic feet of dry gas per day.

The new project follows news last month that Marathon Petroleum Corp. will acquire MarkWest in a $15.8 billion deal.

A report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently detailed Utica's growing productivity in gas production.

That report found that 85% of the growth in U.S. shale gas production since 2012 came from the Utica and Marcellus regions.

Member Blog: OSHA Announces Inspection Procedures for New Hazard Communication Standard – Thompson Hine 

On July 20, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provided instruction and inspection procedures to its compliance officers to ensure consistent enforcement of the revised hazard communication standard (HCS).

OSHA’s instruction outlines the revisions to the new HCS, such as the revised classification of chemicals, the standardization of label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals, and the required format and content of safety data sheets (SDSs).

It also explains how the revised HCS is to be enforced during its phase-in period and after the new standard is fully implemented on June 1, 2016.

Although they are not the intended audience, companies should review this detailed information to ensure that they are in full compliance with the new HCS.

You can read the full blog post by clicking here.

Only Three Weeks Left to Register: 2015 Strategic Planning Retreat and Board of Directors Meeting

Registration is now available for OCTC’s 2015 Strategic Planning Retreat and Board of Directors Meeting on Sept. 14-15, 2015 at the Salt Fork State Park Lodge and Conference Center in Lore City, Ohio!

As you will see on the agenda, this year's retreat will be a focused discussion on developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the organization that will be facilitated by FrazierHeiby. We have also built-in plenty of time for social and networking opportunities with your peers.

This is a not to miss event to interact with your peers and develop future priorities for our organization.

Click Here for the Agenda and Registration for the
OCTC 2015 Strategic Planning Retreat!

The annual Strategic Planning Retreat provides member companies with the opportunity to discuss critical issues and challenges facing the chemical industry and provide input to OCTC as we develop our priorities for advocacy, member programs and the services we offer in 2016 and beyond.

The agenda will include: 
  • An OCTC Board Meeting that all members are encouraged to attend. 
  • Discussion on a proposed strategic plan for next year and beyond.
  • Roundtable discussions with member companies to identify their top challenges and the advocacy, programs and services they would like to see from OCTC.
  • Social and recreational events that allow participants to become better acquainted with their colleagues in Ohio's chemical industry.
The OCTC room block is no longer available, but Salt Fork has indicated they will still honor the OCTC rate as long as rooms are available.

So don’t wait register for the meeting and reserve your room today.

Accommodations can be made by calling Salt Fork State Park at (800) 282-7275.

Spouses and guests are welcome and encouraged to participate in all meetings and activities.

The Strategic Planning Retreat is an integral part of developing OCTC’s priorities in the coming years, so be sure to register today!

Member Events: The Energy Exchange, Legislative and Regulatory Insights – Bricker and Eckler

Bricker & Eckler will be hosting its biannual Energy Exchange event on August 27, 2015, to feature keynote speaker Andre Porter, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

This networking and educational opportunity will address the latest trends, rules and regulations pertaining to the energy industry.

Policy makers, regulators, business owners and investors are invited to discuss current industry issues.

In addition to Andre Porter’s keynote address, Bricker attorneys Matt Warnock and Dylan Borchers will present information on recent Dormant Mineral Act cases before the Ohio Supreme Court and the Whitt v. Nationwide Energy Partners submetering case filed with the PUCO.

There is no cost to attend. A cocktail reception / networking event will immediately follow the presentations.

Please register here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Event: The Impacts of Ozone Regulations on Jobs in Our Community 

Proposed changes to national ozone standards could put local jobs at risk and limit opportunities for economic development.

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for discussions on this important topic at upcoming events in Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.

For more information and to register, click here.


Other Industry News

17 States Challenge U.S. EPA Air Pollution Enforcement During Exceptional Periods

Seventeen states are suing the U.S. EPA over its ramped-up enforcement on power plant air pollution during exceptional periods such as startup, shutdown and malfunction.

A final rule issued in May instructed states to enforce emissions limits during these times, which make it harder to control pollution.

The suit takes issue with the U.S. EPA for changing a long-standing practice of allowing state oversight in these situations.

High Court Setback Spurs U.S. EPA Cost-Benefit Analysis of Air-Pollution Rule

The U.S. EPA expects to submit plans for a cost-benefit analysis of its air pollution regulations by spring.

The move comes shortly after the Supreme Court overturned the rule, saying it should not have been written before such an analysis was conducted.

Meanwhile, the regulation is in effect until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decides how to proceed.

McCarthy: Clean Power Plan May Never Need Updates 

The U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan will drive such significant emission reductions that it may never require an update to tighten standards, said U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

"I have every expectation that we will go way ahead of what this actually calls for in 2030," she said.

However, the U.S. EPA has fielded criticism from some states after it reworked state targets last week.

Cybersecurity Bill May Have Better Chance in the Fall 

While the Senate failed to vote on cybersecurity legislation before the August recess,the chance for passage may be better in the fall as lawmakers have decided which amendments will be considered.

Now, the greatest challenge to the bill is the number of controversial issues that must be dealt with in the remainder of the year.

DHS To Restructure Cybersecurity Center 

The Department of Homeland Security plans to reorganize its National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) to strengthen "operational capabilities for mitigating and responding to cyber incidents," Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement.

The NCCIC will be led by Andy Ozment, now assistant secretary of the Office of Cybersecurity and Communication.

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