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California Pledges Changes in Protecting Underground Water

February 10, 2015 10:18 am | by ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press | News | Comments

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 into compliance with federal safe-drinking water requirements. State authorities made the plan public Monday.

Safer Manufacturing in 2015

February 9, 2015 5:31 pm | by Christina Chatfield | Blogs | Comments

No matter what type of manufacturing business you run, you should always be looking for ways to make your operations safer. To start out the new year safely, take a look at a couple of the major causes of incidents in 2014 and see how these accidents could have been prevented.

Food Scares Cost McDonald's in China, Japan; Sales Fall

February 9, 2015 3:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

McDonald's Corp. said its performance in Asia was hurt by customer perception issues in Japan, where a human tooth, plastic pieces and other objects have been found in its food. In China, McDonald's is trying to recover from the ongoing fallout from another food-safety scandal.

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Steelworkers to Expand Strike to Two BP Refineries in Midwest

February 9, 2015 9:30 am | by DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The first nationwide strike at U.S. oil refineries since 1980 is spreading to two BP plants in the Midwest. The United Steelworkers union has notified BP Plc. that workers at refineries in Ohio and Indiana will strike late Saturday night, joining a walkout that began this week at nine other refineries.

Farmers File More Than 360 Corn Lawsuits Against Syngenta

February 6, 2015 3:36 pm | by DAVID PITT, Associated Press | News | Comments

The dispute centers around Syngenta's sale of a corn seed called Agrisure Viptera, which was genetically altered to contain a protein that kills corn-eating bugs such as earworms and cutworms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved it in 2010, and Syngenta first sold it to farmers in 2011.

MillerCoors Engineer Offers Advice on Asset Management, Skills Gap

February 6, 2015 11:28 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

For 31 years Wes Dean has been supporting production, maintenance, IT and warehouse operations — the majority of that time being spent in the Coors and MillerCoors family. He’ll also be a featured speaker at the upcoming SAP-Centric EAM Conference taking place March 8-11.

Texas Startup Plans $2B La. Natural Gas Liquification Plant

February 6, 2015 10:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The news came six days after the collapse in world oil prices prompted Sasol, of South Africa, to announce a delay in final investment plans for a $14 billion plant in the same area to convert natural gas to diesel and other liquid fuels.

Global Plastics Additives Market Expected to Grow

February 6, 2015 9:59 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

The market research included companies such as BASF, Exxon Mobil, Bayer Ag., Zeon Chemicals, Dow Plastic Additives and others. It looked at the growth potential for chemicals added to polymer/plastic processing and production, including plasticizers, flame retardants, UV stabilizers, antioxidants and others.

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The Wild World of Predicting Oil Prices

February 5, 2015 3:32 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Videos | Comments

Oil prices yo-yoed this week, giving analysts whip lash as they hurried to decide what it all means, and forecast what the future holds. On Wednesday the price of a barrel had fallen to about $48, but by Thursday was back up to $52. And as quickly as some were to determine that prices were rallying, other chimed in to point out that it likely won’t last.

North Dakota Oil Industry Avoids Layoffs

February 5, 2015 11:43 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The months-long slide in crude oil prices has resulted in thousands of layoffs in Texas, the nation's top oil-producing state. In second-place North Dakota, however, the burgeoning shale oil and natural gas sector will apparently be spared mass job cuts in the short term.

President Barack Obama is satisfying a year-old pledge by announcing the creation of two Pentagon-led institutes that will combine public and private resources to foster manufacturing innovation.

Obama Budget Includes Extra Funding For OSHA

February 5, 2015 11:38 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

The proposals, however, are likely to meet resistance from Republicans, many of whom have expressed concerns about regulatory overreach during the Obama administration. OSHA, which conducts safety inspections at worksites, would receive funding to improve its enforcement of more than 20 whistleblower protection laws, two top agency administrators wrote.

Texas Company Postpones Northeast Nebraska Plant Project

February 5, 2015 11:31 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A Texas-based company that makes piping and casing for oil and gas drilling has postponed plans to build a manufacturing plant in northeast Nebraska. Tejas Tubular Products President Maximo Tejeda told the Norfolk Daily News that he remains committed to building a mill next to Nucor Steel in Norfolk.

ISM: Manufacturing Orders And Production Continue To Grow

February 5, 2015 9:33 am | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology | Articles | Comments

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in January for the 20th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 68th consecutive month, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

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Health, Chemical Industry Groups Spar Over Ozone Rule

February 4, 2015 11:30 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

Lorraine Gershman of the American Chemistry Council told officials in Washington that the current standard is "the most stringent ever and has not been fully implemented across the United States," and that areas currently classified as non-compliant with the standard — where 120 million people reside — face substantial economic obstacles.

Drugmaker Merck Posts Spike in 4Q Profit, Beats Forecasts

February 4, 2015 10:29 am | by LINDA A. JOHNSON, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Merck, the maker of blockbuster diabetes pill Januvia edged past Wall Street expectations, despite hits to revenue from multiple divestitures, patent expirations and the strong dollar, but its forecast for 2015 came in below Wall Street expectations.

Survey: Majority of Manufacturers Plan to Bolster Mobile App Use

February 3, 2015 4:40 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Of the 111 manufacturing professionals responding to the Georgia-based company's survey, 55 percent indicated their organizations would increase their use of mobility, while 43 percent said they did not expect any changes. Eight-five percent of respondents also said their businesses planned to increase investments in their operations this year compared to 2014.

Walmart, Target Announce Efforts to Improve Chemicals in Personal Care Products

February 3, 2015 3:35 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The efforts stemmed from the Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Summit where event organizers concluded that product manufacturers should aim to produce safer consumer goods instead of simply relying on regulations or bans on specific chemicals.

More Oil Industry Layoffs Hit Texas

February 3, 2015 3:14 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The rapid increase in domestic oil production in recent years helped fuel a banner year for Texas' economy in 2014. As the price of oil has plummeted to less than half its summer value, however, the industry continues to bear the brunt of job cuts.  

Report: Offshoring, Federal Policy Haven Taken Toll on U.S. Industry

February 3, 2015 10:50 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The report, titled "America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter," analyzed 50 high-technology industries, from aerospace to foundries to pharmaceuticals. Those sectors employed more than 12 million Americans directly and more than one-quarter of all U.S. jobs when indirect positions were factored in.

BP Reports Loss of $4.4 Billion in 4th Quarter of 2014

February 3, 2015 10:26 am | by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press | News | Comments

The net income figure includes a $5 billion writedown on the value of BP's inventories, after the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for North Sea oil, dropped almost 50 percent last year. BP posted a profit of $1.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Coke Bets on 'Premium Milk' to Boost Category

February 3, 2015 10:22 am | by CANDICE CHOI, AP Food Industry Writer | News | Comments

The drink has already started appearing on shelves and is expected to continue rolling out nationally over the next several weeks. It comes in sleek, plastic bottles reminiscent of milk cartons. At a supermarket in Indianapolis, a 52-ounce bottle of Fairlife was being sold for $4.59. By comparison, the national average cost for a half-gallon of milk is $2.18...

Scientists Create Eyeglasses That Change Into Sunglasses — Within Seconds

February 3, 2015 9:37 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The lens is comprised of electrochromic polymers that would be controlled by a small electrical charge. When activated by the user, the charge alternates the electrochromic lens between clear and dark shades — which could be tailored to match all hues available in commercial sunglasses.

Strikes Begin At Oil Refineries; Prices Rally

February 2, 2015 4:32 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The strike is the largest at refineries in more than three decades, though the workers in question represent just a fraction of the roughly 30,000 USW members working at 63 refineries and plants, which account for about two-thirds of the nation's refining capacity.

US Manufacturers Taking a Hit From Strong Dollar

February 2, 2015 10:05 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Several trends have weighed on U.S. factories in recent months. Overseas economies are weak. And the dollar has risen steadily in value as the U.S. economy's strength has attracted international investors. Both trends have weighed on American firms' export sales.

Shell Says it Will Drill Off Alaska if it Can Get Permits

January 30, 2015 10:39 am | by DAN JOLING, Associated Press | News | Comments

Royal Dutch Shell PLC will move forward with drilling off Alaska's northwest coast if it can obtain permits it needs and drill safely, its chief executive officer said Thursday. Speaking in London on the company's fourth-quarter earnings, Ben van Beurden said Shell will move forward with its plan to use two drill vessels in the Chukchi Sea, subject to getting permits and legal clearance.

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