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IMPO Insider

Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Greenhouse Gas Laws Pass Senate Vote

June 11, 2010 5:12 am | by Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a boost for the president on global warming, the Senate on Thursday rejected a challenge to Obama administration rules aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other big polluters. The defeated resolution would have denied the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to move ahead with the rules, crafted under the federal Clean Air Act.

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Wood-Burning Power Worse For Environment Than Coal

June 11, 2010 5:03 am | by Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) — A new study has found that wood-burning power plants using trees and other "biomass" from New England forests releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than coal over time. The six-month study, commissioned by Massachusetts state environmental officials, found biomass-fired electricity would result in a 3 percent increase in carbon emissions compared to coal-fired electricity by 2050.

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Tesoro Plant To Stay Closed Over Safety Concerns

June 11, 2010 4:39 am | by George Tibbits, Associated Press Writer

SEATTLE (AP) — Tesoro Corp.'s Anacortes refinery, where an April explosion and fire killed seven people, will remain closed at least through September — three months longer than once expected — a company spokesman said Thursday. Meanwhile, Robert Hall, who is leading the accident investigation for the U.

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3M To Close Okla. Plant, 125 Jobs At Stake

June 11, 2010 4:31 am

ARDMORE, Okla. (AP) — 3M has announced plans to close its plant in Ardmore by the end of the year. Company officials made the announcement Thursday to its 125 employees at the plant that makes dental implant products. The company says the plant's operations will be moved to St.

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Arctic Cat To Ditch Overseas Supplier, Build Locally

June 11, 2010 4:21 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Snowmobile maker Arctic Cat Inc. said Thursday it will begin manufacturing some of its own snowmobile engines in St. Cloud, Minn., beginning after the 2014 model year. Currently, Suzuki Motor Corp. supplies all engines for Arctic Cat's snowmobiles. Suzuki will continue to supply the company with engine parts to service existing engines after the 2014 model year.

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GM: Back Off Government, It's Our IPO

June 11, 2010 4:19 am | by Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors Co., not the government, will determine when the automaker will conduct a public stock offering at the heart of the company's revival, the Obama administration said Thursday. The Treasury Department said in a statement that it expects to sell some of its 61 percent stake in GM when the automaker goes public.

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10 Charged For Bilking Xerox In $4 Million Forklift Fraud

June 11, 2010 4:18 am | by Ben Dobbin, AP Business Writer

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Seven mechanics at Xerox Corp.'s manufacturing hub in upstate New York and three owners of a forklift company were charged Thursday with bilking the printer and copier maker out of an estimated $4.1 million. Over five years, four current and three former employees who maintained Xerox's forklift fleet in suburban Rochester ordered forklift parts from Clarkson Auto Electric Co.

Job Market Stages Comeback As People Call It Quits

June 9, 2010 5:02 am | by Christopher Leonard and Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — One sign of better economic times is when more people start finding jobs. Another is when they feel confident enough to quit them. More people in the United States have quit their jobs in the past three months than were laid off — a sharp reversal after 15 straight months in which layoffs exceeded voluntary departures.

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Mr. Potato Head Dons Jumpsuit, Impersonates Elvis

June 9, 2010 5:00 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Elvis Presley estate has signed a deal for Hasbro Inc. and PPW Toys to release an Elvis version of Mr. Potato Head. Kevin Kern, a spokesman for Presley's Graceland estate, told The Commercial Appeal the new toy is one of 15,000 Elvis-licensed products and is one the company is excited about.

Anti-EPA Bill Threatened With Presidential Veto

June 9, 2010 4:40 am

by Jim Abrams, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House raised the stakes Tuesday on the Senate's first major climate change vote of the year, threatening a presidential veto of a Republican-led effort to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from carrying out regulations to control greenhouse gases.

Outbreaks Spur Hasty New Food Safety Laws

June 9, 2010 4:35 am | by Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A field worker has unwashed hands. An animal squeezes through a small tear in a fence. Manure from a nearby hog farm trickles into an irrigation system. Small mistakes like these are often difficult to identify as the sources of food-borne illnesses, a situation that has frustrated health authorities for years.

Second Natural Gas Explosion Hits Texas, Two Dead

June 9, 2010 4:32 am | by Betsey Blaney, Associated Press Writer

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — An explosion in the Texas Panhandle that killed two men was the second deadly blast in the state in two days involving workers who have accidentally hit natural gas lines. The blast Tuesday involved a crew that was removing caliche — commonly used in cement — from a pit for a dirt-contracting company, Lipscomb County Sheriff James Robertson said in a news release.

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Navistar Posts Surprise 2Q Profit

June 9, 2010 4:31 am

WARRENVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Navistar International posted a surprise profit for the second quarter Wednesday on strong sales of trucks and a new structure that lowered material costs and shifted plant operations. Navistar more than doubled its net income, even as revenue dipped. "Our expectations are to be profitable across the business cycle," Chairman and CEO Daniel C.

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Wind-To-Fertilizer Plant Is A 'No-Brainer'

June 9, 2010 4:28 am | by Dirk Lammers, Associated Press Writer

MORRIS, Minn. (AP) — The winds sweeping across the Northern Plains could soon help farmers fertilize their crops of corn, wheat and sorghum. Minnesota researchers have designed a $3.75 million carbon-free system that uses wind power from a towering turbine to produce anhydrous ammonia, a common nitrogen-based fertilizer.

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Bernanke: No 'Double Dipping' On Recession

June 8, 2010 5:23 am

by Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday he is hopeful the economy will gain traction and not fall back into a "double dip" recession. "My best guess is we will have a continued recovery, but it won't feel terrific," Bernanke said.

Honda's Chinese Suppliers Continue Strikes

June 8, 2010 5:07 am | by Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer

SHANGHAI (AP) — Honda Motor Co. said Tuesday it was assessing the impact of a walkout by some workers at one of its parts suppliers in China, just days after resolving a strike that froze car production at four factories. The strike by some workers at Foshan Fengfu Autoparts Co. in Foshan, a city in southern China's Guangdong province, began Monday morning, said company spokesman Keitaro Yamamoto.

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Hong Kong Protesters Picket Apple's Supply Chain

June 8, 2010 4:55 am | by Min Lee, Associated Press Writer

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters picketed Foxconn's annual general meeting in Hong Kong on Tuesday, accusing both the Apple Inc. supplier and computer giant of poor corporate ethics after a spate of suicides at Foxconn factories in mainland China. The 30 demonstrators held signs saying, "Workers are not machines.

Ind. Trailer Maker Closes Plant, Fires 150 Workers

June 8, 2010 4:39 am

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana cargo trailer maker says it may close its plant in the city of Middlebury — a move that would cost 150 workers their jobs. Illinois-based Pace American Inc. notified the state of the possible closing late last week, saying it is in the process of selling its business operations and assets.

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Feds Offer $19 Million In Grants To Ex-NUMMI Workers

June 8, 2010 4:31 am | by Evelyn Nieves, Associated Press Writer

FREMONT, Calif. (AP) — U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Monday that the federal government will provide $19 million in emergency grants to help thousands of workers who lost their jobs when California's only auto plant closed. Solis said the money would be used to retrain workers at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc.

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Manufacturing Jobs Ease Nationwide Economic Stress

June 8, 2010 4:29 am | by Martin Crutsinger and Mike Schneider, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing job gains in the Midwest helped lower the nation's economic stress in April to its lowest point in five months, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions around the country. Contributing to the improvement were lower foreclosure rates in two states with beaten-down housing markets: California and Florida.

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