Business and Economy

Business news

Energy prices in Maine would not be reduced if consumers paid for a new natural gas storage facility in the state. That’s a state consultant’s conclusion as regulators consider several proposals to provide new storage for liquefied natural gas.

Lawmakers last year directed the Public Utilities Commission to solicit bids for new storage, aiming to provide a buffer against gas supply constraints that can emerge during prolonged cold snaps, driving prices up for electricity that’s fueled by gas.

Robert Burns / Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

For 70 years, antibiotics have been used to combat deadly bacterial diseases in humans and other animals, but too much of a good thing has led to some drug resistant strains that are hard to vanquish.

Irwin Gratz / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's minimum wage rises tomorrow from $7.50 an hour to $9 an hour.  That's a big victory for working people, says Matt Schlobohm of the Maine AFL-CIO.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

L.L. Bean is expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet what the company says is an ever-increasing demand for its signature product.

The increase in production of Bean Boots will add an additional 100 jobs by the end of the year between its Brunswick and Lewiston facilities. Between the two manufacturing centers, L.L. Bean churns out thousands of boots daily.

“L.L. Bean produces about 3,000 pairs of boots per day,” says company spokesman Mac McKeever.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public/file

BANGOR, Maine - The death of Maine's pulp and paper industry is highly exaggerated.  That's the conclusion of a new preliminary report by Mindy Crandall, an assistant professor of Forest Management and Economics at the University of Maine.

Macy's in Bangor Among 63 Stores Retailer to Close Nationwide

Jan 5, 2017
Ashley L. Conti / Bangor Daily News

BANGOR, Maine — The Macy’s at the Bangor Mall will be among 63 locations nationwide that will close early this spring as the retail giant looks to reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint to focus on online sales and more profitable stores.

Maine’s exports to other nations were up by almost 6 percent in 2016, compared with the overall U.S. export rate, which dropped by 3 percent.

Maine International Trade Center President Janine Cary says the numbers were driven by a 50 percent increase in airplane part exports and a 30 percent pop in seafood exports, a trend she expects to continue.

WESTBROOK, Maine - Maine-based Idexx Laboratories Inc. is being added to the Standard and Poor's 500 stock index.
Idexx CEO Jonathan Ayers said Wednesday it's an honor to be included on the market index that's based on 500 large companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
He said it's a testament to the growth of the Westbrook-based company.
Idexx, which has more than 7,000 workers, is a major producer of pet diagnostic tests and other products for veterinarians. Its products are for sale in 175 countries.

PORTLAND, Maine - The federal government is changing some of the rules about how fishermen harvest tuna in an attempt to protect one of the species of the fish.
The National Marine Fisheries Service says the rule change is designed to steer fishermen who catch yellowfin tuna and swordfish via longline away from bluefin tuna.
Atlantic bluefin tuna are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Fishing boats sometimes catch them incidentally while targeting other species.

OakleyOriginals / Flickr/Creative Commons

What kind of nibbles are you planning to pass around at your New Year’s Eve party? Tortilla chips? Roasted nuts perhaps? How about “salty scarabs” or “crunchy cockroaches”?

Race to Save Rare Breed of Pig Hinges on Eating Them

Dec 29, 2016
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

WASHINGTON, Maine — A push is on to save one of the rarest domestic pig breeds in the country, and a Maine farmer is helping lead the charge by convincing consumers to eat them.

The American mulefoot hog was once the rarest of all U.S. livestock breeds, and they’re still listed as critically rare by the Livestock Conservancy. There are fewer than 500 registered, purebred, breeding mulefoots.

Andrew Catalina / Maine Public

Many shoppers stood in long lines this holiday season to get an edge on special sales prices or limited supplies. Outside Bissell Brothers in Portland, more than 300 people braved frigid temperatures recently to get their hands on a precious liquid that comes in a can.

MADISON, Maine — A solar farm that occupies nearly 22 acres of land in the Maine town of Madison is expected to be fully operational by the end of this week.

The Morning Sentinel reports that the solar energy project in the Madison Business Gateway is reportedly more than twice the size of any other in Maine. It was constructed by ISG Energy over the summer and fall.

Dozens of Rural Areas Leave Fast-Track Wind Power Zone

Dec 28, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine — Dozens of sparsely populated townships are being exempted from Maine’s fast-track development zone aimed at speeding up development of wind power projects.

This year, about 45 Maine communities lacking local governments have taken advantage of a state law and asked to be removed from the special zone created by then-Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat.

Critics say because local governments can restrict wind turbines, the fast-track zone leaves unorganized towns voiceless.

A consumer subsidy for renewable power in Maine may be ending — or at least changing. It’s called the Class 1 Renewable Portfolio Standards program, and many stakeholders, including environmentalists, say it’s ready for reform.