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March 4, 2013
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  Top Story 
  • Proposed measure requires E15 to undergo additional testing
    Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from giving E15 waivers and direct it to partner with the National Academy of Sciences to conduct more tests on the biofuel. In addition, the bill would take away EPA's ability to offer new waivers until it submits the new evaluation of gasoline containing 15% ethanol to Congress. (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Buzz 
  • Caterpillar prepares for union talks at Wis. plant
    Caterpillar will soon begin negotiating with the United Steelworkers about renewal of its labor contract, set to expire April 30, at a facility in South Milwaukee, Wis. The company also has started to train managerial and support staff for production, in case a work stoppage occurs. The Wall Street Journal (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How to create a bright, drought-tolerant landscape for summer
    To create a colorful, xeriscaped garden for the summer, select flowering plants that need less water and group them together based on their water needs, writes Judy Terry, a freelance garden writer. Use succulents instead of rocks to reduce water use, and minimize the amount of lawn. Plants that may need water could flourish when placed in areas with stormwater runoff, Terry notes. Iowa City Press-Citizen (3/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Indicators 
  • February factory gauge shows U.S. strength
    Read full story  
    U.S. factories hummed in February, with an activity gauge by the Institute for Supply Management perking up to a reading of 54.2. Analysts credit the gain to continuing strength in the housing market and improved spending by businesses as well as higher exports. Recent U.S. gains, the best since 2009, come as manufacturing elsewhere in the world lags. The Wall Street Journal (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • U.S. consumers upbeat amid mixed economic signals
    Despite conflicting factors bearing on U.S. consumers, their confidence has picked up, rising to a three-month high in February. The University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index registered 77.6 last month, up from 73.8 in January. "Expected job gains have partially offset concerns about higher payroll taxes and the impending reduction in federal spending. Unfortunately, those expected job gains will be harder to actually accomplish given that the economy faces weakened consumer demand due to lower take-home pay as well as reduced federal spending and employment," said survey economist Richard Curtin. MarketWatch (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by OPEI SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Inside & Out 
  • How to perfect your elevator pitch
    A strong elevator pitch starts with an attention-grabbing opening, according to Bert Martinez of Bert Martinez Communications. Afterward, you should highlight the value that your company provides and adjust your pitch based on your audience, experts say. "Lead with the information that the recipient will care most about, and the rest will follow," advises Andrew Cross of Walker Sands Communications. (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Update 
  • Senate group seeks to move forward on immigration reform measure
    The bipartisan Senate group tasked to create a comprehensive bill on immigration will soon release a timeline for its legislation, in response to subtle pressure from other senators who want to see a bill unveiled before the month ends. "I think the problem for immigration reform will be about future flow, access to future labor," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the group. "The reason you have 11 million illegal workers is that lot of employers can't find labor, so [we've] got to address that." The Hill (3/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  OPEI News 
  • OPEI Foundation and Discovery Education launch TurfMutt's "Paw it Forward" sweepstakes
    From Feb. 18 to March 11, you can enter the TurfMutt sweepstakes to win a $250 donation to your local animal shelter and help dogs (and cats and other critters) find a forever family. Two winners receive a $250 donation and an eco-friendly TurfMutt backpack with school supplies.

    To enter, visit TurfMutt's Facebook page.

    To enter, all you have to do is check out TurfMutt's new public service announcement, where TurfMutt is sharing the beauty, fun and discovery families can experience right in their own back yard.

    Those 16 years of age and older can enter.

    LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you must accept regret."
--Henri Frédéric Amiel,
Swiss philosopher, poet and critic

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