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MIT CSHub’s well-directed energies

New U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures reinforce a well-worn statistic in the climate change discussion: portland cement production accounts for about 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon load reflects high temperature raw feed preheating and kiln phases, plus power-hungry clinker grinding.

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Bureaucrats ignore cement leaders’ fiduciary duties in market inquiry

While not alleging collusion or other illegal behavior, the British counterpart agency to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division is considering steps to increase competition among three major, integrated producers following an inquiry of the U.K. portland cement, GGBF slag cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete supply chain.

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Limited exposure to Europe helps Votorantim Cimentos in IPO quest

In 2012 business reviews, the world’s leading public cement companies confirm sales or profit declines reflecting deep ties to European Union economies beset by nightmarish governing. Brazil’s Votorantim Cimentos S.A. is preparing to join the publicly traded operators club, presenting investors a portfolio with a key differentiating factor—minor European exposure—compared to peers Cemex SAB de C.V., Heidelberg Cement, Holcim Ltd., Italcementi SpA and Lafarge Group.

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Compressed natural gas: Promising power

After a three-month trial with a handful of McNeilus Next Generation Initiatives mixer trucks, our cover story subject decided 2012 would be a turning point in fleet and fuel specifications: diesel out, natural gas in. A leader in greater Chicago and northern Indiana  ready mixed, Ozinga Brothers Inc. is now a leading catalyst for the industry's adoption of compressed nat­ural (CNG) vehicle power (pages 22-25 ).

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Producers check unions’ enterprise coercion

When President Obama’s critics talk about abuse of executive power, a National Labor Relations Board reference is close at hand. Questioning the constitutionality of three Board Members' appointments, made when the administration deemed the Senate in recess, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in January that the NLRB lacked a quorum in a 2012 decision for which Washington state employer Noel Canning sought review. The NLRB responded last month, petitioning for Supreme Court review of the appellate court ruling. Post-2011 Board orders would be jeopardized in the event the high court refuses to review the ruling, or upholds it.

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