Construction Legislative Week in Review
www.agc.orgApril 23, 2009
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On the Inside
ENVIRONMENT
Construction Industry Accounts for Less Than One Percent of Green House Gas Emissions
AGC-Supported Legislation Ensuring Green Job Training Funds Are Available to All Contractors Introduced This Week
House Energy and Commerce Committee Begins Climate Change Hearings
STIMULUS
Dept. of Interior Publishes Stimulus Project List
SAFETY & HEALTH
Congress Begins to Examine OSHA Enforcement Efforts
HIGHWAY
House Transportation Committee Calls on Contractors to Support House Treatment of Transportation in Budget
 
ENVIRONMENT
Construction Industry Accounts for Less Than One Percent of Green House Gas Emissions
 

On Earth Day, AGC announced that the construction industry emits less than one percent of all U.S. green house gas emissions, according to a new analysis of federal environmental data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The newly released data shows the relative efficiency of a construction industry that currently accounts for more than five percent of the U.S. work force and 800,000 small businesses.

AGC noted that in addition to curbing emissions, the industry recycles more than any other, including 97.5 percent of structural steel, 65 percent of reinforcement steel and 80 percent of asphalt. 

Read AGC's Earth Day press release here, or view coverage by For Construction Pros.com, USGNN and Building Design and Construction.

For more information, contact Melinda Tomaino at (703) 837-5415 or tomainom@agc.org. Return to Top

AGC-Supported Legislation Ensuring Green Job Training Funds Are Available to All Contractors Introduced This Week
 

As part of the enacted Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, an energy and renewable energy worker training program was established through a provision known as the Green Jobs Act.  The Green Jobs Act, as currently written, would limit training grant funding to only entities that coordinate with labor organizations.  AGC is supportive of the creation of such a grant program as part of an effort to create an energy efficiency and renewable energy-skilled workforce.  AGC supports the opportunity to qualify for such grants for all contractors, both union and open shop, that have accredited training programs.

This week, a bill (HR 2026) was introduced by Congressman Kline (R-Minn.) that would open up the Green Jobs Act to allow any contractor, regardless of union affiliation, with an accredited training program to compete for grants under The Green Jobs Act.  AGC is working towards introduction of a Senate companion bill.  

The introduction of the bill in the House comes as Congress begins to focus on green jobs, both to define the term and train for such jobs.  AGC has sent letters to the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee explaining the large role the construction industry plays in a green economy, the criteria for green jobs, and the importance that training be made available to the entire industry. 

For more information, please contact Kelly Knott at (202) 547-4685 or knottk@agc.org. Return to Top

House Energy and Commerce Committee Begins Climate Change Hearings
 

AGC’s analysis of climate change legislation shows a significant impact on construction in the form of higher energy prices, higher raw materials prices, potential EPA regulation of land use (including local planning decisions) and transportation planning due to the proposed cap and trade program that would create a market for emissions allowances.

While climate change is a major focus of both President Obama and Congressional leaders, the committee process has thus far found a less than unanimous endorsement of cap and trade as the best way to regulate green house gases. The Senate chose to not endorse a cap and trade solution earlier by a vote of 67 to 31.

For more information, contact Karen Lapsevic at (202) 547-4733 or lapsevick@agc.org. Return to Top

STIMULUS
Dept. of Interior Publishes Stimulus Project List
 

The U.S. Department of the Interior has published its complete project list which represents $750 million in stimulus funds.  Projects include, but are not limited to, new buildings, HVAC upgrades, energy efficiency projects, wastewater systems, hiking trails, fencing, photovoltaic systems, pipeline replacement, paving and roadwork.

The following agencies are under the jurisdiction of Interior and will be responsible for procuring the projects: Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.

For a complete listing of projects by state, please visit click here.  For the Interior’s Recovery agenda, click here.

For more information, contact Perry Fowler at (703) 837-5321 or fowlerp@agc.org. Return to Top

SAFETY & HEALTH
Congress Begins to Examine OSHA Enforcement Efforts
 

Next week there will be three hearings in both the House and Senate on workplace safety and enforcement efforts by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  It is expected that Congress and the Obama Administration will seek various ways of expanding the role of OSHA as well as increase enforcement efforts during the next few years.   The hearings next week are expected to be the start of these efforts. 

AGC anticipates that OSHA to begin taking a much different approach towards employers than in the previous administration, with the focus moving away from working with employers to increased enforcement.  AGC supports common-sense OSHA reform legislation that provides protection for small business while promoting a safe and healthy work environment.  AGC is keeping close watch on these efforts and will continue to provide updates on any developments.   

For more information, please contact Kelly Knott at (202) 547-4685 or knottk@agc.org. Return to Top

HIGHWAY
House Transportation Committee Calls on Contractors to Support House Treatment of Transportation in Budget
 

Key House Transportation committee leaders called on AGC and other groups to unite in supporting the House version of the budget resolution for transportation, which will set the baseline for the reauthorization of the SAFETEA-LU.  The House version assumes a $323.9 billion base line for highways and transit over the next five years and the Senate version assumes only $242.3 billion.

Both versions assume a reserve fund for any additional revenues to fund in excess of the baseline amount. This decision really is the opening salvo in the debate over the transportation reauthorization. With mounting transportation needs, AGC is urging Congress to adopt the House budget language.

For more information, contact Brian Deery at (703) 837-5319 or deeryb@agc.org. Return to Top

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