AED News

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West Virginia Coal Association Applauds Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court Overturning Mercury Rule

June 30, 2015 7:38 pm

“A Clear Win for the People of West Virginia and Coal Miners Everywhere”

June 30, 2015 –  The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the EPA’s Mercury Rule is a major win for the coal industry and for American consumers.  The ruling affirms what we have argued from the beginning – the EPA’s actions under this rule and others was made without regard to economic consequences and were specifically designed to remove coal from the nation’s energy mix. 

“The West Virginia coal industry, its employees and the entire State of West Virginia have been particularly hard-hit by the impacts of EPA’s regulation which have spurred more »

Port Association Pleased with Freight Focus in New DRIVE Act Legislation

June 29, 2015 9:21 pm

June 30, 2015 – The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) -  applauded inclusion of several key seaport industry freight mobility priorities in new legislation that was approved June 24 by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW). The Developing Roadway Infrastructure for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE) Act of 2015 is a $278 billion, six-year transportation reauthorization bill that includes a national freight plan and a dedicated freight program, as advocated by AAPA.

Key industry priorities included in the bill are:

  • A $13.5 billion program over six years for freight transportation;
  • Inclusion of intermodal connectors to seaports in a re-designation of the National more »

Architectural Billings Index Returns to Positive Territory

June 29, 2015 9:19 pm

Led by growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) increased in May following its second monthly drop this year. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to 12 month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from a reading more »

Study Shows Homeowners are Seeking More Square Footage, Greater Accessibility

June 29, 2015 9:07 pm

June 30, 2015 – As the housing market continues its recovery, homeowners are increasingly seeking more square footage while simultaneously looking for more accessibility inside and outside of the home. These findings are from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2015, which focuses specifically on overall home layout and the use of interior and exterior space.

All of the data can be accessed through this infographic.

“An increase in home square footage with the rising popularity of accessible design concepts points to a population that is preparing to age-in-place, or, perhaps, is anticipating responsibility more »

Congress Opens the Door to New Markets

June 29, 2015 9:04 pm

June 30, 2015 – Just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Obama Administration’s trade agenda would be halted by members of his own party.  Nonetheless, with the help of congressional Republicans, President Obama scored a major victory as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) passed Congress and was sent to his desk for signatures.

TPA, also known as “fast tracking,” is a legislative procedure, through which Congress defines U.S. negotiating objectives and spells out a detailed oversight and consultation process for trade negotiations.  TPA has been granted numerous times since the early 1970s. Under TPA, Congress retains more »

Lawmakers Try to Fill Potholes in Highway Funding

June 29, 2015 9:02 pm

June 30, 2015 – Highway funding-related action continued across Capitol Hill last week as lawmakers scramble to find solutions to the Highway Trust Fund’s (HTF) pending insolvency. Without new revenue, the federal highway program will run out of money later this summer  whilethe current highway authorization law (MAP-21) expires on July 31.

On June 24, the House Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee examined the possibility of using taxes on repatriated corporate earnings to buttress the HTF.  The controversial plan, which essentially would tax U.S. corporations’ overseas profits, is a preferred method of several House Ways & Means Committee Republican members.

However, witnesses raised issues about more »

Senate Bonus Depreciation Legislation Introduced

June 29, 2015 8:57 pm

June 30 2015 – On June 24, two senior Senate Finance Committee members introduced separate bonus depreciation bills.  Reinstating this capital investment incentive is one of AED’s top tax priorities.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) unveiled a proposal to permanently reinstate 50 percent bonus depreciation (S. 1660), which is a companion to Rep. Pat Tiberi’s (R-Ohio) House bill (H.R. 2510).  Meanwhile, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R-Mich.) introduced legislation to reinstate bonus depreciation for 2015 and 2016 (S. 1667).

AED is encouraging lawmakers to reinstate both bonus depreciation and increased Sec. 179 expensing levels immediately to incentivize equipment purchases throughout the year. Both provisions expired at more »

U.S. Chamber Hails Final Passage of Trade Promotion Authority

June 29, 2015 8:56 pm

Donohue-Tom_e_smJune 29 2015 – U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement on June 24, regarding final passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA):

“With the bipartisan approval of Trade Promotion Authority, the U.S. Congress has prioritized economic growth and job creation here at home. In doing so, our leaders in Washington proved they could tune out the populists and demagogues of the left and the right and take action on an important measure to put our economy back on track.

“The Obama administration and Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress deserve great credit for setting aside partisanship and working together to pass this more »

U.S. Driving Nears 1 Trillion Miles in First Four Months of 2015

June 29, 2015 8:47 pm

Nation’s Driving Increases for 14 Months in a Row

June 30, 2015  – New estimates released June 24,  by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that Americans drove 987.8 billion miles for the first four months of the year, topping the previous record – 965.5 billion – set in April 2007.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report, a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel, show that Americans drove 267.9 billion vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) in April – the most ever driven in April and the highest mileage for the first quarter of any year – underscoring more »

AED Launches Grassroots Advocacy “Year of Action”

June 22, 2015 7:58 pm

June 23 — On June 16, AED Senior Director of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher held a special webinar for members of the Association’s Advocacy Action Group (AAG). In addition to providing a quick legislative priorities update, Fisher introduced a yearlong calendar designed to guide grassroots activities for all members over the next 12 months.

This “Year of Action” plan will take the equipment industry’s grasstops leaders through a series of basic steps to expand the local and national influence of their companies and the industry as a whole. While the plan was designed for AAG members, it can be a useful more »

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