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Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act

March 2, 2015 6:54 pm

On Feb. 24, President Obama vetoed bipartisan legislation to permit the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction, which passed the House, 270-152, and the Senate by a 62-36 margin.

In the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act’s (S. 1)  veto message, Obama said, “Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent long-standing and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest. The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously.  But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people.  And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch more »

Bipartisan Letter Sent to House Leadership Urges Long-Term Highway Bill Action

March 2, 2015 6:53 pm

On Feb. 24, a strong majority of House lawmakers joined a letter urging the chamber’s leadership to make passing a long-term, fully-funded surface transportation bill an immediate priority.

The effort, led by Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Reed Ribble (R-Wis.), Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.), and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), garnered the support of 130 Republicans and 155 Democrats, demonstrating the broad, bipartisan backing for an immediate, multiyear solution to the country’s highway funding crisis.

The letter states, “We are united in our conviction that now is the time to end the cycle of short-term extensions that kick the can down the road by doing the more »

OSHA Advisory Commitee to Discuss Crane Operator Qualification Requirements

March 2, 2015 6:52 pm

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a special meeting of the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health March 31-April 1, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The meeting will consider a draft proposal to revise OSHA’s crane operator qualification requirement in the Cranes and Derricks in Construction standard.

The tentative agenda also includes remarks from Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, OSHA’s presentation of the draft proposed standard, public comments to ACCSH, and the committee’s recommendation on the proposed rule. A draft of the proposed regulatory text and a summary of site visits are available more »

Harper Government Reinforces Support for the Canadian Mining Industry

March 2, 2015 4:04 pm

Parliamentary Secretary Kelly Block, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today delivered keynote remarks at the opening ceremonies of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange – one of the world’s leading mineral exploration conference and trade shows.

Canada’s mining sector continues to innovate and contribute to our economy. The mining and mineral processing industry generates about $60 billion for Canada’s GDP, employs some 380,000 Canadians, including 10,000 Aboriginal Peoples, and accounts for one-fifth of Canada’s merchandise more »

AASHTO Education Campaign Highlights Trust Fund’s Long-term Investment Needs

March 2, 2015 3:46 pm

As Congress considers how to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, the association representing state transportation agency chiefs is launching a multimedia campaign that calls on lawmakers to “think big” and focus on long-term investment needs rather than short-term fixes.

The “Nation at a Crossroads” campaign from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials urges policymakers to consider what is achievable in remaking transportation to aid our quality of life and commerce, rather than patch problem areas with funding levels that are too low to keep pace.

It includes a video released last week, plus a web-based infographic, mobile app and printed more »

Jim McCann Named President and CEO at Mccann Industries

March 2, 2015 3:36 pm

McCann Industries, Inc. is proud to announce that Jim McCann has been named chief executive officer of the company as of Jan. 1, 2015. Dennis Kruepke is the former chief executive officer and will assume the role of chairman of the board. The ownership of the company has also changed through a stock purchase agreement, and McCann now owns 100 percent of the company.

“We are all pleased that Jim has assumed this expanded role in the company,” said Kruepke. “Everything that had been outlined in the succession plan for McCann Industries is coming together exactly as outlined. Jim understands our customers and more »

Wells Fargo Forecast Shows Continued Optimism among Contractors and Distributors

March 2, 2015 3:32 pm

Construction contractors and equipment distributors have continued optimism about local, nonresidential construction activity in 2015 and expect a strong rental market and increasing equipment acquisitions, according to a survey from Wells Fargo Equipment Finance, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company.

Wells Fargo released the findings of its 2015 Construction Industry Forecast on Feb. 25. The survey’s primary benchmark for measuring construction industry contractor and equipment distributor sentiment is the Optimism Quotient (OQ). The OQ reached an historic high of 130, up six points from 124 in 2014 and up considerably from the survey low of 42 in 2009. This reading is a more »

U.S. Housing Stability Improves for Fourth Consecutive Month

March 2, 2015 3:30 pm

Freddie Mac released its newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) on Feb. 25,  showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize at the national level for the fourth consecutive month. Thirty-eight of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, and 40 of the 50 metros, are now showing an improving three-month trend. Three additional metros entered their benchmarked stable ranges of housing activity including Buffalo, Boston and Nashville.

News Facts:

  • The national MiMi value stands at 74.9, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing a slight improvement (+0.37%) from November to December and a positive 3-month trend of (+1.09%). On a year-over-year more »

Developers’ Sentiment About Multifamily Market Holds Steady in the Fourth Quarter

March 2, 2015 3:21 pm

The Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released Feb. 26,  by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), held steady with a reading of 54 for the fourth quarter of 2014. This capped the third straight year of quarterly readings consistently at 50 or above.

The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that any number over 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.

The MPI provides a composite measure of three key more »

New Home Sales Hold Steady in January

March 2, 2015 3:20 pm

Sales of newly built, single-family homes dropped 0.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 units from an elevated December reading, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The fact that January sales numbers maintained the gains we made in December is encouraging news, especially considering harsh weather affecting certain parts of the country,” said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.

“In a promising sign, new home sales have been trending at post-recession highs more »

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