government

Robert Carpenter, Editor

As turmoil continues to grip the world’s stock markets and traders seem to have a knee-jerk reaction every time some CEO goes to the bathroom, there is a bright side.

Traci Read, Senior Editor

Nearly 90 attendees and their guests gathered to hear Mark D. Hall, P.E. director of the Project Engineering and Review Division, in Project Finance and Construction Assistance (PFCA) at the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), Houston, TX, speak at the Aug. 13 Gulf Coast Trenchless Association meeting held at the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society Building.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

With Congress almost certain to pass a bill revising or eliminating its longstanding ban on offshore oil and gas drilling, interstate natural gas pipelines are trying to insure that any bill does not include an amendment setting up a national commission which would examine the adequacy of current federal policies governing the siting of natural gas infrastructure.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

While distribution companies and state regulators seem to be satisfied with the general outlines of the proposed distribution integrity management program (DIMP) announced on June 25 by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a number of questions are being raised by both groups about some of the proposal's murky details.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

Pushed by a decision by a federal appeals court, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants to make changes in its respirator and training standards which will allow it to assess a penalty on a company on a per employee violation basis. A decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 2005 said OSHA went beyond the language of those two standards in fining a Houston construction company for 11 violations of the asbestos standard, based on the fact that the company did not provide 11 employees with respirators or training for removing asbestos.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

Major gas producers lost their battle to stop construction of the 506 mile Midcontinent Express Pipeline (MEP) when FERC cleared the project in late July.

Stephen Barlas, Washington Editor

Local sewage infrastructure projects would get a boost from legislation a House committee approved on July 30.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

Energy paints a complicated picture. Everybody’s got an opinion, but most are centered around getting prices back down; especially for gasoline but also for gas and electric. And the construction industry is caught in the middle.

Robert Carpenter

Let me say up-front that I’ve never been a fan of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), which helps to explain some of my admittedly jaundiced views. My opinion is that their grasp of energy issues/realities/policy is non-existent. Pelosi’s ineffective leadership in the House has made Newt Gingrich’s embattled tenure seem like a walk in the park. But that’s politics.

Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

The Public Utility Division of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) has completed an investigation into measures that could be taken to protect the state's power infrastructure from ice, wind and other disasters that have the potential of disrupting electrical service. Some of the measures could have a substantial impact on underground construction.

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