It looks like Congress will give cities and counties some new flexibility in funding drinking water and sewer projects. The Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act of 2010 (H.R. 4849) that passed in the House, 246 - 178 on March 24, has a provision which allows states to issue private activity bonds for water projects without counting the value of those bonds toward state caps.
Congressional concern about "fracing" took another step forward when the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to eight companies asking for details on the chemicals they use during horizontal drilling of shale gas deposits. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman of the committee, implied in a memorandum to committee members that the "Big Three" of fracing may have violated a voluntary memorandum of agreement they signed with the EPA in 2005.
President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget proposal (for the year starting Oct. 1, 2010) contains significant sums for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds in spite of pressure to reduce non-defense, non-entitlement spending.
Anyone looking for an acknowledgement in the new FERC strategic plan that the commission is focused on expanding pipeline infrastructure need not waste his time reading the 50-page document FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff issued in mid-October.
Members of Congress are raising concerns about the prospective failure of cities and counties to spend appropriated stimulus funds for wastewater and drinking water projects, a concern top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials say is justified.
This December brings one of the most disconcerting periods we’ve ever faced as an industry. There are so many factors impacting the underground infrastructure market that it is hard to grasp all the implications, let alone find solid direction for which to set course in 2010.
A Senate climate change bill passed in early November by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will probably be pushed aside by a version more acceptable to Republicans and moderate Democrats.
During the 2008 national elections, there was much rhetoric about leadership. Unfortunately, in regards to the energy industry, that leadership has failed miserably with no indication of sanity any time soon.