July Newsline: Steelmakers take on China; Bobcat plants idle; new AWWA publication

July 2009 Vol. 64 No. 7
AEM Construction Challenge winners

Roughly 2 million new jobs would be created each year from 2010 through 2014, directly and indirectly, through the development of these 100 strategic infrastructure projects, including jobs in:

  • Smart Grid: 839,000 job years
  • New Infrastructure: 3.2 million job years
  • Traditional Infrastructure: 3.03 million job years

For more information, visit: www.cg-la.com.

Obama proposes cuts in construction programs

As part of President Obama’s request for the next fiscal year, he has proposed terminating or trimming back 121 federal programs, which officials say would save an estimated $16.7 billion in 2010.

It will be up to Congress to determine whether the proposed program cuts, and the rest of the President’s $3.55 trillion fiscal 2010 budget, will be approved.

Also proposed to be cut are $145 million in Environmental Protection Agency water infrastructure earmarks. The 2010 budget plan would provide a large boost for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds that finance those types of projects.

TVA to build natural gas plant in Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority has decided to build an $820 million, 880-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas power plant in northeastern Tennessee to comply with a North Carolina lawsuit over air quality.

As yet, there are no plans to replace 11 coal-fired stations. U.S. District Judge Lacy Thornburg ruled in January that four TVA coal plants in Tennessee and Alabama, including the John Sevier station, were contaminating North Carolina’s air under a lawsuit brought by the state in 2006. He ordered them cleaned up by the end of 2011.
TVA petitioned for an extra year, which the judge turned down. TVA recently filed notice it will appeal.

The utility said the cleanup could add $1 billion to the cost of upgrades and would be logistically difficult for John Sevier at the eastern end of its transmission system.
TVA estimates John Sevier, with the capacity to light 350,000 homes, will have to be shut down for 20 months to install the pollution controls, risking power disruptions.
So the TVA board agreed to postpone two projects of comparable worth--building a combined-cycle gas plant at TVA’s Caledonia site in Steens, MS, and expanding a gas turbine plant at Gleason, TN - and shift the work to a new northeastern Tennessee gas plant.

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