Engineering Inc. - May/June 2007 - (Page 4)

neWs & noTes California Supreme Court Upholds Contracting Out; Major Victory for ACEC T he Supreme Court of California handed down a major ruling in April that protects contracting out engineering services to the private sector. The ruling ends a legal battle that enlisted ACEC Minuteman Fund assistance to defend proposition 35—the state constitutional amendment that removed restrictions on contracting out—through seven years of legal challenges in the courts. In the case of PECG v. Kempton, the Supreme Court held that prop 35 implicitly repealed prior statutes restricting private contracting for architectural and engineering services by government agencies, thereby freeing those agencies to contract out design work to qualified private engineering and architectural firms. Paul Meyer “This is a complete victory for both CELSOC and ACEC,” said paul Meyer, executive director of CELSOC. “The Supreme Court’s decision helps safeguard contracting out in California and sets a great public policy example for the rest of the country. We are grateful for ACEC’s support.” With the latest state Supreme Court decision, CELSOC successfully has fended off all legal challenges to prop 35. Biorefinery plants to Receive $1.2 Billion From public and private Sectors S ix U.S. biorefinery projects will receive more than $1.2 billion in public and private funding over the next four years as investments in alternative energy and subsequent opportunities for engineers continue to grow. “These biorefineries will play a critical role in helping to bring cellulosic ethanol to market, and teaching us how we can produce it in a more cost-effective manner,” DOE Secretary Samuel Bodman said. “By relying on American ingenuity and on American farmers for fuel, we will enhance our nation’s energy and economic security.” Cellulosic ethanol is an alternative fuel made from a wide variety of non-food plant materials or feedstock, including agricultural wastes and energy crops grown specifically for fuel production, such as switchgrass. Though it requires a more complex refining process, cellulosic ethanol contains more net energy and results in lower greenhouse emissions than traditional corn-based ethanol. Industry experts have pointed to the need for greater investment if alter- native energy sources, such as ethanol, are to have a significant impact on reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. When fully operational, the biorefineries are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. The six projects selected to receive DOE funding are: • Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass, of St. Louis, Mo., to receive up to $76 million; • ALICO, Inc., of LaBelle, Fla., up to $33 million; • BlueFire Ethanol, Inc., of Irvine, Calif., up to $40 million; • Broin Companies, of Sioux Falls, S.D., up to $80 million; • Iogen Biorefinery Partners, of Arlington, Va., up to $80 million; and • Range Fuels (formerly Kergy, Inc.), of Broomfield, Colo., up to $76 million.  enGIneeRInG Inc. MaY / JUne 2007

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - May/June 2007

Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Ac tion
Interview with Congressman James Oberstar
Port Security
Water: Managing our Precious Commodity
Engineering Excellence Awards
“Smart” Concrete
Business Insights
Members in the News
One on One

Engineering Inc. - May/June 2007