Constructor -July/August 2012 - (Page 14)
A World Without AGC?
WITH DEMAND FOR CONSTRUCTION STILL RELATIVELY weak, materials prices on the rise, regulatory burdens growing and a future ﬁ lled with too much uncertainty, it is tempting to focus on how things could be better. Indeed, ever since we introduced our ﬁ rst construction industry recovery plan in 2009, and then updated it in 2011, we have been spending a lot of time and energy at the AGC of America pushing for measures to help the construction industry thrive again. But even as we focus on the steps still needed — like tax certainty and long-term infrastructure bills — it is worth pausing for a second to consider some of the things we as an association have accomplished since the economy turned south in 2008. Since so many of our recent victories have prevented harmful measures from being put in place, the best way to highlight our successes is to show just how much worse things would be were it not for the work of AGC, its chapters and its members across the country. Were it not for AGC, most contractors working on publicly funded construction projects would be forced to provide an interest-free loan equal to 3 percent of their public project value to the federal government. These loans deplete their pool of available cash, limiting the amount of work they can be bonded to perform — and the proﬁts they can ultimately earn. Were it not for AGC, construction ﬁ rms performing billions of dollars worth of airport construction projects would still be out of work, waiting in limbo for Congress to resolve an unrelated airline pilots labor dispute before allowing publicly funded airport improvement projects to resume. Were it not for AGC, construction ﬁ rms in California and many other states would be wasting billions of dollars scrapping or retroﬁtting much of their off-road diesel equipment to meet new emissions standards set by a bureaucrat in California who lied about having the scientiﬁc credentials needed to set such standards. This perhaps explains why AGC was able to prove that the standards weren’t even needed to meet any of the state’s future emissions requirements. Were it not for AGC, construction ﬁ rms would be spending even more money to install complex new systems designed — although not guaranteed — to protect the earth from dirt as part of the EPA’s “mud rules.” Worse, they would be spending additional money on legal fees, ﬁghting the countless law suits being brought about by anti-development groups newly empowered by the “mud rules” to halt construction projects after their own “tests” found too much dirt in the water running off construction sites. Were it not for AGC, construction ﬁ rms would be spending time and money ﬁ ling separate 1099 tax forms for every group with which it spent at least $800. Small construction ﬁ rms would not enjoy the same protections designed to shield all other small businesses from the more egregious mandates of the health care “reform” law. And there would be no public money available to support volunteer diesel retroﬁts. Were it not for AGC, newly elected members of Congress might have succeeded in “killing” the federal gas tax and eliminating the federal highway and transit program as we know it. And were it not for AGC, there would be no BIM certiﬁcations, no ConsensusDOCS, no BIM Forum, no Lean Education Program, no opportunity to meet contractors from across the country and no one to stand up for the interests of the entire construction community in Washington, DC. In other words, things may not be as good as we would like, but they are a heck of a lot better than if AGC wasn’t here ﬁghting for each of you. ◆
BY STEPHEN E. SANDHERR AGC CEO
Were it not for AGC, newly elected members of Congress might have succeeded in “killing” the federal gas tax and eliminating the federal highway and transit program as we know it.
14 constructor | JU LY/ AU G U ST 2012
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor -July/August 2012
2012 Construction Safety Excellence Award Winners
The Big Three
Fall Protection Training
AGC In Action
Finding the Net
AGC Cleans Up, Lowers Diesel Emissions
Company Fleets Going Biodiesel
Who Are You? Results of AGC’s Member and Vendor Survey
Transformation - Griffith Converts Brownfield Site into Healthy Park
BIM vs. Communication
Legislative and Regulatory News
Member and Chapter News
Q&A What's in Your Truck?
Leading the Way
Regional Resource Guide
Index to Advertisers
Constructor -July/August 2012