Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008 - (Page 6)

LEGISLATIvE ACTIoN FRom ACEC’S GovERNmENT AFFAIRS DEPARTmENT Budget Plan Favors transPortation, environment; House aPProves Bill to extend energy tax; senate rejects gas-tax ‘Holiday’ House approves acec-supported Bill to extend energy tax Provisions The House passed legislation in May to extend expiring tax provisions that encourage development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, and extend the research and development tax credit through the end of 2008. Prior to the bill’s passage, ACEC President Dave Raymond emphasized in letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) that “consistent and predictable federal support for the implementation of renewable energy technologies is crucial to the development of alternative energy infrastructure in the private sector and throughout the economy.” The legislation, H.R. 6049, would continue the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction to offset energy efficiency investments until 2013. It would extend for one year several expiring tax provisions, including the production tax credits for wind, geothermal, biomass and other renewable energy sources. The measure also would extend a 30 percent business tax credit for solar energy and fuel cell investment through 2016, while increasing existing tax credits by an additional $1.5 billion for advanced coal and coal gasification projects that demonstrate carbon capture and sequestration. The legislation also would extend expensing of environmental remediation costs associated with brownfields projects. Similar legislation is pending in the Senate. acec Backs Private activity Bond Bill for Water infrastructure ACEC is backing new legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) that will make it easier for state and local governments to raise funds for critical water infrastructure projects. The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act (H.R. 6194) would lift the state volume cap on private activity bonds for water and wastewater projects, significantly expanding the availability of low-cost financing. “This legislation represents a good, common-sense way to raise additional resources to meet our water needs,” said Pascrell. “I look forward to working with ACEC and other stakeholders to get this measure enacted into law.” If passed, the bill will provide communities with an important new Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) financing tool to address water infra6 ENGINEERING INC. JULY / AUGUST 2008 structure financing challenges. Projections from Wall Street analysts and the Environmental Protection Agency estimate that the legislation could raise as much as $6 billion each year for water projects. The cost to the federal government would be significantly less—only $214 million over the next 10 years according to Treasury Department estimates. congress strengthens QBs in saFetea-lu technical corrections Bill Congress has approved and the president has signed into law a transportation technical corrections bill that includes ACEC-backed language to enhance the applicability of Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) to federally funded transit projects. The House and Senate passed the David Oates, ACEC legislation (H.R. 1195) to make a Transportation Committee number of minor and technical cor- Chairman rections to various highway, transit, safety and research programs under SAFETEA-LU, including modifications to several congressionally directed projects. ACEC supported the bill, which includes language that closes an opt-out loophole and requires the use of QBS on federal transit projects. “We’re pleased that Congress has finally moved this important legislation,” said ACEC Transportation Committee Chairman David Oates of Oates Associates. “It will allow hundreds of highway improvement and expansion projects to move forward, and it makes clear that QBS applies to federal transit projects without exception.” senate rejects gas-tax ‘Holiday’ Presidential politics entered the debate over the SAFETEALU technical corrections bill when an effort was made during the Senate debate to insert a provision to create a three-month ISSUES oN ThE movE Funding bills for key federal programs Gas tax “holiday” Energy tax incentives WhAT’S NExT house, Senate votes in the summer, fall Further debate possible before August Final action expected in the fall

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008
2009 EEA Call for Entries
Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News & Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Congressman Kendrick Meek
Going Global
2008 Professional Liability Insurance Survey
Institute for Business Management 2008 Fall Course Catalog
Bridging the Gap
2008 Convention Wrap Up
2008-2009 Executive Committee
2008 Fall Conference Primer
Business Insights
Members in the News
One on One

Engineering Inc. - July/August 2008