AUGUST 15, 2011
Congressional Leaders Appoint Members to Debt “Super-Committee”
Take Action on Highway/Transit Bill During August Recess
Twelve members of Congress were tapped last week to serve on the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that is charged with finding at least $1.5 billion in deficit savings over the next nine years. This committee was created as part of the debt limit bill signed into law August 2 and must produce a package by Continued on page 4
$500 Exhibit Space Discount at October ARTBA Convention ARTBA has a great opportunity to put your company’s products and services in front of potential new customers and also help you reaffirm existing business relationships. Six-foot table top exhibits are available to display your products during the three-day event. The exhibits will be located in highly-visible areas— right by the registration area and the meeting rooms where the major general sessions and receptions will be held. Continued on page 3
Everyone knew the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs after the SAFETEA-LU law expired in 2009 would be the most difficult transportation bill in decades. As it turns out, this assessment may have been optimistic. The industry needs your help this August to prevent a possible draconian cut in surface transportation investment as early as October 1. Watch ARTBA President Pete
Ruane’s short message to see how you can help. A bipartisan plan emerging in the U.S. Senate would generate the resources to maintain the current annual federal investment to state governments for highways ($41 billion) and transit ($10 billion) over the next two years. This is a much better alternative than the U.S. House of Representatives approach, which accepts the Highway Trust Fund status quo and the
accompanying 35 percent cut in federal highway investment. Contacting your Senators during the August recess is critical to ensuring that the Senate can move forward on legislation in September that preserves jobs and ends the cycle of short-term extensions that have plagued state transportation programs for nearly two years. They must hear from businesses back home if there is Continued on page 2
August 26: ARTBA-CNA Contractor Safety Awards Deadline. Contact Holly Bolton at 202.289.4434. ARTBA Washington Newsline
Your Senators Need to Hear from You in August
New Hampshire Senator Visits Pike Industries
Continued from page 1
going to be enough momentum to get this done. Download ARTBA’s Mobilize Action Guide to get all the information you need about the House and Senate reauthorization proposals and the messages you should deliver to your members of Congress. Some fights are worth fighting…no matter the odds. Remember, you vote... so they will listen! Call your local congressional offices to schedule a visit. For assistance, please contact ARTBA’s Hank Webster at 202.289.4434.
Christian Zimmermann, president of Pike Industries, Larry Major of the company’s government affairs team and other representatives of the transportation construction industry with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on a tour of their Portsmouth facility.
Upcoming Events Visit our Events Page for more information. TransOvation Workshop
September 6–9 Near Dulles Airport, Va. [Add to Calendar]
Transportation Development Hall of Fame Gala Dinner at TransOvation September 7 Near Dulles Airport, Va. [Add to Calendar]
ART BA Washington Newsline
ARTBA National Convention October 2–5 Monterey, Calif. [Add to Calendar]
ARTBA Public-Private Partnerships Conference November 15–16 Washington, D.C. [Add to Calendar]
ARTBA REGIONAL MEETINGS Northeastern
November 28–29 New York, N.Y. [Add to Calendar]
November 30–December 1 Tampa, Fla. [Add to Calendar]
December 5–6 Los Angeles, Calif. [Add to Calendar]
December 7–8 Chicago, Ill. [Add to Calendar]
Convention Exhibit Space Discount Continued from page 1
More than 300 leading industry executives and decision makers will be on hand. Exhibits are available for $4,000. If you act by Monday, August 22, we will take $500 off the price. This fee includes your registration and meals at the receptions,
breakfast, lunch and dinner events—all of which will provide you with excellent opportunities to network with attendees. You can attend the general sessions. You will also receive a full-page, four-color ad in the convention program. This will be one of your best sales opportunities during the last quarter of 2011. Become an exhibitor today by contacting ARTBA’s Peter Embrey at 202-289-4434.
8.31.11 The deadline for the reduced room rate at the 2011 ARTBA National Convention.
Contact the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa at 800.334.3999. Be sure to mention ARTBA to receive the $195 inland or $235 ocean rate.
Products & Services Now Available: 2011 ARTBA “Transportation Officials & Engineers Database” The ARTBA TO&E Database is your one-stop guide to key local, state, and federal transportation officials. Offered as an Excel spreadsheet, it includes contact information for more than 6,000 state and local transportation departments and authorities. The database connects you to the people, agencies and programs you need to get ahead and stay ahead. Individual segments of the directory are available by region, state and occupation. Price: $475.00 Contact Peter Embrey for more information. To learn more about other products and services available, visit the ARTBA Store today!
ARTBA Washington Newsline
Overheard “To get our nation’s economy back on track, we must develop a national infrastructure strategy for the next decade. This policy should be based on economics, not politics. Washington must finally pass a reauthorized multiyear transportation bill; target federal dollars toward economically strategic freight gateways and corridors; and refocus highway investment on projects of national economic significance.” Ed Rendell, former Pa. Governor and Scott Smith, vice chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in an August 11 WSJ op-ed, “Transportation Spending Is the Right Stimulus.” “We’ve let our five basic pillars of growth erode since the end of the cold war — education, infrastructure, immigration of high-I.Q. innovators and entrepreneurs, rules to incentivize risk-taking and start-ups, and governmentfunded research to spur science and technology.” NYT Columnist Tom Friedman in an August 6 op-ed, “Win Together or Lose Together.” 4
ART BA Washington Newsline
Legislative & Regulatory News Congressional Leaders Appoint Members to Debt “Super-Committee” Continued from page 1
the group of 12 lawmakers fails to produce an agreement by their deadline or Congress cannot pass the group’s plan, acrossthe-board cuts to most government spending accounts will be automatically enacted. There have been similar, bipartisan groups created over the last year to develop broad-based recommendations to stabilize the nation’s finances, and nearly all of them have recommended boosting Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenues. The President’s “Bowles-Simpson” Deficit Commission report in December 2010 included a 15 cent per gallon increase in the federal motor fuels excise tax. Most recently, the “Gang of Six,” consisting of both Republican and Democratic senators urged Congress to come up with an additional $133 billion for the HTF over the next ten years— the amount equal to current investment levels plus inflation. ARTBA will work with members and staff of this new panel to ensure any comprehensive budget plan includes a longterm solution to funding the federal surface transportation programs in the future. The members of the “Super Committee,” which is the name the media has given this group, are: Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) (co-chairman), Max Baucus (D-Mont.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), John Kyl (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Representatives Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) (co-chairman), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Fred Upton
(R.-Mich.), James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).
President Continues to Promote Multi-Year Transportation Bill President Obama August 11 used a speech at Johnson Controls in Holland, Mich., to ask constituents to reach out to their elected officials. “Tell Congress to get past their differences and send me a road construction bill so that companies can put tens of thousands of people to work right now building our roads and bridges and airports and seaports. I mean, think about it. America used to have the best stuff—best roads, best airports, best seaports. We’re slipping behind because we’re not investing in it, because of politics and gridlock. Do you want to put people to work right now rebuilding America? You’ve got to send that message to Congress.” The president’s message comes as members of Congress are in their home states looking to hear from their constituents
on the issues that really matter and complements the grassroots outreach ARTBA is urging our industry to undertake during August.
President Proposes New Fuel Economy Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks The Obama Administration August 9 announced final rules setting the first greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards for heavy-duty pickup tricks, delivery vehicles, and tractor trailers. The rules would require improvements from current levels of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2018, including: 20 percent improvements in tractor trailers; 15 percent improvements in heavyduty pickups; and 10 percent improvements in “vocational vehicles”—a category that includes utility, dump, and cement trucks. The announcement comes less than two weeks after the Administration proposed increasing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and lightduty trucks to an average 54.5
Fostering Innovation TRB Newsletter: August 10, 2011
ARTBA is pleased to make available another service for members that highlights new research, technologies, industry best practices and information resources available to the transportation design and construction industry. This material comes from the Transportation Research Board. Read the most recent newsletter.
miles per gallon between 2017 and 2025. ARTBA has noted the CAFE proposal, while laudable, would result in the loss of more than $65 billion in federal funding for state and local highway, bridge and transit improvements through reduced federal fuels tax receipts. ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane August 1 called on Congress and the Administration to consider the effects of these proposals on future transportation infrastructure investments and address such concerns immediately in a multiyear surface transportation reauthorization bill.
ARTBA’s annual Convention in Monterey, was quoted in the article saying, “We started with a new type of car where the policy argument was clear: electric vehicles don’t pay gas taxes. But the idea was to get by the anxiety about what the new tax system was about, to see if it would be acceptable.”
Members Making News •
Industry News VMT User Fee Tested in Netherlands The Netherlands has become one of the first countries to test a controversial new program known as the Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) user fee, according to a recent “New York Times” story. Also known as a “distance charge,” VMT user fees charge drivers for each mile traveled and send the car’s owner a bill, not unlike a utility or cell phone bill. VMT user fees have sprung up as an alternative to gas tax revenues, which decline each year as more people drive hybrid and electric cars. In the United States, various user fee proposals have been explored by Oregon, Texas and Minnesota, but according to the report, fizzled due to political and public resistance. Oregon’s Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding Manager, James M. Whitty, who will speak at
Parsons Brinckerhoff and RK&K, in association with AECOM, were recently picked by the Maryland Transit Administration to provide on-call general engineering consult for statewide transportation projects. Martin Marietta Materials South Central Division President, Jay Moreau offered up an excellent explanation of how transportation investment supports the broader economy in the “Atlanta Journal Constitution.” In an op-ed in the “Montgomery Advertiser”, Alabama Road Builders Association Executive Director Billy Norrell calls on Alabama Senators Richard Shelby (R) and Jeff Sessions (R) to protect jobs and support the Senate’s highway and transit reauthorization plan. Members of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association were joined by Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and other local leaders at the construction site of the U.S. Route 30 project in order to highlight the economic benefits of transportation projects.
Upcoming Webinars August 30: Successful Delay Claims—Maximize Your Recovery and Avoid Common Pitfalls Delay claims are one of the most common disputes in construction cases and often the least understood. Avoid incurring additional costs on transportation improvement projects and acquire a better understanding of the key components to successfully combating delay claims. Led by two leading construction claims experts, Chris Anzidei and Scott Norris, the webinar will provide insights on the common legal and contractual requirements necessary to succeed on delay claims in both public and private projects. Learn how to recover damages for compensable delay and acceleration and receive practical tips on documenting delays, effectively presenting claims, and preventing costly pitfalls. This webinar, particularly relevant to contractors and design firms, is scheduled for Tuesday, August 30, at 1 p.m., EDT.
September 1: Highway/Transit Bill, Debt Deal & U.S. Credit Downgrade: What It All Means for the Transportation Construction Market •
What are the real world implications of a potential 35 percent cut in federal highway and transit investment as early as this fall?
What are the status and timeline for the respective House and Senate highway/transit reauthorization bills?
How might the recent debt agreement and U.S. credit downgrade by S&P affect market conditions?
How are the highway, bridge, transit and airport market faring in 2011 compared to the same time last year?
What is outlook for state and local revenue sources?
Are stimulus projects still providing any juice to the market?
ARTBA’s top lobbyist and chief economist will answer all of these questions and field yours, too, in this webinar scheduled for Thursday, September 1, at 1 p.m., EDT. The registration rate for each seminar is $150 for ARTBA members or $195 for non-members. Register: www.artba.org/webinars.
Download a PDF copy of the digital “Washington Newsline.” ARTBA Washington Newsline