EPA has delayed the release of a final rule that would have set strict carbon emission rules for new fossil-fueled power plants, The Washington Post is reporting.
The Post quotes an EPA spokesperson as saying that the agency is still reviewing the more than two million comments it has received since the proposal was first unveiled last year.
Under the proposed rule, natural gas plants would easily be able to meet the new limit of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, but it will be extremely difficult for new coal-fired plants to do so without expensive modifications. This has led many experts to conclude that the proposed rule will act as a de facto ban on any new coal-fired plants being built in the future. Coal plants currently provide about 40% of the nation's electricity and represent a major source of employment for TAUC contractors and their partners in the building trades.
Last summer, TAUC submitted comments to EPA objecting to the proposed rule, arguing that it would have a negative impact not only on our membership and the union construction industry in particular, but also on the nation as a whole. In order to meet the new standard, any new coal-fired plant would have to employ some form of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. EPA acknowledged that deployment of current CCS technologies "results in increased capital and operating costs and decreased electricity output (that is, an energy penalty), with a resulting increase in the cost of electricity. The energy penalty occurs because the CO2 capture process uses some of the energy produced from the plant."
TAUC will keep its members informed of any new developments related to EPA's carbon emissions rule.
Kenneth Rigmaiden Kenneth Rigmaiden was elected General President of the 140,000-member International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) on April 1, the labor organization announced.
He succeeds James Williams, who retired at the end of March.
Mr. Rigmaiden joined IUPAT in 1977 when he signed up for the floor covering apprenticeship training program in Local Union 1288, San Jose, California. He worked as a floor covering installer and eventually became president of his local. When several local unions were combined into Local 12 in 1993, he was elected business manager and helped bring about the first region-wide collective bargaining agreement for Northern California.
He was selected to serve as a general representative in 1996, and the following year became an assistant to the general president with specific duties in national agreements and jurisdiction maintenance. During that time, he also served on the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee, Inc. (NMAPC) and the General President's Project Maintenance Agreement Committee and the General President's Project Review Committee.
Prior to being elected General President, Mr. Rigmaiden was Executive General Vice President of IUPAT.
In addition to his new role as General President, Mr. Rigmaiden also serves as Co-chair of the Finishing Trades Institute; is a trustee on the IUPAT International Pension Fund; and serves as Co-secretary of the Labor Management Cooperation Initiative.
The number of private antitrust treble-damage suits against the eight major U.S. manufacturers of drywall (gypsum) board has been growing fast. Over 20 plaintiff's class actions have been filed by groups representing contractors, building supply houses and consumers.
The suits allege that beginning in the fall of 2011, at least five of the major U.S. manufacturers of drywall agreed to raise prices by 35%, probably at a meeting of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry held in Idaho. The suits also allege that the manufacturers agreed to stop the practice of offering "job quote" clauses in their contracts with construction contractors. Under the "job quote" clause, a contractor was guaranteed that the contract price for drywall on a particular job would not increase for that job during the time it took to build the project, no matter how long it took.
The Department of Justice is aware of this litigation but has not indicated whether it is considering filing suit against the manufacturers. In commenting on this litigation, several drywall manufacturers have strongly denied that there were any illegal agreements among competitors and claim that the increases in prices in the fall of 2011 were independent decisions and did not involve any illegal agreements. Other manufacturers have refused to comment.
TAUC members who buy significant amounts of drywall should consult with counsel regarding the advisability of actively participating as plaintiffs in this litigation. It is anticipated that the suits in question will be consolidated into two or three separate class actions. One class may represent indirect purchasers, such as consumers; one class may represent direct purchasers, such as building supply houses and home improvement retailers; and one class may represent contractors.
The U.S. drywall market is a $5 billion dollar a year market and it is estimated that over 90% of the new buildings in the U.S. have drywall walls and ceilings.
Current President Thom Sicklesteel of Sicklesteel Cranes has been elected to a further one-year term, along with other officers.
Check out this great presentation from the Construction Association of Michigan on the impact of the state's new right to work law on union construction.
Number of plans in red and yellow zones increased in 2012 compared to previous year; number in green zone decreased slightly.
In a statement, Solis says she will return to California and "begin a new future."
The agency said it will soon release a final rule in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Agency says the new program will offer an alternative way to resolve complaints.
Check out the latest additions to this important industry advisory committee.
Waugh takes over for Kevin Byrnes in Region V.
The EO is designed to spur investments in new industrial energy efficiency projects.
The criteria outlines how employers can be removed from the Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).
Steve Usselmann of Enterprise Fleet Management offers some food for thought.
Check out the new video from the BCTD on Helmets to Hardhats, highlighting the organization's mission to provide union construction careers to returning veterans.
Both of the ALJs were previously with the Social Security Administration.
Reps from UA, Painters are among the new appointees.
The agency is looking for four new members; nomination deadline is Sept. 12.
The new video was prompted by the 2008 Bayer CropScience explosion in Institute, West Virginia.
OSHA is continuing its national outreach on heat-related health hazards.
The UA's Director of Trade Jurisdiction succeeds Brent Booker, who was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Building and Construction Trades Department.
The Canadian building trades alliance reaches a significant milestone in its history.
As we approach graduation season, Matt Stevens of the Stevens Construction Institute has some great advice for young people entering the profession.
Weren't able to make it to Hilton Head last week for TAUC's annual Leadership Conference? No problem -- click here for an update on what you missed!
The EPA's proposed rule could spell an end to new coal-fired power plants.
OSHIA, NIOSH and CPWR team up to launch a new initiative focusing on falls in construction.
Strategic partner NACBE recognizes Boilermakers, Fresh Meadow Power for safety and performance excellence
A quick summary of the major issues discussed at this year's National Issues Conference in Washington, D.C.
There are only a few days left to register for the NMAPC Zero Injury Safety Awards -- don't miss out on the most prestigious safety event in the union construction industry!
McGarvey was elected on April 16 to succeed the late Mark Ayers.
Click for more information and a link to the formal Request for Information issued by OSHA.
Contractors -- check out our summary of midstream infrastructure projects planned for Pennsylvania and surrounding areas!
Longtime IMPACT chief (and former TAUC executive) will be succeeded by Kevin Hilton.
TAUC members should be aware of the fact that OSHA is modifying its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform to the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
The petrochemical giant makes its long-awaited announcement about plans to build a new ethane cracker in the Appalachian region.
Congratulations to TAUC member Superior Construction for hitting a major safety record at BP Whiting!
The show, produced by Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg, will focus on the Teamsters Boston local, and producers say more union-focused reality shows are in the pipeline.
Article gives a comprehensive overview of construction training programs in the area
Matt Stevens, President of Stevens Construction Institute, has just released a new white paper to help contractors better deal with the economic downturn. Free download in PDF format.
Thought-provoking editorial on the hidden strength of unions, especially in the construction sector.
The industry group is urging Atlanta's mayor to crack down on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
Representatives from UA and the Laborers spoke with CNBC's Larry Kudlow about the economic importance of gaining approval for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
TAUC held its annual State of the Union Construction Industry Forum on Dec. 7 in Washington, D.C.
The NEP is designed to protect workers from releases of highly hazardous chemicals.
Unions called on the Administration to quickly approve the proposed pipeline link between Canada and the U.S.
The repeal frees contractors from a burdensome financial requirement that was set to go into effect in 2013.
The agency says the new program will help businesses correct problems with how workers are classified.
Erich Stafford, safety director for the Building Trades, takes over as chairman of OSHA's construction safety advisory committee.
The agency recently released several updated and new documents on various aspects of worker safety and health.
The publication of the revised rules represents a victory for contractors around the country.
Contractors and other stakeholders now have until Oct. 28 to submit comments.
The Construction User is TAUC's official magazine. Read by more than 8,000 construction industry professionals each quarter, our full-color publication gives readers a fresh and thought-provoking perspective on union construction and the issues contractors, labor and owner-clients face on a daily basis.
After declining in June, mass layoffs in the construction sector rose in July.
The free cell phone app is designed to help workers and supervisors become more informed about the dangers of heat-related illnesses on the job.
OSHA recognizes the company's Westlake facility for an excellent safety record.
A new report says CHP and other energy efficiency measures could make up for lost capacity if coal plants shutter due to stricter EPA regulations.
Bill Brown takes issue with U.S. senators' claims that a significant "skills gap" is preventing employers from hiring qualified workers.
The AEP chief made the comments at the 2011 COAL-GEN Conference in Columbus, OHio.
Steve Rank is the union's new Executive Director of Safety and Health.
In his new role, Haggerty will oversee operations in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
Latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show layoffs are down compared to last month (and last year).
AEP says IBEW's code was crucial to the success of a $1 billion scrubber project at a West Virginia plant.
New DOE report makes the case for expanding the use of combined heat and power at industrial facilities.
FASB voted for the final time July 27 to remove withdrawal liability reporting requirements from a new accounting standard for participants in multiemployer plans.
The New York Times reports on ICE's increased focus on I-9 violations, and why it's costing small businesses big money.
AEP says it's delaying carbon-capture plans due to climate policy uncertainty.
OSHA is set to increase its focus on the primary metals industry.
New deal expands Harsco's access to industrial maintenance and infrastructure markets.
The building trades are facing bleak prospects at the CBA negotiating table, according to a new report.