In another congressional reaction to the Gulf Coast oil spill, six Senate Democrats from the West Coast have introduced a bill that would permanently ban new oil and gas drilling off the shores of California, Oregon and Washington state. The measure, introduced May 13, would reinstate--only for the West Coast--a longstanding congressional and White House prohibition on Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas exploration. That nationwide drilling ban had been lifted in 2008. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.) and was co-sponsored by her California colleague Dianne Feinstein, as well as Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.