Two compromise Senate climate-change proposals have been floated in hopes of finding enough support to win a floor vote. In November, the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee cleared a climate bill but got no GOP votes. Trying a new approach, John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Dec. 10 released a “basic framework for climate action” that said an emissions cap of about 17% less than 2005 levels “is achievable and reasonable.” EPW’s bill has a 20% cut. The Senate trio also want to encourage nuclear powerplant construction and boost U.S. oil and gas production.
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.