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Having a Blast

ISEE200x150February 13, 2012 – I am blogging live this week from The International Society of Explosives Engineers 38th Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique. The event is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. 

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Highway Trust Fund Revenues Rise

nssgaFebruary 6, 2012 – According to NSSGA, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook report for the next 10 fiscal years, which includes an updated assessment of the Highway Trust Fund.  In the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30, CBO projects a 20 percent increase (to $36 billion) over last year’s receipts of approximately $29 billion, but only an average annual rate increase of 1 percent for the next 10 years.  Most of the increase in FY’11 is attributable to the expiration of tax credits for ethanol-blended fuels on Dec. 31, 2011.  This snaps a streak of five consecutive years of declining revenue from highway gas receipts into the Highway Trust Fund. And that's good news.

Voters Strong on Manufacturing, Infrastructure

barack_obamaJanuary 30, 2012 – A new nationwide poll shows that most voters want this year’s presidential candidates to take stronger positions on both manufacturing and infrastructure issues. The nonpartisan Clarus Poll found that 70 percent of the national electorate would be more inclined to vote for a presidential candidate with a strong position on America’s manufacturing industries and jobs while a solid 65 percent also said they’d be more inclined to vote for a candidate with a strong position on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. Among all voters, only Mitt Romney is rated more positively than negatively  on the manufacturing issue. Among all voters, only Barack Obama is rated more positively than negatively on the infrastructure issue.

Ice Melting in Washington?

HighwayBillJanuary 24, 2012 – The word on the street is a compromise has been reached by congressional leaders on a final FAA reauthorization bill, and the House is poised to move forward on multiyear highway legislation in February. House Republicans will reportedly unveil a surface transportation bill later this week. After introducing the legislation, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will promptly move forward with consideration of the bill, mark it up on Feb. 2 and then send it to the House floor for final approval.

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In This Case, the Quarry Wins

alabama_map1January 18, 2012 – The NCAA National Champion Crimson Tide isn't the only winning team in Alabama. M&N Materials is a winner as well. In an ongoing case that may serve as a textbook example of what can happen to a small town that uses annexation and rezoning to oppose the opening of an aggregates operation, the town of Gurley, Ala., asked a Madison County court to stay a judgment while it appeals a $5 million jury verdict in favor of M&N Materials. 

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