An analysis released on July 7 by the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) confirmed that the federal government will be unable to meet all of its spending obligations as early as mid-February unless the debt ceiling is raised. “Our numbers show that we have less time to solve this problem than many realize,” said Steve Bell, Senior Director of the Economic Policy Project at BPC. “We estimate that Treasury will exhaust its borrowing authority and no longer have sufficient funds to meet its obligations in full and on time at some point between February 15 and March 1.
As part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act signed by President Obama to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” Congress extended the wind energy Production Tax Credit (PTC), and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore projects. This will allow continued growth of the energy source that installed the most new electrical generating capacity in America last year, with factories or wind farms in all 50 states, noted the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, Canada and Mexico, was 7.9 percent higher in October 2012 than in October 2011, totaling $85.3 billion, according to a Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) report released on January 4. BTS reported that the October 2012 value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico rose 38.9 percent from October 2009, shortly after the end of the recession.
Since January 3, drivers with an E-ZPass or North Carolina Quick Pass hardcase transponder have been able to travel in all E-ZPass states and North Carolina using their prepaid electronic toll collection account. “This is an exciting development for the people in 15 states and a monumental business agreement for the tolling industry,” said E-ZPass Group’s Executive Director PJ Wilkins. North Carolina is the first state to implement an agreement of this kind with E-ZPass.
Local newspapers have begun covering health-testing regulations for truckers that are set to take effect on May 21, 2014. After that date, only certified medical examiners will be permitted to give physical examinations for commercial driver’s licenses. To gain certification, medical examiners will be required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to attend training classes and successfully pass a test assessing their competency to administer the examinations.
SC&RA has scheduled a critical, time-sensitive webinar on January 24 at noon EST to educate members about 2013 changes in the Workers’ Compensation Experience Modification Rate. The adjusted rate, as recalculated by the National Council for Compensation Insurance, will affect how much employers will pay in workers’ compensation insurance this year. More importantly, it will change the Frequency and Severity Weighting in the calculation, which will stand to increase some and decrease other companies’ rating above or below 1.0.
Across the nation on New Year’s Day, untold numbers of top executives resolved to improve their companies’ productivity, growth and profitability. SC&RA members making such a resolution are in luck: SC&RA’s webinar on January 22 at noon EST will feature findings from the Association’s 2012 Financial Benchmarking Study for the Specialized Transport; Crane and Rigging; and Crane Rental Industries. The study is based on a survey of individual company data establishing industry benchmarks in the areas of expenditures, personnel and equipment.
Learn the ten essential points necessary to transport cargo efficiently, safely, legally and profitably during an educational session at the SC&RA Specialized Transportation Symposium, February 27-March 1, at the Hilton at Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, Fla. Presenting this session will be NBIS Chief Legal Officer Robert Moore, an expert in the transportation legal, insurance and loss arena.
Only 24 of 90 booths are still available for the Products Fair at the SC&RA Annual Conference, April 2-6, Westin, Kierland, Scottsdale, Ariz. Always a highlight of the Annual Conference, the Products Fair will be the only official activity on Friday, April 5, 9 a.m.-noon. SC&RA anticipates selling all booths soon. Click here to learn more and to reserve space.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Personnel Certification Accreditation Committee (PCAC) recently announced that the scope of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) ANSI accreditation has been expanded to include the CCO Crane Inspector certification program. This means that the CCO Crane Inspector certification program is now accredited by ANSI to the ISO/IEC 17024 International Standard for organizations that certify personnel.