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Weekly Briefing: April 10-14, 2023

Week of April 10, 2023

Green Tax Credits Are Likely to Be More Popular—and Expensive—Than Expected

  • Green tax credits from last year’s climate law are likely to be far more popular than anticipated, potentially reducing carbon emissions—but also increasing costs to U.S. taxpayers, according to an emerging consensus of government and private-sector forecasters.

  • Buyers of electric vehicles and clean-energy producers could claim tax credits worth hundreds of billions of dollars more than lawmakers expected when they passed the Inflation Reduction Act, recent estimates from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., researchers at a Brookings Institution conference and the White House Office of Management and Budget suggest.

  • “Our estimates reflect the enthusiasm that the global industry has shown to invest in EVs, renewables, clean hydrogen, carbon capture and bioenergy as a result of the clear, attractive, long duration incentives,” said Michele Della Vigna, author of Goldman’s Carbonomics report.


EPA Proposes New Heavy-Truck Emissions Standards

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed two new rules setting more ambitious vehicle emissions standards for passenger vehicles and trucks.

  • In announcing the proposal on April 12, officials said that, if implemented, the new regulations would avert about 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions, save owners $12,000 compared with the costs of vehicles that do not adhere to the new proposed requirements, and reduce U.S. use of about 20 billion gallons of imported oil.

  • The new standards would “set progressively more stringent GHG emission standards," measured in grams per ton-mile, the agency said, and would set new GHG emissions standards that would apply to vehicles from model years 2027 through 2032 and beyond.


Material Prices Reported Lower Than A Year Ago

  • Construction input prices fell for the first time in more than 18 months on a year-over-year basis, but were still 39% higher than February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic sent supply chains reeling.

  • Both overall construction prices and nonresidential costs were down 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively, compared to March 2022, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis. This marks the first time they’ve dropped annually since August 2020, according to Anirban Basu, ABC chief economist.

  • Still, costs inched up over the last 30 days, with overall construction and nonresidential input prices rising 0.2% and 0.4% in March, respectively, compared to the previous month. “The good news is that the latest producer price index data, which show broad-based declines in both goods and services prices, suggest that the expected 25 basis point interest rate hike at the Federal Reserve’s May meeting will be the last of the cycle,” said Basu. “The bad news is that this data indicates greatly diminished pricing power among wholesalers and others.”


April 10, 2023

DRMP, Inc. (DRMP), a Florida-based civil engineering and surveying firm that is an operating subsidiary of Trilon Group, has acquired Geomatics Corporation (Geomatics), a Florida-based surveying and mapping consulting firm. With the addition of Geomatics, DRMP is bolstering its presence throughout Northeast Florida with additional staff resources. “Along with Geomatics’ excellent reputation with its clients, the value they place in their employees and its corporate culture aligns with DRMP, which made them a great fit,” said DRMP President Glenn Lusink, PSM. “Both companies share the values of quality, trust, and respect that focus on providing growth opportunities for their employees and the best project outcomes for their clients.”


April 4, 2023

Haley Ward, Inc. (Haley Ward), a Maine-based professional engineering, environmental, and surveying consulting firm, has acquired Betsy Lindsay, Inc. (Betsy Lindsay), a Florida-based surveying and mapping firm with approximately 200 employees. “This is an exciting new chapter for Betsy Lindsay, Inc.” said President and Founder, Betsy Lindsay. Haley Ward's President & CEO Denis St. Peter, said, “We know that this partnership will allow us to offer even greater value and expertise to our clients throughout Florida. By joining forces, we will be able to offer a wider range of services, including aerial surveying and drone mapping, as well as providing a broader geographic reach."


April 4, 2023

Universal Engineering Sciences (UES), a Florida-based engineering and consulting firm with areas of expertise including geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, building code compliance, threshold inspections, and environmental consulting, has acquired Grubbs, Hoskyn, Barton & Wyatt, an Arkansas-based geotechnical engineering and materials testing firm. Grubbs, Hoskyn, Barton & Wyatt joins the Midwest Region of UES, led by Ed Alizadeh, PE, JD, President of the Midwest Region. Grubbs, Hoskyn, Barton & Wyatt’s leadership team will continue to operate the day-to-day business. “We’re proud and excited to expand our geotechnical expertise with the Grubbs, Hoskyn, Barton & Wyatt team,” said UES CEO Dave Witsken. “Their reputation as geotechnical problem solvers is well regarded, and, with their addition, we look forward to growing our services in the southern portion of the Midwest Region.”


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