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3 Examples of Ongoing Lobbying Efforts in the Construction Industry

3 Examples of Ongoing Lobbying Efforts in the Construction Industry

For many construction business owners, it can be difficult to visualize the benefits of working with a lobbyist — and understandably so. The good name of lobbyists has been sullied and besmirched for years. When a lobbyist fights for the benefit of one industry, it can have a negative effect on another. The frustration of those who fail to achieve their political objectives often manifests as an attack on the decency of the lobbyists that worked diligently to secure positive change for the industry they represent. In other words, lobbyists are forced to go to war with industry titans in bouts that have no clear winner because, even after a successful lobbying effort results in a victory for the industry, the lobbyist is oftentimes viewed as the villain.

At Cotney Construction Lobbying, we represent the construction industry exclusively, and we’re eager to showcase the efficacy of lobbying as a means to catalyze positive change for construction business owners and professionals at all levels. The construction industry is facing several pressing challenges, including a seemingly interminable labor shortage and increased oversight that hinders productivity and profits. As experienced construction industry advocates, we take the fight directly to Washington. Our ultimate goal is to serve as an agent of the industry that has served countless families for years. 

In this editorial, we will break down three examples of ongoing lobbying efforts in the construction industry to help construction professionals better understand how lobbying works and what it aims to achieve. 

1. Heat Exposure and OSHA

HR 3668, a resolution that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives, intends to establish new heat exposure regulations for workers. This legislation would have a stark effect on the construction industry, which requires employees to work outside for extended periods of time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would be responsible for developing these new regulations.

Construction industry lobbyists are fighting against HR 3668; not because it will negatively affect workers, but because it doesn’t understand the scope and complexity of what they intend to accomplish. For instance, how do you determine what constitutes “excessive heat” in a country with varying climate conditions from coast to coast? Furthermore, it requires a new standard that is “no less protective than the most state standards.” The rub: many states don’t even have heat exposure standards. The timeframe for instituting these changes is also unreasonable as currently proposed. Construction lobbyists are highlighting these concerns and curtailing the government’s ability to impose legislation that doesn’t actually accomplish the goals it intends to. 

2. Additional FMCSA Regulations

If new legislation dealing with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is passed, it could lead to significant downturn in short-term profitability as construction business owners are forced to equip their commercial vehicles with costly safety measures to continue working legally. These changes include:

  • New requirements for front, side, and rear underride guards on trailers with a gross vehicle weight (GVWR) exceeding 10,000 pounds and single unit trucks with a GVWR exceeding 10,000 pounds and a carriage positioned at a height of more than 22 inches above the ground.
  • Speed limiter requirements (65 mph) for commercial motor vehicles with a GVWR exceeding 26,000 pounds.
  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB) system requirements for commercial motor vehicles with a GVWR exceeding 10,000 pounds.
  • Increased minimum liability coverage for motor carriers valued at $750,000 to over $4.9 million.

These regulations would put an immense burden on construction businesses of all sizes. To make matters worse, the proposed safety benefits have yet to be tested. In theory, these changes feel like they could help improve safety, but our industry is concerned with facts, not feelings. Construction lobbyists are working to prevent these costs from negatively affecting construction professionals.

3. Legislation to Slow Energy Production Expansion

Together, HR 205, HR 1941, and HR 1146 intend to stifle proposed scientific surveys intended to greenlight new sources of off-shore energy in the Outer Continental Shelf, extend an embargo on oil and natural gas activities in the Gulf of Mexico, bar offshore energy development in both the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, and prevent energy resources from being harvested in the Alaskan Coastal Plain. 

What does this mean for the construction industry? In short, it limits the growth of the industry overall by eliminating several potentially lucrative projects that would require the expertise of construction industry professionals. Construction lobbyists are skilled at visualizing the “bigger picture” and fight for any cause that can lead to positive change in the construction industry.

If you would like to speak with a construction lobbyist from Cotney Construction Lobbying, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Cotney Construction Lobbying, LLC does not provide legal services and any statements made on this website are intended to apply only to non-legal, lobbying services.