President Barack Obama’s proposed Clean Power Plan could have major benefits for the construction industry, according to a column in the Times-Picayune.
Obama last week unveiled ambitious standards to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants to take effect in 2022. Compliance, according to the New Orleans newspaper, will involve the building of new power plants and the renovation of others to cut their emissions.
The column pointed to a number of southeast Louisiana contractors who specialize in natural gas facilities, including Turner Industries, Cajun Industries and CB&I. “The winners from the whole deal,” wrote reporter Diana Samuels, “might be industrial construction firms.”
Construction firms won’t have to wait until 2022 to benefit from the business the plan could create.
The president has proposed tax credits for electricity generated in 2020 and 2021 from renewable energy plants that begin construction early. The program also would award double the usual number of tax credits in 2020 and 2021 for early investment in energy-efficiency projects in low-income communities.
Still, Samuels pointed out, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has said he will not comply with the new rules, and other Republican-led states are likely to challenge them in court — a tactic that could delay or even kill the effort. Others have objected that the plan would lead to higher electricity bills for consumers.
If the provisions do take effect, however, the additional investment in natural gas, wind farms and solar energy could create more demand for construction of facilities.