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Daily Drill: Judge rules Maybe, and "Water is the New Oil"


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Iowa Farmers Join List of Dakota Pipeline Complainants

Saying that pipeline workers have messed with their cattle, left trash behind and generally disrespected their land, Iowa farmers have now taken up the cry against the Dakota Pipeline's construction. The completed pipeline will conduct oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The farmers' official complaints to the Iowa Utilities Board mark the first instance of a regional grassroots, non-Native American contingent of pipeline protestors. Energy woes come in all sizes.

Construction Recession May be in the Cards

October spending recorded a year-over-year decline for the first time since 2012. Construction's post-recession comeback may have reached its peak. The mighty rise of residential numbers is being offset by a flattening of non-residential projects. Add to that the more stringent capital requirements at the center of new banking regulations, and it appears to some that the roaring  construction comeback is cooling off. A little. Crowd-sourced financial site Seeking Alpha thoroughly explains.  More slowdown than crisis. Still...

Materials Costs Not Helping Q3 Construction

66% of surveyed contractors report being currently affected by rising materials costs, and 54%  of this same group are having trouble finding and recruiting qualified bricklayers, 47% can't find good carpenters, and 43% are searching high and low for decent plasterers in Q3. If there is lots of work and not enough tradespeople to take it on, you have a situation. Skilled labor shortage, anyone? More work than workers. Who knew THAT could ever be a problem?

San Antonio Pipeline: "Water is the New Oil"

The 140-mile pipeline will carry 50,000 acre-feet of water a year to San Antonio. For at least 30 years. Allan Marks, the head of the financial consultancy overseeing the project lending, says this about the project, and about resource scarcity in general: "With climate change and increased urbanization globally, clean drinking water will become a more scarce commodity. Water has become the new oil." Here comes the Age of the Water Magnate

Judge Reserves Right to Side with Wealthy over 9/11 TributeCenter 

A Manhattan judge has made her difficult legal decision, and it is "..okay, but...". Builders of the 9/11 Tribute Center have been told they will be allowed to continue building the proposed new center "at their own peril".  The wealthy condo residents next door fear a tourist crush once the 9/11 center is completed. Apartments in the 37-story complex go for up to $4M, and residents have reserved the right to sue for construction stoppage later in the construction phase of the project. The judge's "order" leaves them that option. Judge: I said Maybe and that's final!