Quantcast

Special Interests Attempt to Derail Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings

Climate

Sierra Club

Yesterday the Sierra Club and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released a new print ad opposing the Hoeven-Manchin amendment—a special interest-backed attempt through to repeal energy conservation requirements for new federal buildings.

As a proposed addition to the otherwise strong and broadly supported Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, introduced by Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Portman (R-OH), the amendment would repeal a key provision—section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007—which sets carbon pollution reduction targets for new federal buildings. The bill is expected to come to a floor vote in the coming days.

Overall, buildings contributed nearly half of U.S. CO2 emissions in 2010. Section 433 ensures that starting in 2030 new federal buildings, and those that undergo significant renovations, be carbon-neutral, in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

“To build a clean energy future, we have to start with buildings—we cannot adequately address the climate crisis without making our buildings cleaner and more efficient,” said Dave Hamilton, clean energy director for the Beyond Coal campaign.

“Yet, Big Oil and Gas is trying to repeal strong, established laws and undermine clean energy innovation to stifle competition and pad profits at the expense of American families," he continued. "The Senate should reject this deplorable backdoor attack on clean energy innovation and climate progress.”

As an alternative to the Hoeven-Manchin amendment, Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI) has introduced an amendment to clarify section 433 while retaining the overall purpose of the provision, which was passed into law in 2007.

“The future—and present—of the built environment around the world is energy efficiency,” said Paul Mendelsohn, vice president, government and community relations at the AIA.

“If the U.S. wants to be on the cutting edge of the job-creating innovation, the federal government should lead by drawing the blueprints," Mendelsohn continued. "The Whitehouse amendment presents a reasonable compromise that will do just that."

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg with Charles Norman Shay, a Native American D-Day Veteran and a sponsor of the Freedom Award, during the 2019 Freedom Award Ceremony, in Abbaye-aux-Dames, Caen, France, on Sunday, July 21, 2019. (Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By Andrea Germanos

Climate activist Greta Thunberg on Sunday urged people to recognize "the link between climate and ecological emergency and mass migration, famine, and war" as she was given the first "Freedom Prize" from France's Normandy region for her ongoing school strikes for climate and role in catalyzing the Fridays for future climate movement.

Read More Show Less
Protests led by Native Hawaiians have blocked the construction of a telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea on Big Island. Actions for Mauna Kea / Facebook

By Jessica Corbett

A week after construction was scheduled to resume on a long-delayed $1.4 billion telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea — a dormant volcano on Hawaii's Big Island — thousands of Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred continued to protest the planned observatory.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
California Condor at soaring at the Grand Canyon. Pavliha / iStock / Getty Images

North America's largest bird passed an important milestone this spring when the 1,000th California condor chick hatched since recovery efforts began, NPR reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less
The Roloway monkey has been pushed closer to extinction. Sonja Wolters / WAPCA / IUCN

The statistics around threatened species are looking grim. A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added more than 9,000 new additions to its Red List of threatened species, pushing the total number of species on the list to more than 105,000 for the first time, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.

Read More Show Less
Night long exposure photograph of wildifires in Santa Clarita, California. FrozenShutter / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristy Dahl

Last week, UCS released Killer Heat, a report analyzing how the frequency of days with a dangerously hot heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity the National Weather Service calls the "feels like" temperature — will change in response to the global emissions choices we make in the coming decades.

Read More Show Less
A Zara store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Timahaowemi / CC BY-SA 3.0

Green is the new black at Zara.

The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less