The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Special Interests Attempt to Derail Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings
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
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.