Senator Al Franken: Vote down ANSI amendment on S761
We have until Tuesday, May 7 to tell the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to oppose any amendment to the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act that would arbitrarily ban the federal government from using effective, proven green building programs like the LEED green building rating system.
Single-issue special interests are lobbying to advance an unprecedented amendment that would jeopardize the government’s ability to save energy, water, and taxpayers’ money by banning LEED from use in federal projects. The amendment would mandate that green building rating systems be American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-certified for all federal projects. Not only would this action effectively ban LEED but it would also exclude many widely used systems such as many codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC).
Please join us in opposition to this hostile amendment and tell Congress to oppose any anti-green building amendment that will cost taxpayer dollars, waste resources, and undermine the government’s ability to lead on green building. Your leadership is needed.
Sign our petition to tell Senator Franken to stand up for better, healthier buildings!
I am signing this petition to urge you to reject any amendment to the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act that limits the use of construction standards to those that are certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Any such amendment would throw out the majority of today’s building codes and the best available leadership programs like LEED. The bill, on its own, will deliver on its potential to get the new energy economy up and running, and it needs to be free of poison-pill amendments and controversial distractions.
This measure would eliminate the federal government’s ability to leverage appropriate tools. This is an undue intervention and sends the message that the government is not interested in market-driven solutions or in demonstrating leadership. LEED has an exhaustive consensus process that has been designed to incorporate the opinions of a diverse set of stakeholders and move the market forward. No other rating system comes close to representing as broad a spectrum of interests, or offers as much inclusiveness or transparency in its development.
There are currently 210 organizations headquartered in Minnesota that are members of USGBC. These organizations, along with many other member organizations operating in the state, represent the diverse segments of Minnesota’s building industry, employing more than 17 million people and grossing more than $161 billion in annual revenue.
The federal government has been successfully using LEED to reduce utility bills and environmental impacts. The LEED-certified U.S. Treasury building is saving taxpayers $3.5 million each year, and a review of General Services Administration’s LEED Gold buildings found that they cost 19% less to operate. A report from the National Academy of Sciences suggested that Department of Defense buildings should achieve LEED Silver or equivalent.
Congress should allow the market, private and public, to determine the economic value of using tools and resources to make buildings more efficient. Don’t let this amendment tarnish the pro-growth, pro-efficiency, market-moving spirit of the Shaheen-Portman Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.