AIA Criticizes Senate Vote on Energy-Efficient Federal Buildings
April 20, 2016
The American Institute of Architects criticized the U.S. Senate for passing S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, which repeals energy-efficiency targets in federal buildings passed in 2007.
“Cutting fossil fuel consumption in new and renovated federal buildings by 2030 is clearly something we can achieve as a nation,” said AIA President Russell Davidson. “My fellow architects are already designing buildings that are ‘net zero’ consumers of energy. According to government statistics, better designed buildings have already saved our country approximately $560 billion in energy costs since 2005.
“Therefore it makes no public policy sense for Congress to cave in to the oil and gas lobby and kill requirements to reduce fossil fuel consumption in federal buildings. As we have noted before, residential and commercial buildings account for almost 40 percent of both total U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Last December, nearly 200 nations, including the United States, committed in Paris to reducing the planet’s carbon footprint.
“Uncle Sam must continue to be a leader worldwide in energy conservation and reduced dependence on the use of fossil fuels. Yet we are effectively abrogating this role with this short-sighted vote, which will continue to hold federal taxpayers hostage to the whims of global energy markets.”
Davidson remarked with approval President Obama’s previous resolve to veto the House version of the bill, which also repeals the fuel-efficiency targets.
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