Congressional Concerns Mounting over USGBC’s Leed Program
The American Chemistry Council announced its president and CEO Cal Dooley is applauding the USGBC’s decision to delay the balloting of LEED 2012—now called LEED v4—until June 2013. However, Dooley said that delay alone will not resolve the significant problems in the proposed draft. In a letter to the U.S. General Services Administration, he called on the USGBC to comprehensively change its process and respond to Congressional concerns, including those expressed by key senators.
“I’m pleased that USGBC is acknowledging the many concerns from members of Congress, governors, state legislators and other stakeholders about the considerable problems with the current draft of LEED,” he said. “Postponing the balloting is a good first step to rectifying these problems, as it provides time for USGBC to improve LEED v4. However, the necessary improvement will only be made if USGBC embraces a true consensus process. So understandably, I am dismayed by comments USGBC already made that it intends to steadfastly retain ill-conceived measures to force builders and architects away from proven building products.
“ACC and its members have considerable technical and practical expertise, and we are prepared to engage constructively to help USGBC develop science- and consensus-based performance standards that will advance the energy efficiency and sustainability of buildings. However, as long as USGBC pushes for provisions designed to restrict certain chemistry materials, including those used in products that enhance energy efficiency, water conservation and building safety, I and others will continue to call for the removal of these arbitrary and counterproductive measures. In the interest of energy efficiency and good building science, I hope USGBC opens up the process to truly consider the expertise of key stakeholders, addresses the ongoing concerns reiterated today by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, and discards its punitive approach that limits building and construction products and hurts American manufacturing.”
“While I have been and remain a strong supporter of the LEED standard’s goal to increase building efficiency, I do not believe that the LEED standard is an appropriate way to regulate chemicals used in energy-efficient buildings,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). “I led the letter to GSA because I believe that the LEED standard should remain focused on increasing efficiency.”
“The proposed LEED 2012 rating system could significantly undermine the goal of improving energy efficiency, and ultimately could undermine our economy,” Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) said. “The U.S. Green Building Council really needs to reconsider their policies in determining what makes both economic and environmental sense.”
For additional information, visit www.americanchemistry.com.