As we head towards the finish line of 2008, we turn our eyes towards 2009 and what lies ahead for green building. The next two posts at Green Building Law Update will highlight the shift in political support for green building policies that will soon occur.
In order to understand the shift, we must start with the current political support, or lack thereof, for green building policies. Heading into the New Year, the Bush Administration has quietly been passing and killing regulations through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). One such regulation that the Bush Administration refused to adopt would have improved energy efficiency in federal buildings:
On Nov. 19, the OMB ordered the Energy Department to kill new regulations that would have forced the federal government to buy more-energy-efficient lights, appliances, and heating and cooling systems. Daniel J. Weiss, climate strategy director at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, called that retreat from a 2005 requirement "unbelievable."
Notably, 2005 energy efficiency requirements were passed by a Republican Congress. According to Department spokeswoman Jennifer Scoggins, the energy efficiency regulations may be issued before or during the next administration.
As the economic downturn continues into 2009, construction players must seize all opportunities for new projects. On Friday, we will discuss the shift in support for green building policies that will occur with the incoming Obama Administration and new business opportunities that result.
- At the Last Minute, A Raft of Rules (Wash. Post)