Blog Post

The Hidden Beltway Lobbyists Who Shape Green Building Policy

Poison pill pushed by illegal lobbyists, or exciting, bipartisan energy bill that could change everything? It could be up to you.

Strategic Advocacy Solutions Green GlobesWe’ve been keeping an eye on the sweeping Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (PDF), introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D–NH) and Rob Portman (R–Ohio).

The common-sense bill, likely to come to the Senate floor any day now, enjoys broad support across the political spectrum. It would boost the national model energy code for both homes and commercial buildings, support commercial retrofits with financing help, and develop training programs for green building jobs.

Money changes everything

But there’s a fly in the ointment: let’s call it Musca lobbyistica. BuildingGreen received an urgent missive from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) this morning (emphasis added):

The chemical lobby is quietly leveraging its multimillion-dollar operation that would ban the federal government from using the LEED green building rating system…. They are carefully crafting an 11th-hour amendment that would require the federal government to only use green building rating systems that are American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-certified. This unprecedented governmental intervention is purposely designed to exclude LEED and create a monopoly for another systemthey fund and influence. 

By banning LEED, the amendment would cost the federal government money and jeopardize its ability to build green, demonstrate leadership, and continue to save American taxpayers money. LEED has long been recommended by federal agencies after extensive research.

The amendment would work by effectively upending the federal government’s definition of a “consensus standard”—only allowing certification systems developed through the ANSI process.

To get some background on why that's bogus and get a glimpse of the political underbelly of (anti-)green building policymaking, please read the rest of this post on our sister site,


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Published May 15, 2013

(2013, May 15). The Hidden Beltway Lobbyists Who Shape Green Building Policy. Retrieved from

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