The U.S. Senate has approved its "most ambitious energy bill" in nearly a decade, the Associated Press reports. The bipartisan bill is wide-ranging, including a host of energy-minded measures such as bolstering renewable energy production domestically, revising building codes to hone their focus on energy efficiency, and reauthorizing funds to protect public land. The bill was delayed for two months early this year as senators disputed an initiative to use the bill as a vehicle for providing emergency aid to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, to Flint, Mich., to repair its water infrastructure. The new bill responds to changes in the U.S. energy sector, in particular the rise of hydraulic fracturing technologies.

In a response to the bill's passage in the Senate, the AIA this morning issued a statement denouncing the bill's repeal of Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which sets targets for reducing fossil consumption in federal buildings.

“Cutting fossil fuel consumption in new and renovated federal buildings by 2030 is clearly something we can achieve as a nation. My fellow architects are already designing buildings that are 'net zero' consumers of energy," said AIA president Russell Davidson, FAIA, in the press release. "We hope that lawmakers come to their senses and strip this provision from any final bill."

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

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