Today, the AIA released a statement opposing legislation approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee that eliminates the federal government's fossil-fuel reduction targets. Yesterday, the committee passed the energy-reform bill that modernizes infrastructure and increases training for energy and manufacturing-related jobs. The provision opposed by the AIA repeals Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act, which sets goals for the federal government—the single largest energy consumer in the country—to reduce its energy use per gross square foot in its new and renovated buildings incrementally each year until 2030, when a 100-percent reduction in fossil fuel use, based on a 2003 baseline, is targeted.
"We are disappointed that the committee voted to repeal Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act," AIA president Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, said in a press release. "Repealing this provision undermines good public policy, a policy that makes sense especially to taxpayers who want to curb government spending and keep taxes in check."
In the past few years, the AIA has fought against the repeal of Section 433 because another piece of legislation, the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill—which failed in Congress in 2011, 2013, and 2014—threatened to remove the 2030 targets.
"The AIA stands ready to support legislation that keeps energy conservation goals for the federal government and positions the United States as a leader globally in conserving resources," Richter said in the release. "But we will continue to oppose legislation that only encourages use of fossil fuels at great cost to the environment."
The bill now heads to the House for a vote.
Read the AIA's full statement here.