On February 27, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and nearly 1,000 businesses from across the country urged Congress to reject efforts to repeal the law setting goals for reducing fossil fuel use in federal buildings by 2030.
The letter comes in response to reports that the oil and gas lobby pushed to include a repeal of Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act in the bipartisan Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill.
“It is unfortunate that the fossil fuel industry has demanded gutting federal energy laws through in the Shaheen-Portman bill,” said AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Sens. Shaheen and Portman have spent more than two years crafting a bipartisan energy efficiency bill. We support the original bill, which has many admirable provisions, but cannot in good conscience support legislation that undermines laws that help the federal government save taxpayers money by conserving energy.”
Last year, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the otherwise bipartisan Shaheen-Portman bill that encourages families, businesses and the government to save energy. It is not clear whether the revised bill can move forward in its current form.
“We remain committed to finding consensus solutions to improve Section 433,” Ivy said. “But so long as its opponents demand a full repeal, we do not believe the bill serves the interests of the American public.”
The letter states that design and construction companies across the country are already designing buildings that meet, and in some cases exceed, the current targets in Section 433. “In fact, Section 433 has enabled design firms to develop new design strategies that they are now using to help private-sector clients reduce their energy loads,” the letter states.