The US Government has been a big supporter of LEED, thanks to that radical leftist George Bush, who imposed Executive Order 13423, which set "goals in the areas of energy efficiency, acquisition, renewable energy, toxics reductions, recycling, renewable energy, sustainable buildings, electronics stewardship, fleets, and water conservation." The Department of Defense was a real leader in this, with 49 projects, the most of any Department of government. But if the Republican congress gets its way, it's over; in the National Defense Authorization Act, there is what Chris Cheatham of Green Building Law Update calls "a real kicker":
The bill would prohibit FY 2012 DoD funds from being used to achieve a LEED Gold or Platinum certification, however these certifications could be obtained if they impose no additional cost to DoD.
But wait, there's more!
The bill would also require a cost-benefit analysis and return on investment for energy efficiency attributes and sustainable design achieved through DoD funds used to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold or Platinum certification.
So Congress won't let the Department of Defense pay for LEED applications, but even if they found the money for it, they would have to also pay for a cost benefit analysis. What would that do to the rainwater collecting roof of the new hospital, its landscaping, or every other feature that reduces water and carbon footprint but doesn't give a direct cost benefit? they are gone.
According to one source,
28% of the more than 35,000 total building projects participating in the LEED certification and rating process are federal, state, and local government owned or occupied. The federal government is the largest single owner of LEED certified buildings.
Chris wonders, "Is this the beginning of the end for federal policy that supports LEED?" You betcha! What happens to the green building industry and to the US Green Building Council when almost a third of its market is wiped out by these people?
More at Green Building Law Update
More on Defense Going Green
$3.6 Billion in Economic Stimulus To Go To Greening the US Military
Army General: Saving Energy Will Save Lives