The U.S. Green Building Council applauds President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy for their leadership this week in adopting the Clean Power Plan - a measure critical to the nation’s efforts to address climate change and all the human risks and impacts it entails. Importantly, EPA’s final rule aims to take advantage of market forces to realize significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions along with co-benefits to public health, such as fewer heart attacks and asthma attacks. The rule drew the public support of businesses across the country – from small businesses to global brands, many of which are USGBC members and LEED users – because it will provide opportunities for saving money and improving the health of communities where their customers and employees live.
We appreciate the EPA’s responsiveness to comments from advocates for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and that the final rule makes clear that EPA views energy efficiency as a “major compliance option” for states. Green building is a natural fit to help states leverage private sector investment to optimize end-user efficiency, distributed renewable energy generation and industrial combined heat and power projects. We also welcome EPA’s proposed incentive program to spur early investment in renewables and affordable housing efficiency – two areas central to our mission. We look forward to engaging with EPA and individual states to accelerate and maximize the opportunity for energy efficiency in state actions under this rule as the Federal Implementation Plan and other critical implementation guidance are finalized.
We now turn to working with the USGBC community, advocates and partners to help states craft plans that reflect the state’s goals and capitalize on this important starting point to further drive market transformation to a clean energy economy.