Ohio is #1 in the U.S. in green school construction thanks to state policy for new public school buildings to earn minimum LEED silver certification. A small but well-funded faction of vinyl, plastic, chemical, and other carbon-intensive industries argue that the latest evolution of LEED, called “v4,” puts them at a competitive disadvantage. We need your help to convince our State Representatives to keep our successful, nation-leading green schools program and vote NO on SCR25!
For the past months, a diverse group of Ohioans have been standing up to these special interest lobbyists at the Ohio Statehouse to protect this policy that prudently invests tax dollars into public school buildings that are 35% more efficient, use 37% less water than buildings built to previous standards, diverted over 188,000 tons of construction waste from landfills, and sourced 35% of their materials from regional sources, benefitting the region’s economy while curbing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Can you help us by calling or writing to your state Representative? Tell them to vote NO on SCR25.
More information is available at http://leedworksoh.nationbuilder.com. See also:
Read the bill: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/res.cfm?ID=130_SCR_25
The Hannah Report (2/11/14)
In early February, expert witnesses from across Ohio’s diverse green building industry were joined by a USGBC National representative, a school district superintendent and one plucky high schooler to tell state legislators that LEED works for Ohio. A handful of DC-based chemical industry lobbyists flew in (for the second time) to say that it does not. Green building supporters testified in Columbus at a hearing before the Energy and Natural Resources committee. They are considering the following flowery language that lauds green building and energy efficiency, states, “RESOLVED: That the LEED v4 green building rating system no longer be used by Ohio’s state agencies and government entities…”
Simply put, this resolution if passed would pull the plug on our state’s green public building programs, including the state’s remarkable green schools work, banning the use of LEED on all future state-funded projects. We need your help to fight this misguided resolution.
What can you do to help?
- Call your State Representatives’s office and voice opposition to SCR 25
- Offer to clarify information about LEED (see talking points below)
- Facebook/Tweet this blog, and urge others to contact Ohio Representatives and/or sign the petition
Points to clarify: Below are some talking points that you can stress with respect to SCR25 when you call or write your State Representative.
- Banning LEED v4 is in fact preventing the use of LEED completely in the future. Many Representatives do not realize in 18 months, version 4 will be the only LEED system available; banning it effectively bans the use of LEED altogether although legislators continually claim to like parts of LEED and its outcomes.
- LEED is good for Ohio – we are the #1 state in U.S. in green schools. On average, Ohio’s 100+ LEED schools are 35% more energy efficient & use 37% less water usage than buildings built to previous standards (more efficient), they obtain 35% of material from regional sources (benefitting Ohio’s economy) and they diverted over 188,114 tons & 57,000 cu. yds. of construction waste from Ohio landfills (less waste) - source
- LEED v4 encourages innovation without unfairly penalizing any product, material, or industry. The MR credits that are the focus of the out-of state groups merely “encourage the use of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts,” and “reward raw material manufacturers who produce products verified to have improved life-cycle impacts.” One could still get LEED platinum without any credits they’re unhappy with.
- Those lobbying for the ban claim LEED is not a consensus standard and was developed behind closed doors. LEED v4 is result of 22,000 public comments across 6 public comment periods, and it was approved by 85% of the vote by 1200 member companies & organizations. The General Services Administration found LEED is a “voluntary consensus standards body” based on guidelines from the Office and Management and Budget.
- And anything else you’d like to add!
Thanks to Nadja Turek, for her contribution to this and the Cincinnati Chapter of the USGBC web site.
Learn more from this post by Laura Collins.