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Seven GA congressmen tell federal regulators to abandon green building program

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A bipartisan group of seven Georgia congressman have asked federal bureaucrats to forswear its suspected adoption of a series of controversial new green building regulations, according to a letter obtained by Georgia Tipsheet.

The entire state GOP House delegation save for two partnered with Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop to press the General Services Administration not to impose on the federal government new amendments to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program.

“Previously, GSA has adopted the LEED program to help the federal government achieve energy efficient requirements for buildings,” the group, whose broader list of signers number 56 in total, wrote. “However, we are deeply concerned about proposed changes to the LEED program that create the potential for significant job losses and increased building costs at a time when our economy can least afford it.”

The program began rankling legislative feathers earlier this month, when the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee for the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing to investigate LEED and other green certification systems.

The most contentious elements of the program, under which the GSA has previously mandated all new federal properties must qualify, include the outright banning of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC plastic, and the elimination of three-fourths of American certified timber from the pool of green-acceptable materials.

“We are deeply concerned that the LEED rating system is becoming a tool to punish chemical companies and plastics makers and spread misinformation about materials that have been at the forefront of improving environmental performance–and even occupant safety–and in buildings,” the letter reads. “GSA’s adoption of LEED 2012, in fact, would amount to the federal government sanctioning an unscientific, arbitrary, and discriminatory program of materials selection.”

The letter’s Peach State Republican signatories count Reps. Paul Broun, Tom Price, Tom Graves, Austin Scott, Lynn Westmoreland and Jack Kingston. GOP’ers Phil Gingrey and Rob Woodall did not sign.

- Dome Confidential