Green Building Law Update Service

Center for Climate Change Law

On October 15, 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed a rule (located at 75 Fed. Reg. 63404) that would require new and substantially renovated federal buildings to be entirely free of fossil fuels used for energy consumption by 2030.

The proposal would require covered buildings to reduce fossil fuel-generated energy consumption by 55 percent by 2014.  Reductions in fossil fuel-generated energy consumption would incrementally increase every five years, with required reductions rising to 65 percent starting in 2015, 80 percent beginning in 2020, 90 percent in 2025, and 100 percent in 2030.  The proposed rule carries out a mandate contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.  Agencies would be allowed to petition DOE for a downward adjustment of the requirements if they believe meeting the reduction level is technically impracticable.

The notice states that DOE is seeking public comment on a variety of issues, including whether all fossil fuels should be treated equally or whether each should be treated differently based on carbon dioxide emissions or other factors.  According to the Council on Environmental Quality, the federal government spent $25 billion on energy and fuel in 2008 and operated about 500,000 buildings across the country.

A public meeting concerning the proposal is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

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