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Schwarzenegger Vetoes California Green Building Legislation

Governor Schwarzenegger has vetoed the trio of green building bills which we presented here a few weeks ago. AB 888 would have required most commercial buildings in California to earn LEED Gold by January 1, 2013, while the other two bills (ABs 1058 and 35) were to apply to homes and public buildings, respectively. The Governor’s grounds for the veto were two-pronged; first, he argued that the LEED-driven standards would discriminate against California wood products in favor of foreign bamboo. Second, he expressed a reluctance to allow a third party to exert control over state building codes, as was the argument advanced by several California construction industry groups and reported by the Sacramento Bee last month. Still, Schwarzenegger did sign 18 of the Sierra Club’s list of 25 priority bills (72 percent), the highest percentage of his four-year tenure. We’ll be keeping track of whether similar proposed LEED legislation suffers the same fate as these three bills and how California legislators respond to Schwarzenegger’s concerns as expressed in his veto message.

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2 Responses to Schwarzenegger Vetoes California Green Building Legislation

  1. Brian October 19, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    Interesting. Today’s WSJ has (A13) an interesting piece that states that CA regulators will direct utility (gas & elec) companies to create programs that make new homes capable of generating as much energy as they consume by 2020 and by 2030 for new commercial buildings. Builders aren’t required to meet this goal but proposals by said utilities must be developed as incentives to builders. They’re trying to make this a component of the state’s building code and hopes to integrate this by 2011. While a big part of Gov. Schwarzenegger’s administration, he’s definitely in a tough spot fighting for reduced greenhouse emissions while supporting California wood. While California seems to be at the forefront of green legislation, the challenges of which green initiative to support will only get tougher. Green politics is just the same.

  2. Stephen October 19, 2007 at 1:52 pm #

    Is there a free link to the WSJ piece? I agree that Schwarzenegger is in a difficult position, but it does sound like he’ s going to work with the legislators who proposed these three bills to continue adapting the CA building code. It will be interesting to see how CA moves forward here, both with its codes and the utility regulations that you’ve mentioned.

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