Beware the Return of the Fossil Fuel Zombie
Just as we have seen a resurgence in popularity of Zombie movies, whose origins are in the now classic 1968 thriller “Night of the Living Dead” (photo above), so do we see a return of the fossil fuel industry’s desperate attempts to animate certain still-living (we believe) bodies in Congress to repeal Section 433 of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007) at this critical time in history. Witness the following:
“The grim alternative [climate change] affects all nations – more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise. This is the future we must avert. This is the global threat of our time . . . We have to get to work.” – Barack Obama, June 19, 2013. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin.
We agree with the President. Notable climatic changes have been happening for over a decade now. But the truth is, we have been working all this time – and the results are stunningly impressive:
As a Result, Americans are Projected to Save Trillions of Dollars
Since 2005 (after the 2030 Challenge was issued), the entire U.S. Building Sector has steadily become more efficient even though we’ve added roughly 3 billion square feet of building stock each year. In fact, the EIA projection increases to the year 2030 clearly illustrate that estimates of residential and commercial building energy use have been dropping dramatically since 2005 – by 89.1%, or 15.6 quadrillion Btu’s in 2030.
Meanwhile, the Fossil Fuel Industry Wants Zombies and Your Cash
In 2007, Congress wisely passed, and President George W. Bush signed, the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007). EISA 2007 contained Section 433, one of the most important pieces of legislation to be put into law in decades. Section 433 requires that all new federal buildings and major renovations meet the 2030 Challenge targets – reducing fossil fuel energy consumption incrementally to carbon neutral by 2030. With the Building Sector consuming almost 50% of all the energy produced in the U.S., Section 433 is intended to provide federal leadership for addressing climate change and moving the country toward energy independence*.
* Building Operations account for 43.1% of U.S. energy consumed today, while construction and building materials account for an additional 5.6%. This good news for the rest of us, is bad news for the demand-based fossil fuel industry. Not surprisingly, the AGA, and its proxy in Congress, Senator Hoeven of North Dakota, wants to repeal Section 433. If the AGA and Hoeven are successful in passing the Hoeven-Manchin bill, or attaching it as an amendment to the modest Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill, it will be a slap in the face of the U.S. Building Sector for its energy reduction achievements made to date.
So, if our Representatives Really Care …
If Senators really care about their constituents, as they profess, they will soundly reject the Hoeven-Manchin bill or amendment. If congressional Republicans really care about business, economic growth, wasteful government spending, and an America That Leads, as they profess, they will soundly reject the Hoeven-Manchin bill or amendment. If congressional Democrats really care about the environment and addressing climate change, Moving America Forward, and putting Americans back to work, as they profess, they will soundly reject the Hoeven-Manchin bill or amendment. And, if the President is serious “about making it [climate change] a second-term priority… he knows this is a legacy issue” as Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant for Energy and Climate Change recently said, he will make it clear that he will not sign any legislation that would repeal Section 433. On behalf of the American public, the entire Building Sector is demanding no less.