By Grey Lee
– BERDO Advocacy on Monday 5/12 at 9:30am at Boston City Hall. Let us know if you can come to testify in support of the building energy reporting & disclosure ordinance.
– Quarterly Combined Committees Gathering will be Tuesday 6/3/14 at our offices in Boston. This is for our active volunteers to coordinate upcoming events and campaigns across the different committees as well as working groups and task forces of the USGBC MA.
– Save the date: Building Technology & Science Fair to be held the evening of 7/24 at 50 Milk St in Boston.
Monday, 5/12, 5:45 – 7:30pm: Residential Green Building Committee “Indoor Air Quality: Why it Matters!” – in Boston
Tuesday, 5/13, 7:30 – 9am: Green Breakfast Club “Passive Design for a Sustainable Future” – in Boston
Tuesday, 5/20, 8am – 12pm: Beyond Buildings “A Review of LEED for Neighborhood Development in Massachusetts” in Boston
Friday, 5/23, 9am – 6pm: Education Workshop “LEED Green Associate Exam Study Prep” in Boston
Thursday, 5/29, 5:30 – 7:30pm: Green Building Tour of Quinn Middle School in Hudson, MA
Tuesday, 6/3 6:30 – 8pm: Quarterly Combined Committees Gathering in Boston
Please spread the word about our LEED Green Associate Study Prep all-day workshop. This is a great way to get ready to take the LEED Exam! Read about our last all-day workshop here.
This just in: one of our members, Darien Crimmin of Winn Development, has been participating in the White House's “Climate Push,” and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal:
Obama to Lay Out Proposals on Cutting Carbon Pollution
By Colleen McCain Nelson
President Barack Obama will trumpet new executive actions and public- and private-sector commitments aimed at cutting carbon pollution and improving energy efficiency as he continues to make the pitch that the impacts of climate change must be addressed.
In a speech in California, the president will focus on clean-energy objectives he can accomplish without Congress's help, laying out a list of modest proposals, as well as pledges to expand the deployment of solar power.
The initiatives are wide-ranging but small-bore–from training workers for jobs in the solar industry to strengthening commercial energy building codes and from making federal buildings more energy efficient to setting new efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers. But administration officials argue that cumulatively, the efforts could have a significant impact.
Dan Utech, special assistant to the president on energy and climate change, said the initiatives would help cut pollution, save businesses money on energy bills and support working training programs across the country.
Critics of Mr. Obama's climate change push contend that new regulations are a pricey proposition, burdening businesses and ultimately costing jobs.
The White House also plans to a release a video touting the installation of solar panels on the first family's residence. The project, which is expected to pay for itself in energy savings over the next eight years, “helps demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said.
Friday's announcements come on the heels of the release of the National Climate Assessment, an extensive document that details far-reaching consequences of climate change. Mr. Obama and other administration officials have launched an all-hands-on-deck public-relations push aimed at convincing Americans that climate change is an urgent problem, though polls show that they face a steep challenge in the realm of public opinion.
John Podesta, counselor to the president, said at an event in New York that the ultimate goal should be to eliminate carbon emissions from energy production. Right now, carbon-emitting fossil fuels make up about 62% of the nation's electricity mix.
The nation must “ultimately move toward an electric system that is going to have to be literally carbon free,” Mr. Podesta said.
The White House's focus on climate change has been met with a mix of Republican criticism and indifference, as GOP lawmakers have suggested that Mr. Obama should focus on more pressing priorities. The president isn't proposing any major legislative initiatives, and administration officials have acknowledged that the issue hasn't gotten traction in Congress.
Mr. Obama, who is wrapping up a fundraising swing through California, is expected to speak about the burgeoning solar industry, calling for expanded use of solar energy in homes, businesses and schools. Solar power has increased 418% during the last four years, but it still accounts for only 1.13% of total U.S. electricity, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The president will announce more than 300 commitments from private companies and public-sector organizations to advance solar deployment. Companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., IKEA and Apple Inc. have offered an assortment of pledges to increase solar generation at their facilities and in their supply chains.
Darien Crimmin, vice president of energy and sustainability for WinnCompanies, a company which manages affordable multifamily housing, praised the president's efforts to draw attention to these issues.
“If you're paying attention to climate change, it's good to see federal leadership trying to create new programs,” he said.