Green Building Craze

Rex Hime

President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association


In a craze that has swept the nation like nothing we have seen since the "Achy-Breaky Heart" line-dance, those who have joined what has become known to some as the Cult of Global Warming are impacting every area of public policy.  Unfortunately, unlike the funny yet harmless mullet atop Billy Ray’s skull, the policies being promulgated to deal with this "emergency" may negatively impact your business and our state’s economic progress for decades to come.

While some have provided a reasonable and common-sense approach, it seems that for many not reason, common sense, nor even contradictory facts have any impact on the Svengali-like grip the issue has on many of our policymakers and their confederates in the media.

California legislators are in the lead — take for instance the numerous "green building" bills that are zipping through the process known as the "zero net energy" mandates (AB 1065 [Lieber], AB 2030 [Lieu], and AB 2112 [Saldana]).  AB 1065 says that, beginning in 2020, all new buildings should use 50% less energy than they do today.  AB 2030 requires that all new commercial buildings generate 50% of their own power onsite by – you guessed it, 2030 – and AB 2112 actually requires that all new homes generate that much power by 2020.  Great ideas, if they weren’t technically impossible for most building types.

These bills are strict mandates, meaning they don’t recognize that a ranch style home in Temecula may be easier to pull off the grid than a five story multi-use building in Eureka; yet they would treat both the same.  The authors also don’t have any answer to the question of "what technology could possibly be used to achieve this goal."

We know the hope is that solar panels will have a quantum leap in efficiency, but no one is willing to bet their own money on that happening.  One of the authors, responding to this very question, waved his hand and said "well I am sure if this isn’t working the Legislature would just come back and fix the issue…"

Ahhh term limits and the end of responsibility – what a world!

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