Stephen DeMaura

The USGBC also arbitrarily mandates that the wood used in LEED buildings be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a favorite standard of fringe environmental groups, including Greenpeace. Most American forests are certified using two other standards – the American Tree Farm System and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. May seem like semantics, but it is not. As a result of this deliberate decision, 90 percent of timber used is from foreign sources. In effect, LEED standards are shipping jobs overseas.

But these standards are also less effective. Some environmentalists are critical of the FSC - noting that the FSC is biased towards large conglomerates and that shipping timber from afar increases consumption of gasoline and emits more greenhouse gasses.

Fewer jobs alongside dubious results - these are not outcomes federal, state and local governments should mandate. Reversing strict adherence to LEED standards, in addition to other arbitrary “green energy” initiatives, will help leaders realize these programs are impractical and ineffective in their goal of reducing energy consumption, while the regulations also negatively impact thousands of workers and families in their area.

Stephen DeMaura

Stephen DeMaura is president of Americans for Job Security.