The Torch - December 2014

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The Torch Offical Publication of Green Builder Coalition


Activities

Model Energy Codes Will Be Added To The GBA

The Green Builder® Coalition has a content-sharing agreement in place with the International Code Council which would allow us to add the 2009 and 2012 IECCs to The Green Building Administrator. The work is near completion, and users of The GBA will soon be able to compare the two most widely adopted model energy codes to 4 national green building programs (ecoSelect, Energy Star v3, LEED for Homes and NGBS).

“I’ve often referred to this as the holy grail of The GBA,” said Executive Director Mike Collignon. “Once we could get this software program to the point where people could compare what they have to do with what they could do, then it would be a resource that many throughout the industry would want to utilize.” The Coalition has been careful to preserve the value architects, designers, engineers, raters and consultants bring to the table. “This is not a replacement for those professionals’ services. Rather, it’s a tool to help them clearly explain the various code and program requirements to their clients,” stated Collignon. Because there are usually local amendments to the model code, the local professional still provides a value-add by explaining the jurisdictional nuances on requirements such as insulation or ACH50 levels.

There are more additions planned for 2015, so stay tuned to The Torch for more GBA-related news.


Appearances

The Coalition Will Exhibit and Give Two Presentations at RESNET

2015 RESNET ConferenceThe Green Builder® Coalition will be in booth 312 on the RESNET Expo floor, and is once again honored to be selected to present at the annual RESNET Conference, February 16-18, 2015 in San Diego, CA. This time, we had two proposals chosen from the many worthy submittals.

One presentation is titled, “Threading The Needle” and will feature Bill Fay of EECC and Michael Hobbs of PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy. It will investigate how the industry can reconcile code compliance, appraisals and access to financing. This session will be moderated by Executive Director Mike Collignon.

The other presentation features Technical Director Laureen Blissard and Barb Yankie of Green Building Consulting/Homes+ and is titled, “Multi-Family Certifications: Learning The Hard Way”. Three potential pitfalls will be highlighted, and insight provided on ways to integrate RESNET-based protocols and HERS rater services.

“Threading The Needle” is scheduled for 3:30pm PT on Monday, February 16. “Multi-Family Certifications: Learning The Hard Way” is set for 1:30pm PT on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 18. Please check the RESNET Conference website for more info.

We look forward to seeing you in sunny California!


Upcoming Industry Events

Students

Industry conferences and trade shows will continue into the first quarter of the new year. Below are a few opportunities for you to learn and network.

 

 

 


Design & Construction Week

Design & Construction WeekFor the 2nd consecutive year, the International Builders Show, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and the International Window Coverings Expo are co-locating at the Las Vegas Convention Center from January 20-22, 2015. The show floor will be open from 9am – 5pm daily. For more information, please click here.


RESNET Conference & Expo

2015 RESNET Conference
The 2015 RESNET Building Performance Conference will take place on February 16-18 in San Diego, CA at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina. Educational sessions start at 10:30am on Monday and run until 5pm on Wednesday. The expo floor will have hours Monday through Wednesday. For more information, please click here.

 


Better Buildings: Better Business – Illinois

 

 Better BusinessThe Better Buildings: Better Business Conference provides one central hub where builders, suppliers, manufacturers, contractors and the industry can find out what they need to know to stay current and ahead of trends. It will take place at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & Conference Center on February 26 & 27, 2015. The expo floor will be open both days. For more information, please click here.


Better Buildings: Better Business – Wisconsin

 Better BusinessThe Better Buildings: Better Business Conference of Wisconsin will be held March 11–13, 2015 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. The expo floor will be open on Thursday and Friday. For more information, please click here.


Coverings

Coverings 2015Coverings is the largest global tile & stone exhibition in North America. Its spectacular array of products, conference programming, and many show floor features (all for FREE) can be seen at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from April 14-17, 2015. For more information, please click here.


As I Am...

Ron Jones

Ron JonesEach issue, we’ll sit down with a green building professional to gain a personal insight into their motivations, inspirations and experiences. This issue, we feature Ron Jones, green builder.

The Torch: What motivated you to enter the sustainability industry?

Ron Jones: Truthfully, I just naturally gravitated to it. I came from a very humble background and learned at an unusually early age that being resourceful, respectful and careful with what we have is extremely important. Being in and around construction since I was 12 years old I have always been aware of how careless and wasteful the building business can be. I have always aspired to excellence in all things and sustainability is an essential part of that to me.

TT: Describe your first green project. Did you encounter any hurdles on that first project? (If yes, how did you overcome them?)

RJ: I don’t think I can pinpoint a “first” green project exactly, I usually just go back to a day in November 1963 when JFK was shot and I listened to the news reports on a tinny crystal radio while cleaning used brick in a recycling yard. Looking back on it, I was already involved in green building at that point.

TT: What building product or technique do you think will be the next “game changer”?

RJ: Hard to say, but I actually think it will be a combination of breakthroughs that make it possible for buildings to get pretty close to self-sufficiency, creating virtually everything that they need to operate independently.

TT: Who inspires you the most?

RJ: People with the courage of their convictions who aren’t afraid to take on the bullies of the world.

TT: If you had it to do over again, what profession would you choose?

RJ: I would be a cowboy.

TT: What do you enjoy the most when you’re not at work?

RJ: Being where I can enjoy nature, especially wildlife, and reading anything that is well written. I treasure solitude and privacy.

TT: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d like to pass along to others?

RJ: Words can be powerful. If you say what you really believe, people will really believe what you say.


Job Opportunities

Below you will find job postings for green collar jobs around the country.

If you have a job opening you’d like to list here, please contact the Green Builder® Coalition at info@greenbuildercoalition.org.


CLEAResult is currently hiring energy-efficiency engineers, consultants, analysts and coordinators. Candidates should have experience conducting energy audits, identifying energy-efficiency opportunities, using energy-modeling tools, performing energy-savings calculations, and/or developing measurement & verification (M&V) plans. P.E. and/or C.E.M. certification is preferred but not required, and some positions won’t need such credentials. To view their 166 job listings throughout the United States and Canada, please click here.

CLEAResult is an energy-optimization firm that designs, develops and implements energy-efficiency programs on behalf of utility companies across the country.  Our programs are designed to help utilities manage load growth and meet legislative requirements by identifying energy-savings opportunities and implementing energy-efficiency improvements.  CLEAResult is ranked on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

If you are interested in any of the above job openings, please contact:

James Hatheway
Recruiter
(512) 259-2383

jhatheway@clearesult.com

Or apply via this website: www.clearesult.com


The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) currently has 110 jobs listed on their site. Please note the closing date on the position prior to applying. Most are located in their home state of Washington, although 2 jobs are located in Washington, DC and one job is in College Park, MD. If you have any interest in these highly scientific roles, please visit their new career site by clicking here.

Southern Energy Management (SEM), the Southeast’s leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, is looking to fill 3 full-time positions.

#1: Director of First Impressions: This opening is for a full-time administrative support professional to help manage a busy Morrisville office. The right candidate will have high energy, a natural inclination toward service, a strong team and work ethic, as well as a knack for quickly understanding the multiple roles team members fill. SEM is looking for a self-starter who enjoys being organized, yet is equally comfortable with multi-tasking and handling shifting responsibilities/priorities. This is a dually focused role with equal importance placed on the external representation and internal support.

To view the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.

#2: Multi-Family Building Performance Technician: This full-time position will be based out of our Morrisville office with the majority of work days beginning from the Building Performance Technician’s home address. The Building Performance Technician supports the day-to-day goals of the company through efficient fulfillment of contracted work via effective team coordination and streamlined communication of actionable information. This is an on-site position and will require travel throughout SEM’s service area including, but not exclusive to NC, SC, VA, TN and GA.

A Building Performance Technician is expected to assist and lead in the collection of field data for residential new and existing single family and multifamily housing. Included in the collection of field data are visual inspections and performance testing. Visual inspections include the inspection in new housing for HERS Ratings, ENERGY STAR compliance, and inspection in new housing for various Green Building certifications programs including: NGBS, LEED for Homes, Water Sense, Green Globes and Earth Craft. Performance Testing includes but is not limited to the testing of whole building leakage, HVAC duct system leakage, exhaust fan flows, room pressures, and HVAC air flow testing. Having the HERS Rater and/or BPI Building Analyst Professional designation is preferred.

To view the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.

#3: Solar PV Technician: SEM is seeking Solar Technician to work with our fast-growing Solar Operations team.

The Technician is responsible for the installation of photovoltaic systems. Roofing experience is required.

To view the complete job listing and to apply, please click here.


The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 100 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers. They are looking to fill four job openings:

#1: Director of Market Strategy & Execution: The Senior Economist envisions, assures, leads and advances NEEA initiatives, programs, market strategy, and codes and standards efforts designed to transform the market and advance the region’s energy efficiency capability and results. The primary metric for this work is the successful, efficient and timely delivery of initiative and project results in alignment with strategic and operating plans.

Based in Portland, OR, this position is a supervisory position, ensuring that subordinate managers and staff have clear work direction and guidance. Responsibilities include hiring and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising and managing performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 4 years management experience required. To view the complete job listing, please click here.

#2: Senior Executive Assistant and Assistant to the Board: This role will provide professional administrative and organizational support to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the Executive Director. This position also coordinates the activities in support of the Board of Directors and its Committees under general guidance of the Executive Director. To view the complete job listing, please click here.

#3: Project Manager, Research and Evaluation: The Project Manager is responsible for effectively managing contractors to deliver objective, high quality market research and evaluations of NEEA projects. The Project Manager will plan evaluation and market research efforts and ensure that work products are delivered within budget and in a timely manner that supports organizational decision-making.

A master’s degree is required, along with at least 5 years’ experience in evaluation and/or market research project management. To view the complete job listing, please click here.

#4: Senior Policy and Research Analyst: This role is responsible for leading the development, documentation, management and implementation of policies related to the modeling, forecasting and reporting of energy savings and cost effectiveness metrics. The Senior Policy and Research Analyst will advance the science of emerging technology and energy efficiency forecasting and modeling, and proactively generate new value metrics for reporting purposes to NEEA’s stakeholders.

Seven years’ experience in a quantitative energy policy-related position and a master’s degree is required. To view the complete job listing, please click here.

NEEA is an equal opportunity employer. They offer pre-tax transportation benefits, professional development funds, a generous healthcare package, and retirement savings with employer matching. They also offer a flexible 9/80 schedule to help their employees achieve a better work-life balance.

The Institute for Market Transformation is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. The prevailing focus of IMT’s work is energy efficiency in buildings. Their activities include technical and market research, policy and program development, and promotion of best practices and knowledge exchange.  All their work involves many collaborators and targets a broad range of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors. They currently have 3 positions open.

#1: Corporate Relations Manager: IMT is looking for a dynamic, outgoing, results-oriented individual to lead their new Corporate Relations program. You will work closely with the growing number of corporations interested in IMT’s work and with IMT program staff to support their work at the forefront of market-based solutions to today’s climate and energy challenges. This individual serves as the point of contact for corporate partners, leading IMT’s efforts in corporate prospecting, sponsorship, membership, and related support. You will also support the IMT Executive Director in corporate outreach and related meetings and travel. The position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume, cover letter, writing sample and salary requirements to imtjobs@imt.org. Please write “Corporate Relations Manager” in the subject line.

To view the full job listing, please click here.

#2: Director of Development:
IMT seeks a seasoned, results-oriented Development Director to build upon their stable, growing funding base and lead IMT’s development program through to the next level. This position is vital to maintaining IMT at the forefront of market-based solutions to today’s climate and energy challenges. The Development Director will lead the design and implementation of an integrated development strategy, working with senior IMT staff, the board, and their many partners. They also will steward relationships and manage development activities for IMT’s base of current foundation supporters, while cultivating future opportunities for government, corporate, and new foundation donors. The position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

This is a Director-level position. Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume, cover letter, writing sample and salary requirements to imtjobs@imt.org. Please write “Development Director” in the subject line.

To view the full job listing, please click here.

#3: Senior Program Associate, Commercial Real Estate Engagement: The successful candidate will work closely with landlords, large tenants, trade associations, peer non-profits, and colleagues at IMT to advance policies and practices to improve the energy efficiency of commercial real estate. This is an exceptional opportunity to work at the forefront of market-based solutions to today’s climate, energy and urban challenges.

This position will report to the Director of the Commercial Real Estate Engagement program.

Salary is commensurate with experience. To apply, please email resume, cover letter, writing sample, and salary requirements to jobs@imt.org. Please write “Senior Program Associate: Commercial Real Estate Engagement” in the subject line.

To view the full job listing, please click here.


The Alliance to Save Energy is a non-profit coalition of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders that promotes energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security. They currently have four job openings:

#1: Senior Research Associate: The Alliance’s Policy and Research Team is seeking a Senior Research Associate.

The position will provide analysis of energy efficiency policies, programs and technologies and assist in the development of Alliance positions on federal and state legislative initiatives and rulemakings. The Senior Research Associate will prepare white papers, reports, fact sheets and similar products, contribute regularly to the Alliance website and media content (blog posts, articles and other media pieces), and represent the Alliance in coalitions, external work groups, collaboratives and similar efforts.

Experience and skill with quantitative, economic, and/or technical analysis is particularly desired. Knowledge of energy efficiency policies (e.g., utility regulation and programs, building codes and appliance standards, efficiency financing, Clean Air Act interactions), familiarity with energy efficiency technologies and techniques, and an understanding of the broader energy landscape are required. This position will report to the Director of Research & Regulatory Affairs and work closely with other members of the Policy & Research team as well as other Alliance staff.

Salary range is $45,000 – $55,000, based on experience. The Alliance offers a generous benefits package and a comfortable work environment in downtown Washington, DC convenient to the Metro. Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer.

To view the full job listing, please click here. To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample AS ONE DOCUMENT. Please follow this link.

#2: Events & Marketing Associate: The Alliance to Save Energy is seeking an Events & Marketing Associate to support its Communications & Events team. The Events & Marketing Associate will assist with the planning and marketing of Alliance events, including Energy 2030 On the Road briefings, Policy Perspectives Breakfasts, the EE Global Forum and Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards Dinner. The position will report directly to the Vice President of Communications and Events, and will work closely with members of the Communications & Events, Stakeholder Engagement and Policy teams.

To view the full listing, please click here. To upload your resume and cover letter as ONE DOCUMENT to apply for this position, please use this link.

#3: Associate: The Alliance to Save Energy is seeking a full-time Associate to assist with implementation of its PowerSave Campus Program.

The PowerSave Campus Program is a student-driven energy efficiency and workforce education and training initiative currently serving 16 campuses in California. The program employs and manages paid student interns to develop and implement projects that promote careers in the sustainability field, generate energy savings on campus, increase awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, and encourage the infusion of sustainability concepts into academic curricula.

Candidates must have exceptionally strong written and oral communication skills, along with experience in project management, event planning, and budgeting. In addition, candidates should be self-starters who can juggle multiple tasks with minimum supervision, have a good eye for detail and, at the same time, be capable of seeing the bigger picture. Experience working with campus sustainability initiatives, especially energy related, is desirable, as is marketing and graphic design expertise.

The Associate will work in the Alliance to Save Energy’s field office located in downtown Oakland, CA which houses a small, collegial, and busy team of environmental professionals. Salary is commensurate with experience, with excellent benefits. To view the full listing, please click here. To upload your resume and cover letter as ONE DOCUMENT to apply for this position, please use this link.

#4: Director of Communications: This role serves as the chief communications officer responsible for advancing the Alliance to Save Energy’s (the Alliance’s) programs and initiatives. Responsible for external communications, which includes the coordination and implementation of strategic branding, media relations, and integrated communication campaigns. Advance the Alliance through effective communication with various constituencies, informing, educating and garnering support on behalf of the organization.

A Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism or other relevant field is required. Advanced degree preferred. Five or more years of senior communications experience within a non-profit institution or congressional office is preferred (relevant agency or for-profit experience considered). Background in energy efficiency and/or energy/environmental policy preferred. The successful candidate must have demonstrated success managing media and journalistic relationships.

The salary range for this job is between $75,000 and $90,000. To view the full listing, please click here. To upload your resume and cover letter as ONE DOCUMENT to apply for this position, please use this link.


The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is a leading national nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. They currently have an open position:

#1: Behavior and Human Dimensions Program Director: ACEEE is looking for a dynamic, self-motivated individual with experience and skills in conducting applied research and managing projects on the social, cultural, and behavioral aspects of energy use and energy efficiency practices and investments. The Behavior and Human Dimensions program is a cross-cutting program and the director works closely with other ACEEE research programs and a network of national experts.

The new director will hold a senior leadership position at ACEEE and will report to the executive director. The director will have a strong degree of discretion in shaping the work of the program. A strong, practical background in behavioral science and research is a prerequisite. While energy efficiency program experience is not a prerequisite, understanding these programs is key.

The position is full time and will be based in ACEEE’s office in downtown Washington, D.C. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. ACEEE provides a generous benefits package. To view the full job listing, please click here.

To apply, please send cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to job_openings@aceee.org and use “Behavior Program Director” in the subject line. They do not accept phone calls.

ACEEE is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, creed, class, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability.


The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) is a regional nonprofit organization founded in 1996. Our mission is to promote the efficient use of energy in homes, buildings and industry in the Northeast U.S. They have two open positions:

#1: DesignLights Consortium Director: NEEP seeks a DesignLights Consortium Director. This full-time position directs NEEP’s DesignLights Consortium® (DLC), a project serving the US and Canada with the mission to accelerate the market adoption of quality, high efficiency commercial lighting solutions. The Director manages a team of professional and contract staff hired to support DLC products and services, and reports to the Executive Director. As a member of the NEEP Senior Management Team, the Director helps NEEP to maintain a thriving, inclusive culture to achieve NEEP’s mission and keep NEEP a leader in energy efficiency.

To view the full job listing, please click here. To apply, please email a resume, along with a cover letter stating where you saw this posting and outlining your interest in NEEP’s mission, to Bob McTighe at: bmctighe@neep.org. No phone calls please.

#2: Policy Research and Analysis Associate: NEEP is seeking a full-time Public Policy Research and Analysis Associate to work as an integral member of the organization’s team that seeks to reduce energy use in homes and buildings through public policy and best practices in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The Policy Research and Analysis Associate assists NEEP’s development of educational materials to inform policymakers of the role of energy efficiency to meet public policy goals, including those within economic, environmental and energy system platforms. The responsibilities of the position include: conducting research, using analysis and analytical tools that supports policy outreach activities; assisting in the preparation of reports, presentations and other materials to regional policy-makers, using the results of these analyses; and, as needed, representing the organization in a variety of public policy venues, including hearings, working groups and other public meetings. The position also includes updating information for the NEEP website and internal library materials.

To apply, please email a resume, along with a cover letter stating where you saw this posting and outlining your interest in NEEP’s mission, to Bob McTighe at: bmctighe@neep.org. No phone calls please.

NEEP is committed to an organizational culture of inclusion, diversity and equity. We are committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, and physical or mental disability. We apply this policy to assure non-discriminatory practices in recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, benefits and all other activities. It also supports our capacity to achieve our mission to accelerate energy efficiency with broad participation across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

Any listing above does not constitute an endorsement by the Green Builder® Coalition. We do not have any professional or financial stake in the preceding information. Rather, we provide this solely for the benefit of those seeking employment.


Voices

Train of Thought

Shameful

It’s purely coincidental, but the timing of the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima (COP20 for short) and the passage of the continuing resolution/omnibus spending bill by the US Congress is a fitting display of two very different philosophies.

Island nations are looking for significant pledges (or better yet, actions) in order to preserve their countries’ existence. Rising sea levels are causing increased erosion, so some of these nations are watching their land disappear before their eyes. The US and China made a major announcement prior to COP20, when the US pledged to reduce emissions by 28% and China committed to peak emissions by 2030. President Obama also promised to give $3 billion to the UN Green Climate Fund, which is established to help developing countries adopt sustainable practices. These two actions gave COP20 some serious momentum from the outset.

It was most likely the serious commitment of these two superpowers that enabled any movement at COP20. As Sara Gutterman recently wrote, the “Lima Accord creates the much anticipated framework for a global treaty that can be signed next year in Paris by global leaders, requiring countries to submit to the UN over the next six months a detailed domestic policy plan to limit their greenhouse gas emissions, with transparent metrics, identifiable methods of verification, and measurable milestones”. To translate this into code parlance, there are a couple of different compliance paths: developed countries and developing countries. Predictably, the framework agreement falls short of what is really needed for emissions reductions, and it may get reduced even more in Paris next year, but at least it’s a step in the right direction… and it’s a step that hasn’t been taken in 20 years.

Now, compare the above progress to what transpired on the very same weekend in the US Congress. In another exercise of “governance by crisis”, they passed the 2015 Fiscal Year Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This 1,600+ page, $1.1 trillion dollar piece of legislation contains many last-minute policy riders. Left to debate on the floor, many of these would never pass. But in order to avoid yet another government shutdown, politicians hurriedly compromised (read: caved) on a variety of issues, from campaign finance reform to banking regulations to environmental protections. In the interest of brevity, we’ll keep our gaze confined to the environment. (At the end of this column, I’ll provide links to a couple of articles covering the various riders, including the environmentally-related. But if you want to read a sharp rebuke on the undoing of a Dodd-Frank provision, read Gregg Levine’s article. Wow.)

EPA – It is forbidden from regulating manure management systems, cow burps and farts. On the surface, this sounds like a gift, as I can’t imagine anyone truly wanting to deal with that every day. However, the agricultural industry is a major source of methane. To add insult to injury, the agency lost $60 million in funding for the next fiscal year, and Republicans are happy to tout that $2.2 billion has been cut from the EPA’s budget in the past 5 fiscal years. Unless staffers want to take pay cuts (hey, something is better than nothing), they may have to cut personnel back to 1989 levels.

Amtrak – Their funding ($1.39 billion) was untouched, yet they set a record for passengers.

US Fish & Wildlife – The agency wanted to put the greater sage-grouse and Gunnison sage-grouse on the endangered species list, but they are prevented from taking such preventive action. Apparently, the economic interests of Western energy companies (specifically, their drilling and mining activities) take priority over the existence of a species.

Department of Energy – The energy-sucking Edison bulbs received a stay of execution, because now DoE is not allowed to develop and enforce new energy-efficiency standards.

Transportation – There is no new funding for high-speed rail projects, nor can the department fund most of its current projects. However, Washington, DC’s subway and bus system got $150 million for improvements. (Where is Congress located again? Oh, yeah…) The silver lining is that $10.9 billion was set aside for transit programs around the country, “including the construction of new rail and rapid bus projects in California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Texas”.[1]

UN Green Climate Fund – Remember that $3 billion the President pledged? Congress decided to break that promise by blocking the money. Senator and incoming chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee James Inhofe (R-OK) said, “The President’s climate change agenda has only siphoned precious taxpayer dollars away from the real problems facing the American people.”[2]

Export-Import Bank – They were previously banned from loaning money for the construction of coal-fired power plants overseas, but not anymore! “The U.S.’s official export credit agency” is open for business.[3]

Railroads – Congress set aside $3 million “to expand inspections along the roughly 14,000 miles of track used by trains hauling oil tankers”.[1] For those scoring at home, that’s $0.04/foot of track. Feel safer yet?

As the world looks to the US to step up and lead on a pressing environmental challenge, Congress is giving indications it wants to step back. I can only hope we undergo a domestic course correction soon.

Helpful articles highlighting policy riders in the omnibus appropriations bill:

Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/12/09/whats-in-the-spending-bill-we-skim-it-so-you-dont-have-to/

Deirdre Walsh, CNN - http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/10/politics/policy-riders-spending-bill/


[2] “House Spending Bill Blocks US Funding for the UN’s Green Climate Fund” by Michael Bastich of The Daily Caller, December 10, 2014. http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/10/house-spending-bill-blocks-us-funding-for-the-uns-green-climate-fund/

[3] “How Congress Snuck Changes to U.S. Environmental Policy into the New Budget Bill” by Joshua A. Krisch and Josh Fischman of the Scientific American, December 17, 2014. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-congress-snuck-changes-to-u-s-environmental-policy-into-the-new-budget-bill/


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