The Green Religion and Expensive Government
Just wanted to mark this final stage in the incremental establishment of the green religion as the official doctrine of the land:
New major public projects and building renovations in Rhode Island, including schools, must be designed and constructed in conformance with high-performance green-building standards, according to legislation signed by Governor Carcieri.
The law applies to new construction of more than 5,000 square feet and renovation of spaces greater than 10,000 square feet if such projects receive funding from the state. The law takes effect immediately but will apply only to buildings entering the design phase after Jan. 1. Under the law, building design must conform to the internationally recognized United States Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system or an equivalent high-performance green-building standard, including the Northeast Collaborative for High-Performance Schools Protocol.
It almost reads like a comedic one-liner when Senator Louis DiPalma (D, East Bay Gerrymander) explains that “green building materials and systems [are] more affordable and available […] than they used to be.” Badum-bum. He goes on to assert that the investment “pays off in lower costs for energy, water and more over the life of a building,” but if that’s true, then the communities and organizations funding applicable projects should be easily persuaded without a state mandate.
To review: Our state is in the middle of a fiscal crisis, bleeding jobs for years on end; our government has structural deficits in the hundreds of millions in good times and bad; our communities are struggling to maintain the services that they provide; and the General Assembly and governor thought this would be an appropriate time to mandate a greater price tag on investments in public construction.