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Sen. Wicker Challenging LEED, Trying to Help Miss. Timber

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Knox Graham

WASHINGTON, D.C.–U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is aiming to end parts of a green building standard he says is discriminatory to people in the Mississippi timber industry.That building standard is LEED, which is short for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s website, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

This system basically rates building, neighborhoods, and other structures on how “green” they are upon being built.  The materials that go into the building are often a large part of the rating, naturally.

“The federal government wields immense influence over green building specifications in the federal sector and broader commercial marketplace,” Wicker said. “However, I believe the government ought to support competition and allow the free market to produce the best energy-efficient buildings at the lowest costs.”

Wicker is implying that clear-cut timber and things like PVC are discriminated against by this LEED rating.

“They must also support the use of domestically produced materials such as sustainable wood and green technologies,” he said in regards to the current standard.

The amendment specifies that the Department of Energy (DOE) and the General Services Administration (GSA) should allow the use of multiple green building rating systems for both commercial and residential buildings.

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