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BONNER COHEN: Biden Admin Could Bring Its Net-Zero Emissions Fantasy To Another Key Sector

Residential and commercial buildings across the country are the focus of a White House plan “aimed at helping the building sector transition to net-zero emissions.”

“Pre-decision” draft The plan, announced to little fanfare in January, outlines a vast scope of efforts aimed at decarbonizing one of the nation's largest economic sectors.

The White House draft, couched in the stiff bureaucratic prose typical of regulatory systems, calls for a “minimum, widely accepted definition of zero-emissions buildings.” “The purpose of the National Definition of Zero Emission Buildings is to create a standardized, consistent and measurable basis for zero emission buildings,” it states.

“This clear market signal and consistent goals, backed by measurable data,” aims to “influence building design and operation and significantly reduce emissions in the building sector.” In other words, the same people are trying to force ordinary motorists to buy EVs and make EVs mandatory. “All-electric” home appliances These guys in this country's kitchens see themselves as architects of resilient, eco-friendly structures that can withstand whatever the climate throws at them. (Related: David Blackmon: The scary news about electric cars keeps coming)

And which buildings will be included in this plan? “This definition applies not only to existing buildings, but also to new construction of non-federally owned buildings,” the White House said. “This definition applies to the operational emissions of the entire building, including emissions from tenants.”

To meet the government's net zero emissions standards, buildings must be energy efficient, have no on-site emissions from energy use, and be powered only by “clean energy,” defined as “carbon-free power sources.” It won't. No need to apply fossil fuels.

Verifying whether each building is compliant with the net zero emissions regime is a key element of the Biden plan. “EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager will provide standardized documentation that can be independently verified through a licensed expert, third-party certifier, or other agency determined by the organization using the zero-emission building definition. Generate.”

Roadmap to control

Those who want to know how the administrative state seizes power need look no further than the White House's net-zero building emissions plan. It starts with a “widely accepted minimum definition of zero-emissions buildings to move the building sector to zero greenhouse gas emissions.” Whites do not say by whom this definition is “widely accepted,” but they immediately embark on a plan to put the federal government in every building (existing and unbuilt) in every community in the country. .

Several well-trodden paths are at your disposal, including regulation of fossil fuel energy sources that can enter buildings. The other is the EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, who is not accountable to anyone at all, but who has been “independently verified” by a third party with a financial stake in the Net Zero program. have the authority to generate standardized documents.

The White House's draft proposal does not limit the size of buildings eligible for the program, so smaller structures may also be eligible.

Building Standards Law

The administration's move comes amid a nationwide battle over adoption efforts that is unfolding in states including North Carolina, Michigan and Idaho. “Climate-friendly” Building Standards Law At the state and local level. Climate change advocates often use the banner of energy efficiency to push home building standards that include thicker insulation, ultra-tight windows, and upgraded wiring to accommodate all-electric appliances and home chargers for EVs. is requesting an update.

With home prices already at record highs, the 140,000 members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) are encouraging states and local governments to enact what they say are more energy-efficient home building standards. They are rallying against the initiative.

Last year, the North Carolina chapter of the NFIB successfully lobbied against the Tarheel State's plan. Strengthen energy efficiency standards Designed to reduce the carbon footprint of residential buildings. Ron Jackson, a home builder in largely rural Moore County, said the law puts affordable housing, his specialty, out of the reach of nurses, police officers and teachers. I was worried that it would become a problem.

“All Energy Code was trying to do in my price range was bring it to areas where working men and women can't afford homes.” he said The Washington Post. Jackson, who sells homes in the $250,000 range, said the code would add $20,000 to the price of such homes, citing figures from NAHB's North Carolina affiliate. (Related: Kevin Mooney: How free market activists killed an SEC proposal that would have allowed China to curb U.S. energy production)

What the White House is saying is just a “definition” of zero-emission buildings, and it won't remain a definition for long. This would be the starting point for regulations (ideally at the federal, state, and local levels) mandating which materials can be used in green buildings throughout the supply chain.

Politically connected suppliers of these materials stand to profit greatly from this arrangement.

In contrast, prospective homebuyers, especially those with limited budgets, end up paying prices demanded by the regulatory state and its partners, the climate change cartel.

Note that President Biden has called the definition of zero-emission buildings a “clear market signal.” But that signal did not come from the market.

The problem stems from the Washington administration, whose “whole of government” approach to what it calls the “climate crisis” has spread to every corner of American society.

Dr. Bonner Russell-Cohen is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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