Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Power to the States

On ENN.com today there was an article reporting Obama had sent a memo asking the EPA to consider allowing 14 states to set tougher emission standards. I have to say, I respect states that want to be more accountable than the minimum required under federal law.

We saw this with California when they changed their building codes in response to the 1970s oil crisis. They now use 40% less energy per capita than the national average. They dared to be better and build better and they accomplished both. Impressive. I sometimes wonder if California is their own country or really part of the U.S.

Also, in my UK building newsletter, they reported that Obama is looking to UK for leadership in green building. They have the "Code for Sustainable Homes" that puts our green efforts at a distant second. As a building code, it may be a tad tough to achieve, but at least they set the bar high. http://www.building.co.uk/sustain_story.asp?storycode=3132028&origin=bldgsustainnewsletter It is about time we "adopt and adapt" some proven sustainability ideas from our "socialist" neighbors who figured out some of these challenges years ago.


  1. It is refreshing to know that the leader of our country is taking steps toward A cleaner way of life for Americans.

  2. This reminds me of the book Ecotopia, where CA, OR and WA actually seceded to form their own sustainable country. I hope instead we can use their standards to improve the rest of our country.

  3. California will set a high bar for CAFE standards, and being the single largest market in the USA, will have an enormous impact. Steven Chu, our new Secretary of Energy, is the former Director of The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab which is doing great work in many sustainable applications.

  4. Hausfrau, I have Ecotopia and have to say it reminds me of when I lived in Taos because they too consider themselves separate from the U.S. mainstream.