Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

BOMA Position

BOMA International supports voluntary and incentive-based programs for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. BOMA International also believes the value of GHG reductions will accelerate building energy efficiency investments most efficiently if the benefits accrue directly to the building that makes these investments. In other words, buildings – not utilities – need to accrue any credits or offsets in a regulatory cap and trade program. Legislation must allow the free market to work by rewarding investors in efficiency or renewable energy with the financial value of the resulting CO2 emissions reductions.

BOMA International opposes cap and trade policy options, such as those included in H.R. 2454 - the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009, that do not reinvest funds raised into energy efficiency. The cap and trade program as proposed will increase costs to business without reinvesting to effectively accomplish its environmental objectives.

Background

On May 15, 2009, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced H.R. 2454 – the American Clean Energy Security Act of 2009. This sweeping legislation combines energy and climate change provisions, including a cap and trade program.

On May 18, a 4-day marathon markup session began in the committee, which reported out the bill on May 21, largely along party lines (1 Republican voted in favor; 4 Democrats opposed). Though eight other House committees have jurisdiction over portions of the bill, it is expected to be voted on by the full House this summer. At this time, the Democrats estimate that they have will have enough votes to pass the bill.

In the Senate, energy and climate change are being considered as two separate pieces of legislation. At this time, it does not appear that the Senate has the needed 60 votes to prevent a filibuster, and it is unclear if they will take action on a House-passed bill.

If Congress fails to act, EPA may move forward and regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act of 1990. In April, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Massachusetts v. EPA, that the EPA has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions. The Court further ruled that the agency could not sidestep its authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change unless it could provide a scientific basis for its refusal. On April 17, 2009, the EPA released its proposed finding that that the combined emissions of six GHGs cause or contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare. Although the EPA did not attach regulations to the finding, taking such action could lead to regulation of GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act.

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