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Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Federal District Court in Washington State Upholds State Energy Code

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 7, 2011, a federal district court in Washington State held in Bldg. Indus. Ass'n of Wash. v. Wash. State Bldg. Code Council that the Washington State Building Code Council did not violate federal law when it...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: EPA Announces Competition to Improve Building Energy Efficiency

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On May 2, 2011, EPA announced the Battle of the Buildings , a competition among commercial, medical, educational, and public buildings to reduce energy use. The competition, which is being administered by EPA’s Energy...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Senator Carper Introduces Bill Designed to Improve Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On May 11, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced a wide-ranging bill setting energy efficiency standards for new federal buildings and requiring federal agencies to make publicly available energy use reductions. Among...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Announces Program to Test Green Products in City-Owned Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP In May 2011, New York City announced that it is accepting applications for the Municipal Entrepreneurial Testing System (METS) , a new program that will allow startup companies to test green products, such as smart meters and...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Global Agencies Launch Project to Promote Energy Efficient Buildings in East Africa

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP In May 2011, the Global Environment Facility, in collaboration with two United Nation agencies (the U.N. Environment Program and the U.N. Human Settlements Program), announced a project to promote building energy efficiency...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York Passes Innovative Financing Mechanism for Improving Building Energy Efficiency

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On June 22, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed The Power NY Act of 2011 (A. 8510/S. 5844) (PNY Act).[1] Governor Cuomo is expected to sign it. The new law, once enacted, would do two very important things: (1) provide...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Obama Administration Launches Better Buildings Challenge

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On June 30 th , the Department of Energy announced the Better Buildings Challenge , a public-private partnership that seeks to solicit large-scale commitments and provide financing and technical assistance for retrofitting...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Department of Energy Requires States to Review and Possibly Update Their Building Energy Codes

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP The Department of Energy recently published two final determinations that will require states to review and possibly update their residential and commercial building energy efficiency codes. Pursuant to a July 19 final determination...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Dept. of Energy and ASHRAE Sign Memorandum of Agreement to Develop Energy Efficiency Standards for Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On July 25, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) announced that they had signed a memorandum of agreement stating that they will work...

CCCL Publishes Draft Small-Scale Solar Siting Ordinance

Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law (CCCL) has prepared a first draft of a model small-scale solar-siting ordinance . The model ordinance offers a framework that can enable municipalities to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of solar energy resources. The ordinance...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law Prepares Small-Scale Solar Siting Ordinance, Seeks Comments

Columbia Law School's Center for Climate Change Law (CCCL) has prepared a first draft of a model small-scale solar-siting ordinance . The model ordinance offers a framework that can enable municipalities to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of solar energy resources. The ordinance...

Gifford v. USGBC - Dismissed (But Not on the Merits)

By J. Wylie Donald, Partner, McCarter & English One of the more infuriating things about lawyers is that often, if they do their job right, their client wins and no one else benefits from it. This is what happened on August 15 before Judge Sand in the Southern District of New York in the closely...

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: Recent Controversy and Litigation

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP There is a continuing controversy over Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides loans for improving energy efficiency in buildings. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing has been challenged in...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New Study Calls into Question the Offsetting Potential of White Roofs

By Adam Riedel U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu has consistently touted the benefits of white or reflective roofs and "cool pavements" (white or lightly colored pavements) in combating climate change, and has even mandated that all new roofs on Energy Department buildings be either...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: President Directs Federal Agencies to Enter Into $2 Billion Worth of Energy Efficiency Contracts for Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On December 2, 2011, President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion worth of contracts over the next two years to improve government buildings' energy efficiency. According to a Presidential...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: NYC Department of City Planning Introduces Zone Green

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Zoning laws can sometimes make it more difficult for building owners to construct new green buildings or make existing ones more energy efficient. The New York City Department of City Planning has attempted to address this issue...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Enacts Three More Recommendations From the Green Codes Task Force

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On December 27, 2011, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law three bills that enacted recommendations of the New York City Green Codes Task Force. The bills are aimed at carrying out long-term municipal plans...

International Green Construction Code: Jumping the Gun and Veering off Track?

By Vicki R. Harding, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP As noted in a prior post , the final International Green Construction Code (IGCC) has been approved and is scheduled for publication in March 2012. The IGCC was developed by the International Code Council (ICC) - which issues model codes that are...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Report Quantifies the Environmental Value of Building Reuse

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Recently, the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation issued a report that confirms the environmental benefit of building reuse. The report concludes, among other things, that it can take between...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Urban Green Council Releases Report Finding That Green Codes Task Force’s Recommendations Have Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Saved Energy

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 2, 2012, the Urban Green Council released a report finding that New York City is on track to meet its goal of lowering carbon emissions, energy consumption, and waste by following recommendations of the Green Codes...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Recent Report Quantifies the Market for Energy Efficiency Retrofits

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP In March, The Rockefeller Foundation and DB Climate Change Advisors released a research paper entitled United States Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models . Among other things, the report...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Industry Seeking to Block Implementation of Rule Making New Federal Buildings Fossil-Fuel Free by 2030

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP In 2007, President George Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act . Included in the Act is Section 433 , which requires that all new federal buildings (and major renovations of federal buildings costing at least ...

State Net Capitol Journal Legislative Updates: Ohio and California Legislatures Approve Measures for Regulation of Shale Gas Fracking

ENERGY: The OHIO House and Senate approve SB 315, which requires greater disclosure of chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process to extract natural gas from underground shale deposits. The measure also requires water sampling within 1,500 feet of proposed water wells, mandates...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Ninth Circuit Affirms Decision Finding Washington State Building Energy Code Met Requirements for Obtaining Exemption Under Federal Law

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On June 25, 2012, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in Bldg. Indus. Ass'n v. Wash. State Bldg. Code Council a district court decision that found that an energy efficient building energy code adopted by the Washington Building Code...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: PACE Update-Court Issues Decision Concerning Litigation Over FHFA’s Stance and Agency Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP This blog has been following the controversy surrounding Property Assessed Clean Energy, more commonly referred to as PACE. Here's an update: Background In the last several years, several states and municipalities...