In recent months, the AIA has filed or has planned to file firmly-worded letters of opposition to proposed roll-backs of longstanding Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy regulations as part of open public commentary periods. With the encouragement and support of AIA COTE Advocacy, the AIA went on the public record in September in opposition to the EPA’s proposal to roll-back existing rules that limit methane gas pollution – a harmful greenhouse gas – from oil and gas production.
The proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas industries would gut restrictions on methane emissions from pipelines to the financial benefit of the fossil fuel industries. In its letter of opposition, the AIA states that “this move will greatly contribute to the growing problem of methane pollution” and the “weakening of existing methane emissions standards is directly contradictory to our commitment to society and environmental stewardship” The letter, signed by AIA EVP and Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA, was submitted to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on September 13, 2019.
The AIA is also finalizing a draft letter of opposition to the release of two new Department of Energy (DOE) rules that eliminate efficiency standards for light bulbs used in US homes and businesses. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that this de-regulation will add $14 billion to the US consumers’ annual electricity bills and increase US climate change emissions by 38 million metric tons per year.
Finally, the AIA is also preparing a letter of opposition to The EPA’s recent repeal of the 2015 Waters of the US Rule – also known as the Clean Water Rule – that protected a myriad of seasonal and isolated wetlands as well as thousands of miles of headwater streams and inland waterways from pollution. Countering the EPA’s claim that these regulations stifled economic development, environmental groups and states’ attorneys general are challenging the rollback arguing that it “jeopardizes drinking water supplies for 117 million Americans”.