LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards have over the years become the de facto leader in environmentally friendly building practices, but now a "coalition of U.S. chemical companies calling itself the American High Performance Building Coalition" is leading the charge to ban these standards at the state and federal level, Columbus Business First reports. Opponents of LEED say the group that established them, the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, has a monopoly on such standards and that the organization has moved from focusing on energy efficiency to outright banning certain products due to unfounded toxicity claims.
Ohio is the latest state to see anti-LEED legislation, following North Carolina and Florida, according to The Associated Press (See our Nov 15, 2013, blog post – "Two Ohio senators introduce S.C.R. 25 to ban LEED certification in all public construction"). In addition, "efforts are underway to ask Congress to ban the use of LEED in federal construction projects, and executive orders and amendments in several states – including Maine, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama – have essentially banned LEED in state construction." Many of the anti-LEED bills and amendments don't mention the standards by name, but instead "ban ratings systems that they say discriminate against American wood products," which LEED does through its "single, stringent forest-certification system," according to the AP. For more, read the full Columbus Business First and Associated Press stories.