Governor’s Order Mandates Statewide Green Building

Washington State’s Gov. Gary Locke has directed state agencies to adopt more environmentally friendly practices and called for more aggressive actions to combat global warming. Locke recently signed an executive order directing that all new state buildings be built to green building standards and that those over 25,000 square feet be certified to a Silver Rating in the LEED rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The ruling also directs agencies to reduce petroleum use throughout state fleets by 20 percent in five years and directs an additional 10 percent reduction of energy use by state facilities on top of the 10 percent ordered in 2001 by Locke. Additionally, it orders a 30 percent reduction in paper use and an increase in purchases of paper with higher recycled content. “State government must continue to ensure that our investments in government facilities and operations provide long-term social, economic and environmental benefit,” Locke said. “These actions will help both the environment and taxpayers.” Locke previously issued an executive order on sustainability in 2002. It required agencies to adopt sustainability plans and modify their business practices toward the goals of shifting to clean energy, minimizing energy and water use and eliminating waste and toxics in the products we purchase. Locke also called for more action in the state to combat global warming. Locke has joined with Gov. Kulongoski of Oregon and Gov. Schwarzenegger of California in the West Coast Governors’ Global Warming Initiative. The three governors are currently reviewing the staff report prepared on the initiative. “Although the issue of global warming is much bigger than just the West Coast states, action on our part is necessary because of the inaction of the Bush Administration,” Locke said. Locke called for Washington State to set greenhouse gas emissions targets, including a return to the 1990 statewide emissions level by 2010 and a target of 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. He also called for the state to incorporate aggressive energy efficiency measures into updates of state building energy codes and to set goals and implement strategies and incentives to increase retail energy sales from renewable resources during the next decade.

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