Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) again have proposed an energy-efficiency bill that includes provisions that construction industry groups generally support. But the American Institute of Architects opposes the measure, introduced on March 11, because of language that would repeal a section of the 2007 energy law that phases out fossil fuels in new federal buildings and renovations by 2030.
AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter said, "It doesn't make sense that a bill touted to encourage energy conservation throughout the economy would eliminate a federal requirement [for] new and newly renovated federal buildings to do just that." A streamlined version of the Portman-Shaheen bill was added to a Senate measure to authorize building the Keystone XL pipeline. The Senate passed the package on Jan. 29 but failed to override President Obama's veto.