Jan. 2, 2019

President Donald Trump set in motion a vast rollback of energy, climate and environmental regulations during his first two years in office. Over the next two years, those actions will face intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill.
On Thursday, Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and the committees that conduct government oversight. Within the first few months of the year, incoming committee chairs intend to hold a series of hearings to pick apart Trump's energy and environmental policies and what role industry insiders played in crafting them. More . . .

Jan. 1, 2019

While political uncertainty fills the New Year, energy security, thankfully, does not. The United States is shedding coal-fired power plants and replacing them with natural gas and renewables. And this is being done despite efforts by the president to curtail this course.
Trump’s withdrawal of the Paris climate agreement has not stopped the states, with at least 30 of them having created policies to encourage more renewables and more energy efficiency. And, by extension, they are discouraging the use of carbon-heavy fuels such as coal. Among the leaders in this area are California, New York and Washington State. And there’s also New Mexico, New Jersey and Nevada, as well as Washington, D.C. that just passed a green energy goal of 100% by 2032. More . . .

Dec. 31, 2018

A decade ago, electricity use in the U.S. stopped rising. It had fallen briefly during recessions before, so the initial dip in 2008 and 2009 wasn’t a shock. But after bouncing back in 2010, consumption remained unchanged even as the economy continued to recover. This unprecedented plateau, plus a shift away from coal in electricity generation, enabled an almost 15 percent decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions. It also exacerbated the coal industry’s troubles and forced utilities to grapple with flat demand.

Over the past year, though, U.S. electricity use rose almost 2.3 percent, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, by far the biggest increase since 2010. The numbers are preliminary and could be a blip. But any change is worthy of attention. More . . .

Environmental Working Group
Jan. 3, 2019

The Trump administration has denied a petition by a coalition of environmental groups calling for increased reporting of asbestos importation and use by U.S. manufacturers – despite a sharp rise in asbestos imports into U.S. ports.
The petition asked the Environmental Protection Agency to use its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA, to require importers and users of asbestos and asbestos-containing products to report on their activities and disclose these reports to the public.  More . . .


Sponsor: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)
Introduced: Jan. 3, 2019


Dec. 19, 2018

This notice provides the agendas and schedules for the May 16, 2019 meeting of the Green Building Advisory Committee (the Committee), as well as the schedule for a series of conference calls for two task groups of the Committee.

Energy Dept.
Dec. 19, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) seeks information to help inform its research priorities, as part of its annual planning process. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders to identify areas of interest related to challenges and opportunities for the American solar industry that are appropriate for federal government funding. This is solely a request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Responses to the RFI must be received no later than January 7, 2019.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will host the 2019 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit in Arlington, Virginia July 10-11, 2019.
The 2019 Summit will feature two days of interactive sessions, insightful speakers, and many opportunities to connect with peers. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to collaborate with other leaders and gain actionable insights to accelerate energy efficiency throughout your organization, understand the latest in emerging technologies, address workforce needs, and share your perspectives on upcoming issues.

For news and updates, and to access previous Summit presentations, visit

NOTE: Starting this week, the Washington Word will be published biweekly.


Do you have a news item or announcement that would be of interest to the sustainable building policy community? Email it to [email protected] and if appropriate we will include it in a future Washington Word.
The Washington Word is managed by Agora on behalf of the Coalition for a Sustainable Built Environment.
Questions or comments? Let us know.
Copyright 2018, Coalition for a Sustainable Built Environment. All rights reserved.