The Spectacle Blog

Why Doesn’t ‘Green’ Ever Produce the Savings It Says It Does?

FoxNews.com reports today on a bill sponsored by 26 House Democrats that would spend nearly $33 billion to create "green schools."

By on 4.23.10 | 1:35PM

FoxNews.com reports today on a bill sponsored by 26 House Democrats that would spend nearly $33 billion to create "green schools:"

The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act (is) sponsored by Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., and 25 other Democrats. They say it would create a "healthier, safer and more energy-efficient teaching environment by requiring schools to use green materials...."

The House has passed the bill, and it now is under consideration in the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office's estimate puts the 5-year cost of the bill at $32.9 billion.

Like nearly every other government initiative characterized as "green," these specially constructed schools are likely to cost taxpayers far more to build and aren't necessarily energy efficient. Last year the Washington Policy Center's Todd Myers analyzed mandates implemented in the Evergreen State and found the program lacking:

Many now admit these failures. The Superintendent of Public Instruction’s office released a report in December admitting their data could not show energy savings. A study last year of the Energy Star program by the EPA Investigator General found that claims of energy savings using that system were unreliable....

Adding insult to injury, buildings cost more to build than was promised. Advocates told the legislature that green buildings would cost an additional two percent. Interviews with facilities directors indicate the real number is six percent, which is not trivial. Each year, the state and school districts spend about $450 million on school construction. A six percent increase is about $27 million.

Consider also that many of the materials, lighting and equipment installed in "green" schools are likely subsidized by taxpayers at other levels, and the costs rise to the astronomical.

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