Exposing the LEED EcoScam

Taxpayer money is being used to bribe and bully building owners into buying into the LEED Ecoscam for the profit of those on the inside of the scam.

If you happen to pass an extraordinarily ugly new building that looks like a Lucite cube gave birth to an even uglier Lucite cube, the odds will be very good that it will be an LEED Green building. What does that four letter word mean? Nothing. Or it means that money changed hands... which is the core of all environmental activism.

LEED’s growth has been driven partly by the building council itself, a 13,000-member non-profit chiefly run by architects, builders and building suppliers. Many specialize in — and profit from — the type of design the council certifies and promotes. The council collects up to $35,000 in fees for each LEED certification.

The most popular LEED option — earned in 99.7% of the buildings — has no direct environmental benefit but generates millions of dollars for the building council by giving one point if a design team has a LEED expert. People become experts by passing a LEED course and paying $550 to $800 to a non-profit that the building council created in 2007.

The building council gets 5% of those fees — $3.3 million from 2008 through 2010, council tax records show. The council rewards the inclusion of LEED experts to encourage building designers to learn about LEED.

But the news gets even better still, as it always does, because the biggest side of the Ecoscam is on the Gov side.

More than 200 states, cities and federal agencies now require LEED certification for new public buildings, even though they have done little independent and meaningful research into LEED's effectiveness. LEED can add millions to construction costs while promising to cut utility bills and other expenses.

Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Baltimore, Washington and roughly 85 other cities go an extra step and require some private commercial buildings to follow LEED. And nearly 200 jurisdictions give LEED builders tax breaks and other incentives.

Taxpayer money is being used to bribe and bully building owners into buying into the LEED Ecoscam for the profit of those on the inside of the scam.

The federal General Services Administration (GSA), which owns and leases space in 9,600 buildings, gave crucial support in 2003 when it began requiring LEED certification for its new and substantially renovated buildings. Every federal department now follows green building practices along with 35 states

Roughly 2,000 developments, buildings and homes have received $500 million in tax breaks nationwide

And remember when Romney pointed out how much money there would be to hire new teachers if not for Obama's Green boondoggles?

Here's a twist you could have seen coming...

Public LEED buildings typically cost taxpayers extra. In Ohio, LEED certification for new state-funded schools has added $131 million in construction costs since 2007. "Soft costs," such as fees to the building council and to LEED consultants, add about $150,000 to the price of a new federal building, the GSA estimates.

And guess who's a really huge fan of LEED?

According to an article posted on Sierra Club's Green Home website, President Obama intends to get the White House LEED certified, a recognition awarded by the United States Green Building Council for energy effiency and environmental friendliness.

Tags: Ecoscam