Builders resist stricter energy codes for new homes

In a clash over climate and affordability, home builders are lobbying against stricter energy efficiency standards for new houses, citing cost concerns.

Anna Phillips reports for The Washington Post.


In short:

  • Home builders in various states, including North Carolina and Michigan, are opposing new energy efficiency building codes, arguing they increase housing costs.
  • The industry claims these codes add significantly to construction costs, though federal studies suggest a much lower impact.
  • Climate advocates and some builders counter that energy-efficient homes offer long-term savings and environmental benefits.

Key quote:

"The notion that building this way is too expensive or too complicated … I just don’t buy any of that."

— Rob Howard, green builder

Why this matters:

This resistance to energy-efficient building practices is significant as it hinders progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from homes, which account for a significant portion of U.S. emissions. The debate underscores the challenge of balancing economic interests with urgent environmental needs.

Op-ed: When a home is not a sanctuary but a sickening, expensive trap.

Biden administration green-lights massive oil terminal
Credit: FracTracker Alliance/Flickr

Biden administration green-lights massive oil terminal, sparking backlash

The Biden administration has sanctioned a vast oil terminal off Texas, drawing ire from environmentalists.

Matthew Daly reports for the Associated Press.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less
Ocean temperatures continue to set daily records
Credit: Pexels/Pixabay

Ocean temperatures continue to set daily records

Record-breaking ocean temperatures are prompting scientists to explore underlying causes and potential impacts.

Delger Erdenesanaa reports for The New York Times.

Keep reading...Show less

Freshwater supplies dwindling due to human activity, studies find

Two significant studies reveal how human demand and technological advancements are rapidly depleting the planet's freshwater resources.

Andrew Nikiforuk reports for The Tyee.

Keep reading...Show less

Wild fish host new viruses, including a coronavirus cousin

Researchers have detected multiple new viruses in wild sport fish in Wisconsin, revealing a surprising diversity of pathogens.

Danielle Kaeding reports for Wisconsin Public Radio.

Keep reading...Show less
global health climate impacts
Credit: AlexMax/BigStock Photo ID: 18840950

Climate change impacts immune health globally, leading to an epidemic of diseases

The invisible effects of climate change are disrupting our bodies, notably our immune systems, by contributing to a surge in immune-mediated diseases like allergies and cancer.

Kari Nadeau reports for STAT.

Keep reading...Show less

Economic and environmental strain affects rural Mississippi amid renewable energy push

Economic challenges and environmental worries collide as Mississippi towns turn to the burgeoning wood pellet industry in a bid to revive local economies.

Alex Rozier reports for Mississippi Today.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
plastic treaty

Groups push Biden administration to take leadership role at upcoming plastic treaty talks

The US has taken a “middle of the road position” so far, environmental groups say.

chemical recycling Youngstown

Listen: Why communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are fighting chemical recycling plants

EHN reporter Kristina Marusic discusses her new three-part series on the controversies surrounding chemical recycling.

chemical recycling

Latest chemical recycling plant closing spurs concern over the industry’s viability

Oregon’s Regenyx plant announced its closing in late February, with those involved calling it a success, despite never reaching planned capacity and millions of dollars lost.

plastic treaty

Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks

Countries will meet this month in Ottawa to move forward on the historic treaty — but obstacles remain.

zero waste business

Zero- and low-waste businesses band together against plastic pollution

As part of a national coalition, sustainable businesses are pooling resources to fight plastic pollution.

chemical recycling

Residents fear Pennsylvania, West Virginia chemical recycling proposals will deepen fossil fuel ties and pollution problems

"We’d like to be talking about positive things, focusing on our renewable energy future.”

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.