Snap!!! That was necks breaking when building codes bosses Suddenly scuttled green plans

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The renewables scene is full of it. States that are unaligned with the federal government on offshore wind energy. Grid operators who are beholden to fossil fueled electricity generation and are slow to update to the more flexible systems needed by green energy producers. And much more.

And now you can add another: The people who set the building codes used across most of the U.S.

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Yup, the International Code Council, a non-profit that gathers local governments, lobbyists and building industry bigwigs every three years to update the energy codes that will be followed by thousands of state, county and municipal officials.

At first, things looked promising for advocates of cleaner energy, with the council proposing to add new rules that would have required new buildings to make provisions for wiring heat pumps, electric car chargers, and electric stoves. 

And that’s when the American Gas Association and the makers of oil- and gas-fired heating appliances went into action.

They made pleas to the council’s appeals board, and were turned down, so they then went to the body’s board of directors. And, hey ho, last week the board ruled against its own experts and scrapped codes meant to make electric cars, solar panels, induction stoves and heat pumps more affordable.

Clean energy groups, consumer advocates, energy-efficiency experts, electrical equipment manufacturers and Democratic lawmakers reacted with outrage, reports Canary Media. These groups say the decision, which will affect a large portion of the roughly 1.5 million homes built in the U.S. each year, will create unnecessary hurdles to home electrification — something that needs to happen much faster for climate goals to be met.

“Really bad and surprising news,” Mike Waite, the director of codes at watchdog American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and a volunteer who helped author this year’s commercial building codes, wrote in an email to HuffPost. “The ICC Board went against their consensus committees, appeals board and staff.”

Did we smell some fancy steak dinners — cooked on gas, of course — being prepared earlier this month?

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