In an effort to show that he is on board with the progressive agenda, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the city will require building owners to retrofit commercial skyscrapers to meet a new eco-friendly standard.
Under this new plan, private building owners who fail to slash building emissions by 30% by the year 2030 could face fines as high as $1 million. Builders will also no longer be able to construct glass and steel skyscrapers in the Big Apple without taking a lot of steps to make sure their new building meets New York’s new energy efficiency standards.
The mayor is naturally trying to paint his new progressive agenda as a needed move to combat the climate crisis and prepare New York for the future. New York City Council member Costa Constantinides, who introduced the bill in the first place, made it clear that the bill is a response to President Donald Trump’s apparent “failure” to do anything about global warming.
At the same time, the director of the National Resources Defense Council accused the president of assaulting environmental protections, and thus forcing cities and states to take the lead. However, there are plenty of New Yorkers who clearly realize that this new, progressive law will do the city far more harm than good.
As the Real Estate Board of New York accurately points out, the new law contains numerous exemptions. This means that only a few buildings owners would be responsible to adhere to the additional restrictions, thus defeating the purpose of passing the bill in the first place. To make matters worse, the new building restrictions would discourage developers and landlords from working with technology and media companies that use a lot of energy, thus setting New York’s economy back.
It is also worth noting that making laws against building skyscrapers from steel and concrete isn’t going to have much impact on New York City’s emissions. Science clearly shows that concrete is the building material with the most emissions. In fact, the white cement used to make concrete emits more carbon than all the world’s airlines put together.
As the EPA has discovered, buildings aren’t even the cause of most carbon emissions in the United States. Transportation accounted for nearly 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. However, de Blasio had little to say on that thorny topic except to defend himself from the fat that he drives a gas-guzzling SUV every single day.
The environment is vitally important to the well-being of every single person in the United States, and caring for it should be a priority of politicians from both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, far-left politicians are using the the issue as an excuse to pass ridiculous laws to punish private entities that they don’t like.
The only “benefit” to the city is that New York politicians would gain authority over building owners by being able to threaten them with fines for failing to comply with expensive, unnecessary government regulations.