- October 2008: Vol. 20 No. 10

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California Dreaming: How the West Is Pioneering the Greening of America

by Michael Lester

There’s a good reason Senator Barack Obama is considering Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for energy czar in an Obama administration. California is the greenest of all our states, in no small part due to the Governator’s action-packed role in ensuring the sustainability of the state’s new and existing buildings.

In December 2004, Schwarzenegger issued his Green Building Initiative calling for a reduction of electricity consumption of 20 percent in state buildings by 2015. The initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions by half a million metric tons by 2010 and almost 2 million metric tons by 2020.

California has signed on to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): 13 executive branch buildings have achieved LEED certification. All new construction of facilities larger than 10,000 square feet requires a minimum of LEED Silver certification. More than 200 executive agency buildings are pursuing LE

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