Alabama lumber producers protest "green" construction
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A small number of U.S. states are joining a fight against the nation's leading name in green building, saying its standards discourage builders from using wood grown in their own forests. The U.S. Green Building Council's program is called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. It's so popular it grants voluntary environmental certification to roughly 1.5 million square feet of new construction daily. But some governors and lawmakers say strict standards for what LEED considers sustainably grown wood are hurting growers in their states. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has banned state projects from seeking LEED certification. Alabama, Maine, Mississippi and South Carolina have taken similar steps. The Green Building Council says the controversy is being drummed up by forestry groups trying to force it to accept lesser standards.