Thompson applauds pilot tax credit to promote use of verified wood in building

U.S. Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA) said on Thursday that changes to the leading green building rating system would promote the use of more wood products in building construction.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced changes to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system for rating green buildings. The changes aim to crack down on illegally sourced wood. Through a new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) credit, project teams will be rewarded for proactively verifying that the wood they source is legal.

“For a state which was founded as ‘Penn’s Woods,’ this is wonderful news,” Thompson said of his home state of Pennsylvania. “Wood is the ultimate green building material. This decision will provide a boost to companies across the state involved in the wood industry.”

Thompson introduced the Forest Products Fairness Act, H.R. 979, in 2013 to allow the USDA’s definition of “bio-based products” to include forest products. Provisions of Thompson’s bill were adopted in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“It’s beyond comprehension that any building construction standard would broadly exclude natural wood products when choosing materials,” Thompson said. “This eliminates barriers to the federal government choosing wood when working through the LEED system.”

The USGBC is a private entity, but the federal government frequently uses its LEED rating system or the alternative Green Building Initiative’s Globes rating system.

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