Portland Set to Approve Public Shaming of Building Owners

By John A. Charles, Jr.CascadeNewLogo

For members of the Portland City Council, the end always justifies the means.

Their current obsession is energy use in commercial buildings. On April 15 the Council likely will approve a regulation to require the owners of such buildings to: (1) monitor energy consumption; (2) calculate an “energy use intensity” score; and (3) file annual reports with the city.

Advocates claim that this will be good for building owners. It will give them information they would never get without prodding by bureaucrats, and provide market recognition for high-performing buildings.

In fact, this is just an effort to shame building owners and tenants into adjusting their behavior to conform to the political edicts of City Hall. Commercial buildings consuming “too much” energy will receive a Scarlet Letter and be harassed by bureaucrats and activists into expensive energy conservation retrofits, many of which will make no financial sense.

Energy consumption is a private matter. The Portland City Council should stand down on this proposal and leave people alone.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.


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Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Government Overreach, Government Regulation, Green Energy, Individual Responsiblity, Portland, Portland Politics, Privacy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Dick Winningstad

    Businesses are energy conscious. Given that energy is a cost of doing business and effects their bottom line. Perhaps the Portland City Council should enact a punitive energy tax on business to enhance its “City That Works” reputation.

  • Bob Clark

    This is so like the City of Portland and the state of Oregon. These governments waste much of their capital budgets, routinely coming in way over budget on their projects (the new water building for example $3 million versus the ultimate $11 million actually spent). Then there is the state of Oregon and Business Energy Tax Credits which imploded, with one of the greatly subsidized ethanol projects ultimately becoming a crude oil export terminal after the ethanol venture went bankrupt.

    Yet somehow the bozos at City Hall and at the State Capitol think they know better how to run other people’s businesses and lives. It’s a freaking joke.

    It’s also just plain reactionary political governance where we are governed by the latest news story and how it is spinned. Good intentions drives the bus, secondary effects and personal freedoms be damned.

    • guest

      Quite correct, absolutely!

  • thevillageidiot

    people wonder how regulation costs businesses. this is great example of regulation adding cost to doing business. a worthless endevor that you must pay sombody for the time anf then repeat. it is not zero cost. if a business wants to cut costs then energy usage is probably high on the list and they will do what they can without any government busybody sticking thier nose into places they have no business.a business practicing cost savings such as reducing energy usage is part of sound economic decisions. governments regulating the energy cost savings via “public shaming” cause malinvestment and preventing the business from spending the money eslwhere that would be more beneficial.

  • Ron Swaren

    Just another example of the clusterf*** that is the new Oregon normal. They want to attract the professional class—who have to occupy high energy consumption buildings. They want to replace the low energy consumption craft and trade workers with illegal aliens. They are rezoning to make you into either a renter–at high cost– or a condo owner—at even higher cost. For the self sufficient who might be able to build their own home–forget about it. Your only choice will be to pay high prices.

    Next swarms of Californians will move here, fleeing various crises, pushing the prices higher yet. Or turning into welfare cases or organizing to undermine our sovereignty.

    Oregon was a state where people could work hard, contribute in a realistic way to essential needs and to the general economy and coexist with the environment in most cases. This is a disaster.

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