Kansas house bill 2366, currently in committee, would provide that "No public funds may be used, either directly or indirectly, to promote, support, mandate, require, order, incentivize, advocate, plan for, participate in or implement sustainable development," Alex Wilson reports on BuildingGreen.com ("No April Fool's Joke: Kansas Threatens to Outlaw Sustainability," by Alex Wilson).

The state's definition of "sustainable" is the usual one, says Wilson: "The bill defines sustainable development as 'a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come…'"

The "green" movement is under fire in other states as well. In Florida, a bill moving through the House will modify the state's commitment to LEED certification by allowing state project planners to use Florida-grown lumber even if the material has not been certified under standards required by LEED, reports the Florida Current ("'Backlash' Bill against LEED green-building certification program moving in House," by Bruce Ritchie).

But the Florida measure is far more limited in scope than the Kansas proposal: it pertains only to lumber sources and forestry practices, and would not roll back the state's commitment to other aspects of the LEED standard, such as energy efficiency, low-impact site development, or air quality. Timber growers have been reluctant to sign on to the Forest Stewardship Council's green certification program, the LEED-endorsed system, and FSC president Corey Brinkema told the Current that he estimates the total acreage of certified lumber in Florida to be only about 1,000 acres. 

Still, the state measures may reflect the opening bell in a widespread movement to push back against the green tide. For example: Clint Wilder, author of the book "Clean Tech Nation," writes on his Huffington Post blog about what he says is a national effort to roll back state measures promoting solar or wind energy ("RPS Attacks Go Against the March of History," by Clint Wilder). Wrties Wilder: "The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a nonprofit advocacy group with strong ties to Koch Industries and other fossil-fuel interests, is attempting to roll back renewable portfolio standard (RPS) laws in nearly two dozen of the 29 states that have them. Last fall, it released a template bill called the "Electricity Freedom Act" for supportive legislators to push in their respective states. The key portion of this template reads as follows: 'The State of {insert state} repeals the renewable energy mandate and as such, no electric distribution utilities and electric services companies will be forced to procure renewable energy resources as defined by the State of {insert state}'s renewable energy mandate.'"

For background on the politics of LEED at the federal level, here's a September, 2012, post by Chris Cheatham at Cheatham's "Green Building Law Update" blog ("A Green Building Game of Thrones," by Chris Cheatham). Cheatham points to the uproar created when the 2012 LEED standard update ran into trouble over a proposed credit for the use of materials that avoid chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. "More than 50 United States Congressman signed a letter voicing their concern 'that the LEED rating system is becoming a tool to punish chemical companies and plastics makers,'" Cheatham writes, adding, "Multiple chemical companies and the US Chamber of Congress formed the American High Performance Buildings Coalition to lobby against LEED 2012."

The chemicals controversy came on top of the ongoing conflict over forest certification, notes Cheatham, and he sums up: "In assessing the battlefield, I have concluded that the USGBC overextended itself, choosing to fight a two front war without the necessary resources. This is a common tactical mistake and one that has proven costly for the USGBC. Just how costly is yet to be seen."