You know why Abe is smiling? Because America has a bright future ahead of it. We will get out of our economic rut and green building is the answer. Green building will create jobs and spur the economy to recover. Right now Congress has taken the lead and there are several green building bills pending. Although the USGBC’s press release was entitled “the USGBC’s top 10 list,” in reality, the list comprised of its top 20 green building bills pending or enacted by Congress. At the top of the list was The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The list included nine pending bills in the House and ten bills in the Senate.
“With our crippled economy, continuing energy crisis, and changing climate, Americans need timely and effective solutions to set a new course for how we use and think about energy,” said Sen. Snowe. “Energy efficiency has emerged as one of the most effective and expeditious actions that can be taken to preserve valuable resources for producers and consumers. I am pleased to work with Senators Feinstein and Bingaman to build upon the success of past taxcredits and provide critical energy efficiency tax incentives that will spark innovation in our housing and commercial building sector and pave the way for economical and environmentally-conscious living.”
The list is as follows:
In the House of Representatives:
• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – Public Law
• The American Clean Energy and Security Act – Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
• The 21st Century Green High-Performing Public School Facilities Act – Ben Chandler (D-Ky.)
• The Expanding Building Efficiency Act – Dave Reichert (R-Wash.)
• The Property Assessed Clean Energy Tax Benefits Act — John Sarbanes (D-Md.)
• An Act to Enhance Private Financing for Clean Energy Technology Deployment – Steve Israel (D-N.Y.)
• The Energy Efficiency Modernization Act of 2009 – Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio)
• The Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment (WATER) Act – Michael Coffman (R-Colo.)
• The Livable Communities Act of 2010 – Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) **pending introduction**
• The Federal Personnel Training Act of 2010 – Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) **pending introduction**
In the Senate:
• The Clean Energy and American Jobs Act – John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
• The American Clean Energy and Leadership Act – Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
• Energy Efficiency in Housing Act (EEHA) of 2009 – Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
• The Livable Communities Act of 2009 – Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)
• The Expanding Building Efficiency Incentives Act of 2009 – Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
• The School Building Fairness Act – Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
• Clean Energy for Homes and Buildings Act of 2009 – Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)
• The Energy Efficiency Modernization Act of 2009 – Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
• The Water Accountability Tax Efficiency Reinvestment (WATER) Act of 2009 — Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
• The Federal Agency Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2009 – Susan Collins (R-Maine)
According to the USGBC,
“Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.”
My take? Put America on an energy diet by putting Americans to work to make this a reality. Many of my readers know that I am a LEED AP (new construction.) I can easily walk around a building and see dollar bills literally fly out the window from leaking doors to lights kept on all hours of the night. Don’t get me started about what I have seen in the trash or the paper waste. Smoke just comes out of my ears. (By the way, if you want to save green and want a diet for your businesses or building, hire me. I am not talking about the South Beach diet.)
How many of you have school age children? It always amazes me when I see windows open in the schools in the freezing winter since their heating systems are operating inefficiently. Or I call it the Christmas light display at night. How beautiful the building are at night all lit up, but at the cost of our environment. Many of our schools are in desperate need for retrofitting.
“Our country will rise and fall based on how we educate our children, and study after study shows that where children learn has a huge impact on what they learn,” said Rep. Chandler. “Not only will this bill begin to fix our crumbling public schools, but it will create local jobs that cannot be shipped overseas, save energy, and during these tough economic times, make a significant long term investment in our country’s most valuable resource, our children.”
Our children are our future.
So, readers, what are your thoughts about any of the above bills?
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