In Focus

Election 2020:

Where Candidates for Congress Stand

3RD DISTRICT

Adam Christensen

Democratic

U.S. House, Florida 3

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

The best way that Congress can help increase sustainability measures is by passing the Green New Deal and putting an emphasis on the proposed Smart Grid that would upgrade all existing buildings and new buildings in the United States to achieve maximum energy efficiency. Congress has been considering this idea for eleven years now, but it has never been implemented because it is not considered a priority. My campaign and I are in support of prioritizing its creation because a more efficient electrical grid is critical to both reducing our carbon footprint and alleviating some of the excess consumption of utilities. It is imperative for us to improve our current electrical grid and the way that we consume utilities because the infrastructure is outdated and unsustainable. By implementing the Smart Grid proposal, we will ensure that current and new buildings have the ability to update their utility systems to reduce their energy consumption, creating lasting and sustainable change.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings, b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements, c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes, d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings, e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets, f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters, g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities, h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

Healthy and sustainable buildings must be constructed in ALL communities, including middle and lower-income ones. To do so, I would work to create equitable policies with emphasis on affordability and incentives for cities and states that incorporate smart regional planning into their communities. This means collaborating with all members of Congress, regardless of party, and conversing directly with construction companies. All Americans deserve to reap the benefits of sustainable agriculture, which is why I am so adamant about enacting these changes as soon as possible.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

I am a strong advocate for creating clean energy jobs, and I believe that we should hire local workers and offer living wages to those who wish to be employed in this field. On top of that, these workers would have access to training and advancement opportunities. Through training opportunities, people will be prepared to work in the clean energy field such as in implementing new infrastructure like solar panels, etc, that will help to make buildings more sustainable. I also hope to work closely with the agriculture sector to make sure that we create a system that allows rural communities and the environment to thrive. My campaign and I advocate for ending factory farming because of the massive carbon footprint that mass meat production has created and the devastating effects it has on the environment and we also plan to rebuild regional agriculture infrastructure. I believe that by doing these things and working collaboratively to train workers and farmers, we will be able to create a more stable and efficient infrastructure.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

I am willing to work with the building sector and advocate for sustainable building policies by joining caucuses at the congressional level and working with my local community.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

Did not answer

 

7TH DISTRICT

Stephanie Murphy

Democratic

U.S. House, Florida 7

Incumbent

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Congress should lead by example by requiring upmost sustainability practices within the federal government’s 500,000 buildings covering 3.1 billion square feet. These kinds of initiatives have proven effects: federal buildings have reduced their energy intensity by at least 23 percent and cut their carbon emissions by 2.8 million metric tons since 1985. In order for these kinds of reductions to take place in buildings across the country, Congress must incentivize such changes. Through my role on the Ways and Means Committee, there are various tax credits and deductions that effectively encourage green construction. Congress must expand on these opportunities via the tax code and other avenues.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

One way to make sure all Americans benefit from investment into more sustainable buildings is by incentivizing these changes in public schools. The Department of Education should make sure local educational agencies and schools can effectively access and use federal opportunities to construct and retrofit energy efficient campuses.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

The federal government should provide grants for career training programs that teach the skills needed to install and facilitate clean energy sources and energy efficient buildings. These kinds of training programs will be necessary jobs of the future, especially in the Sunshine State.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, in my role on the Ways and Means Committee, I look forward to continuing to advocate for measures that incentivize energy efficiency and resilience through our tax code.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

In the 116th Congress, I advocated for legislation that provides a tax incentive for natural disaster and climate change resilient construction. In Florida, we know that the threat of hurricanes and rising sea levels is only increasing – therefore, when we build we should build for the future.

 

11TH DISTRICT

Dana Cottrell

Democratic

U.S. House, Florida 11

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Solar panel built into the construction of the building would assist in direct energy production by the building and for use in the building. Rain water collection systems built into the construction would make use of reusable energy sources. These are just two innovative construction initiatives to reduce energy and water consumption of building.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED? 

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

The improvement of ventilation systems is a great start. COVID has woken up many to the need for proper ventilation systems, but it is something we have known, we must now implement these steps.  A Harvard University study found "cognitive scores improved by 5.4 percent when buildings were kept within the range of optimal temperature and humidity. And in a related review of buildings that were certified to green and healthier standards, Harvard found 30 percent fewer complaints from occupants about problems with air quality, temperature, and other issues suggesting that design standards are having an impact." Natural light solutions in place of fluorescent lighting is also a simple step forward to assist in healthy and sustainable building.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

I support the Green New Deal as well as Joe Biden's job initiatives to advance American industry bringing new industry and technology into the United States. Money from the federal budget in coordination with cabinet departments should be directed toward these efforts.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, I will join caucuses that advocate for sustainable building policies, and I will make sure my Congressional office is in direct contact with groups and organizations to assist in these efforts. I also will hire grant writers in my office to assist with grant writing for FL CD 11 to bring jobs and industry to our area.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

I have made many energy efficient modifications to my own home, and I wish solar panels and other energy savings initiatives were more affordable, part of the reason I am running for Congress.

 

15TH DISTRICT

Alan Cohn

Democratic

U.S. House, Florida 15

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Technological solutions for more sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings are only beneficial if businesses and private citizens are able to afford them. I would work in the US Congress to provide tax incentives and rebates to corporations and private citizens who put solar panels on their roofs. I would always seek to fund a massive infrastructure rebuilding program to decarbonize every sector of the economy. We must set federal standards so that buildings meet rigorous energy efficiency goals.

 

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

I would introduce legislation to subsidize clean energy research to help spur innovation and increase efficiency to make renewable energy more affordable. Research that doubles the efficiency of solar panels, creates a battery that can store energy for months, and wind turbines that can generate more energy. I would seek investments in innovative research that will help us remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making a healthier environment for all.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

I would work with Congress to provide incentives for trades schools, colleges, and universities to offer low-cost enrollment for programs that trade Americans for the jobs of the future. The construction of environmentally friendly commercial and private development is, and will continue to be, a growing job market. It is important that we equip individuals with the tools necessary to ensure their personal success and the success of sustainable measures.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Climate Change is an existential crisis that threatens our planet and way of life. A key part of combatting it is through transforming buildings in this country. I will work as a partner with the building sector so that we can forward these goals. I will always seek out the buildings sectors perspective on legislation to ensure we're making progress on these critical issues.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

No

 

17TH DISTRICT

Allen Ellison

Democratic

U.S. House, Florida 17

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Write policies that provides incentives to companies that reduce energy and water consumption and make building systems like the thermal save panel system become the new standard in energy efficiency technology.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

I would work to secure more resources for all Americans to be able to weatherize their homes and businesses.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

I would work to secure resource for educational institutions to be able to offer programs that train and educate student on new clean energy jobs that advance sustainable structures and their components

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

I will absolutely work with the building sector to make sure that their is transforming policy in the ears of every congressional member. My office will be open to anyone who is interested in building a brighter more sustainable future.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

I have worked with energy efficient systems and as a lay person, I have made proposal to the federal government to get them to retrofit all federal buildings to become more energy efficient and sustainable. As a congressman, I believe that i can do more to help.

 

18TH DISTRICT

K. W. Miller

Independent

U.S. House, Florida 18

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

The best way Congress can help reduce energy and water consumption of buildings is to incentivize education, R&D, retrofitting, and new construction efforts relating to building consumption of these resources; both governmental and private.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy,

i. I support encouraging cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings and I support setting benchmarks and targets for upgrading federal buildings based upon funding appropriation.

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

A bipartisan approach to promote the benefits of healthy and sustainable buildings would be key to ensure that all Americans have access to healthy and safe buildings. Educating both the members of Congress and the public on the long-term cost savings of investing in sustainable buildings now is necessary in order to reach the tipping point of awareness in which real change can begin. When real change happens, people in all socioeconomic levels benefit.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

I believe that partnerships between the building industry and local schools should be encouraged in order to develop students' interest in clean energy jobs. Internships, scholarships, and apprenticeship positions should be encouraged at the local level. Incentives for training programs for building sector personnel particularly in maintenance and operation is also necessary due to the rapid advancement of sustainability technologies. At the University level, funding for R&D in all aspects of sustainable building development is imperative. Incentivising states to invest at the University level to encourage this R&D would be key to advancing sustainable buildings and building components.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, I have extensive experience working with the building sector. My past experience bidding on all aspects of energy efficiency systems and upgrades as well as my international experience building, restructuring

and managing energy businesses for major public energy companies and

utilities has given me the knowledge to join the policy debate as an advocate for sustainable building practices. I also understand the long-term cost effectiveness in terms of health, safety, and energy conservation of making sustainable building practices a priority both on a governmental and a private level.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

Yes, I am a Senior business leader in the Capital Markets, Energy and Infrastructure

Sectors. I advise, restructure, invest and hold board positions on energy

and industrial companies. I have international experience building, restructuring

and managing energy businesses for major public energy companies and

utilities. I am experienced in bidding on all aspects of energy efficiency systems and upgrades.

 

21ST DISTRICT

Charleston Malkemus

Independent

U.S. House, Florida 21

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

There are a number of proactive methods Congress can take including the following: :lant shade tress outside offices; Minimize artificial lighting and make use of skylight windows; Install programmable thermostats; Use air compressors; Evaluate hot water heaters; Install motion sensitive light switches; and use meters for energy monitoring

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

The public schools is an ideal place to start. We educate the staff and children to turn off water and energy-using appliances when not in use. Using existing heating or lighting controls effectively can reduce energy wastage, save money and reduce emissions by up to 40%. Encourage and reward ideas and activities that will reduce energy use. Many school energy schemes have been created and are managed by pupils, making the most of their enthusiasm and creativity. Make sure heating, ventilation and lighting controls match actual occupation times.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

There are various small-scale renewable energy companies that specialize in renewable energy systems which are pollution-free and will help to reduce energy bills. The systems can also generate interest in energy efficiency amongst pupils and provide a valuable teaching resource. Renewable energy systems that can be appropriate for schools include: (i) wind turbines, (ii) biomass, (iii) solar heat and power, and (iv) heat pumps.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes. The how depends on which caucuses I believe will be the most effective and have the most useful ideas at implementation of sustainable building policies.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

Only to investments related to sustainable buildings

 

22ND DISTRICT

Ted Deutch

Democratic

U.S. House, Florida 22

Incumbent

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Congress can and should have a role in helping to reduce the energy and water consumption of buildings. Congress can encourage state and Tribal governments to revise and update the energy and water consumption provisions in their building codes. In addition, Congress can have the Federal government provide critical technical assistance to state and Tribal governments to assist them in achieving significant reductions in energy and water consumption in their building codes. Incentivizing state and Tribal governments to reduce their energy and water consumption in their building codes can be achieved through the provision of grants to support the changes, and funding to support training programs for workers involved in achieving the more sustainable building codes.

In addition, Congress has been involved for several years in reducing the energy consumption of Federal buildings. Such changes have involved the installation of modern technology in Federal buildings that will lead to substantial decreases in energy consumption. Also, Federal buildings have been involved in substantial upgrades of the energy systems that will reduce consumption.

 

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

All people, no matter their socioeconomic status, should benefit from sustainable buildings and infrastructure. Increasing the number of sustainable buildings will ensure that our communities are energy efficient; are constructed with materials that protect public health and safety; include energy efficient systems that can reduce costs and help individuals and families save their finances; and can reduce waste and water usage. In addition, adopting sustainable building practices will help to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and assist in combating climate change.

I strongly support tax credits and grant programs that support sustainable construction practices in buildings, including the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that encourages the use of solar on residential and commercial buildings.

 

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

As we take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to confront the challenges of climate change, job training and educational programs need to be available to prepare workers to enter the clean energy job market. These jobs are high paying and provide an opportunity to create millions of jobs. Moreover, the creation of clean energy jobs and jobs training programs will move our country toward renewable energy and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

I strongly support and will continue to support funding for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The EERE continues to be instrumental in moving our country toward an economy that is supported by clean, renewable energy. The EERE accomplishes this goal by supporting the development and deployment of clean energy, including solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, marine and hydro energy, and other sources of renewable energy. In addition, the EERE supports job training programs for people transitioning into clean energy jobs.

 

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Enacting sustainable building policies will be critical for our nation to address the numerous challenges created by climate change. Sustainable building practices and building codes need to be adopted that can help mitigate climate change and adapt to the changing climate.

I am the co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Caucus is working on economically viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, and public safety. The Caucus has held briefings to inform members on the importance of sustainable building practices and infrastructure adaptability. In addition, the Caucus has pushed to ensure that infrastructure proposals include and recognize the importance of sustainable building practices.

The Caucus also strongly supports the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The EERE has been instrumental in the development of clean energy homes and commercial buildings.

The Caucus uses a “Noah’s Ark” approach for adding new members. Under this approach, members of the Congress must reach across the aisle to join with another member. This has fostered dialogue on the House floor and in the halls of Congress for Democratic and Republican members to discuss the issues of climate change and possible areas of agreement to address the climate crisis.

 

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

I have strongly supported funding for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of EERE. I have supported letters to the House Appropriations Committee urging funding for the Office of EERE.

In addition, I have strongly supported increased funding for the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program. ARPA-E has been instrumental in supporting research, development, and deployment of technologies that will improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

I also have been a strong supporter of the “National Infrastructure Development Bank Act” (HR 658). This bill would support sustainable infrastructure projects, invest in renewable energy projects, and create jobs in the clean energy sector.

 

24TH DISTRICT

Lavern Spicer

Republican

U.S. House, Florida 24

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

My research suggests that Congress should encourage Americans to plant more trees for the purpose of creating sustainability and long term energy efficiency. These trees will provide shade in the summer, reducing the cooling load and will allow sun into your building in the winter, reducing the heating load. Evergreen trees creates a wind block in the winter and add to the shading during the summer. Currently the vast majority of energy used in buildings are from non-renewable, and fossil fuel resources. With rising demand for fossil fuels coupled with uncertainty over the availability of fossil fuels, rising concerns over energy security (both for general supply and specific needs of facilities), and the potential buildup of greenhouse gases may be causing undesirable impacts on the global climate, it is essential to find ways to reduce load, increase efficiency, and utilize renewable energy resources in all types of facilities. In addition, tremendous energy resources are used to procure, pump, heat, treat, transport, and store potable water. Energy is also used to treat used water in the form of sewage. Simultaneously, much water is used for power production, both in the form of cooling towers for thermoelectric plants and evaporation losses for hydroelectric plants. Potentially toxic chemicals are essential to these processes. Using potable water to irrigate lawns, wash sidewalks, or flush human waste is a misuse of this energy intensive resource. Reducing water consumption and protecting water quality are key objectives of sustainable design.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

My research suggest that the steps needed to ensure the best measurements for long term growth and relief. Socioeconomic status can encompass quality of life attributes as well as the opportunities and privileges afforded to people within society. Poverty, specifically, is not a single factor, but rather is characterized by multiple physical and psychosocial stressors. Further, SES is a consistent and reliable predictor of a vast array of outcomes across the life span, including physical and psychological health.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

My research suggests that the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 - Sets forth provisions concerning clean energy, energy efficiency, reducing global warming pollution, transitioning to a clean energy economy, and providing for agriculture and forestry related offsets. As a newly elected Congresswoman, I would like to have a meeting with my business constituents within the district to discuss how we can provide the needed and necessary training for all employees looking to advance sustainability and energy efficiencies.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, I believe that best way for meeting these objectives are meeting with environment groups and see if they would become a part of a taskforce created to strengthen "Sustainable Building Policies".

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

No

 

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