Where Candidates for Congress Stand
U.S. Senate, New Jersey
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?
Many buildings have already had rooftop solar panels installed and those have reduced the carbon output requirements produced by the building along with making them fully sustainable. This needs to be mandated by Congress, along with the requirement to use water flow restrictors and low volume or composting toilets in any public 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?
I would work to set strict Federal standards for healthy and sustainable building that any new construction would need to meet to receive a C/O, and set a reasonable deadline for any existing structures to meet the same for their C/O's to remain in affect.
4. IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?
Our Country needs to "re-tool" our workforce to address the environmental changes that the entire world is facing. Instead of importing our "Green" technology, we need to be able to manufacture it here. There needs to be both Federal training programs to prepare our workers for this new world, along with tuition credits from our Government for people to attend training programs given by third party education facilities.
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 anyone who realizes that we need to change our policies to save our planet and make breathing and drinking water safe for every citizen of this country. This includes revamping how communities are planned, allocating proper open green space and appropriate mass transit to reduce our carbon output and allow nature to do what it does best in reducing carbon in the atmosphere. This would also include building to standards that make our buildings less vulnerable to natural disasters, thereby making residents of those buildings safer.
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 participated with environmental organizations in the past (in the 1990's) in promoting some of the earliest fully sustainable buildings as examples for others to follow. As part of this we also promoted sustainable waste reduction and recycling programs within the buildings. These were during the formative years for recycling and sustainable building.
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