Where Candidates for Congress Stand
U.S. House, North Carolina 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?
Congress can extend and expand federal support for energy efficiency programs such as geothermal heating and cooling as well as commercial and residential renewable energy programs including wind and solar power.
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?
That's one of the great challenges and there are many ways to approach it. One way is to support legislation similar to the Rebuild America’s Schools Act that invests in school buildings in rural and impoverished communities. We should expand to child care and early learning facilities because every child deserves to learn in a safe and secure environment.
4. IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?
North Carolina is second in the country in solar energy. My goal is to make Western North Carolina the epicenter for green energy on the East coast. As we push for more investment in green technology and green energy to protect our environment and create high-paying jobs, we need to train a workforce to fill those positions. We can help do that, and train the next generation of electricians, plumbers and other trade workers, through tuition assistance for students attending technical schools throughout Western North Carolina.
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?
To be clear, I believe it is our moral obligation to preserve and protect our land, air and water for our children and future generations. Achieving energy independence is good for the environment, good for national security and good for entrepreneurs and workers. And it is critical for our Western North Carolina economy, which depends on tourism that is driven by the beauty of our mountains. So of course I will advocate for sustainable building policies as part of a larger push including green energy and green technology. It can be done in a number of ways, including supporting legislation and joining caucuses.
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've just built a house in Asheville and have solar panels, a solar battery and geothermal heating. Just got my energy bill and it was $16 dollars for the month. Tax incentives for solar installation should be increased, not decreased as is happening now.
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