In Focus

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Election 2022:

Where Candidates for Congress Stand

Oregon

1ST DISTRICT

Christopher Mann

Republican

U.S. House, Oregon 1

 

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?

 

I feel it starts with local politicians addressing the problems and supply the necessary funding. I f needed then Congress can be asked to create guidelines that the localities need to meet to achieve the desired outcome.

 

2. WHICH 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

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

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?

 

To require more affordable housing than currently is regulated for new developments. 

 

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 unions and schools should work collaboratively to provide affordable training programs. Too much Government involvement can sometimes slow down things that can progress without the government.

 

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 support solutions that come across my desk if they make sense and is in the best interest of the voters, regardless of party lines. 

 

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.)?

 

Nothing to make note of

5TH DISTRICT

Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Democratic

U.S. House, Oregon 5

 

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 provide tax incentives, rebates, and grants when necessary to reduce the cost of sustainable materials, fund research into sustainable building technologies, increase the use of fire-resilient materials, help low-income Americans save on energy costs through weatherization programs, and provide support for innovative state and local programs. Congress can also provide funds for energy-efficient and water-efficient retrofits of existing buildings. Examples of legislation that would do this include the Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resource Use Act and the Hope for Homes Act. Certification programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Green Building for Sustainable Design provide industry-recognized insights on proven building materials and maintenance practices. This work is a fundamental part of our commitment to infrastructure, both in the new builds and in the retrofits.

 

2. WHICH 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

i. Support programs or incentives to accelerate the electrification of 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?

 

We need to recognize “environmental” redlining, exclusionary zoning laws, and other policies have harmed our underserved and underrepresented communities by creating neighborhoods with less protection from natural disasters and climate change, worse infrastructure and air quality, and higher bills on energy costs.

Congress needs to develop better tools to assess and mitigate the environmental impacts that its policies have on low-income and marginalized communities and ensure that these neighborhoods do not become areas where environmental harm is concentrated. That data-driven assessment should be a guide on targeting resources and provide the rationale for increasing funding to these under-resourced communities to upgrade infrastructure as grants to homeowners to improve the sustainability and energy efficiency of their homes. A model in this regard is the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund, which prioritizes communities most impacted by climate change for clean energy, green workforce development, and green infrastructure programs.

These sustainability programs can be part of the focus on building more fire-resilient and climate-resilient communities.

 

 

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

 

We need to invest in education -- including job training and apprenticeship programs -- that prepares our R&D, manufacturing, design, and construction workforce for a sustainable 21st-century infrastructure. This is critical to creating good-paying jobs and developing the physical infrastructure we need to provide sufficient housing and strengthen our economy. Investments begin with early childhood education to ensure equal opportunity to this work, vocational tech programs in high school, and post-secondary technical and applied job training. I’ve been extremely impressed with the tours I’ve done of the great apprenticeship programs developed by numerous unions as they prepare our workforce with both the technical skills and job safety necessary to do this job well.

We need to adapt vocational and apprenticeship programs to prepare workers for jobs in a green economy. The transition to more renewable energy sources should be handled on an industry-by-industry basis, requiring overlapping everyday technologies to enable communities to be functional while putting new tech into place. As we transition to a clean energy economy, these programs will provide a well-trained workforce that ensures that our current workforce is not left behind. The new technologies developing around clean energy will be the bridge to a cleaner, more renewable energy future with redundant energy systems to enhance resiliency. Unions play an important role in this transition and are key partners to ensure the long-term success of this work and a stronger economy. I am proud of the leadership role unions are playing here in Oregon in our transition to a green energy infrastructure that is good for our communities, environment, and economy.

 

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?

 

Absolutely. I know from experience how valuable these discussions and partnerships are in finding a path forward on shared objectives around sustainable development. In Congress, I would join groups such as the Climate Solutions Caucus, the Building Trades Caucus, and the Blue-Green Alliance. 

 

 

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. When I served on the Santa Clara City Council, I championed the city’s aggressive commitment to transitioning to renewable energy resources and co-founded the Green Building Coalition in Silicon Valley, which was a partnership including developers, the building sector, and cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while streamlining municipal permitting processes. It was a win-win partnership for the region, resulting in a substantial reduction in GHG emissions while facilitating development of regional housing that incorporated green building standards.

I also served as a Board Member of Sustainable Silicon Valley and brought together thought leaders to inspire entrepreneurs to develop creative solutions to the climate crisis.

As an Environmental Planner for a regional water agency serving 2 million people in urban and rural areas, I incorporated climate change measures and best practices into the agency’s work.

Most recently, as Interim City Manager in Talent, Oregon, which lost a third of its homes and businesses to wildfire, I led recovery efforts and worked with my team to incorporate sustainability and fire resiliency into new development.

BuildingAction does not endorse candidates in primary or general elections. Nothing in this report should be construed as support or opposition to any candidate. Candidates and parties are listed alphabetically. BuildingAction made every effort to report on candidates’ positions accurately; any mistakes or omissions were inadvertent. Please email info@agoragov.com with any suggested corrections.)