In Focus

Election 2020:

Where Candidates for Congress Stand

9TH DISTRICT

Dr. Gary Wegman

Democratic

U.S. House, Pennsylvania 9

 

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?

 

We can introduce legislation to authorize the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), which is responsible for reducing energy use in federal buildings. To date, the FEMP has never received a formal authorization from Congress despite being an existing program whose functions were spelled out in the National Energy Conservation Policy Act of 1975.

We can provide incentives for buildings with automated building systems (HVAC, energy management), that help monitor energy consumption

We can provide incentives for buildings that are/become LEED Certified

 

 

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,

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?

 

Fund and implement standards in all public school and library buildings, and help move buildings in underserved communities to meet current standards. Fund educational programs to teach students about energy sustainability. Fund programs that will go towards the installing stormwater-capturing rain barrels/storage containers. This would promote a better understanding of the water cycle and run-off.

 

 

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

 

Focus on and fund vocational tech programs that teach skills for clean energy jobs. Fund educational programs to teach students about energy sustainability.

 

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. We would be interested in the House Energy Savings and Performance Caucus, the Building Trades Caucus, or the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus (HPBCC). We'd also make sure to work closely with Congresspeople like Peter Welch, that is involved in this.

 

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 was on the board of the Reading Redevelopment Authority and the Reading Parking Authority. In these positions, I helped to make sure that our parking garages were built sustainably.

 

12TH DISTRICT

Lee Griffin

Democratic

U.S. House, Pennsylvania 12

 

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?

 

A great way to promote adoption of water and energy conservation in buildings is to offer tax credits for upgrading and retrofitting homes and commercial buildings with better insulation, windows and doors, energy efficient lighting and appliance, and plumbing systems that make efficient use of water and 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?

 

The biggest issue is to address the cost challenges that lower income homeowners and renters face in making improvements to their buildings. I will work with my congressional colleagues to provide tax incentives and rebates to encourage building owners to make these improvements.

 

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

 

Many clean energy jobs are skilled trades like welders and electricians. I will work with my district's educational institutions to promote and support their trade training programs. Not only will this help promote clean energy, it will provide a viable future for young people in my district.

 

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 plan to join the Progressive Caucus and one of my priorities is tackling climate change. Energy efficiency in buildings is a key element to bringing down carbon emissions, so this is important to me.

 

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.)?

 

As part of a building contractor's crew, I installed many types of energy efficiency improvements in homes, including upgraded windows and doors, modern insulation and fixtures, and steel roofs.

 

13TH DISTRICT

Todd Rowley

Democratic

U.S. House, Pennsylvania 13

 

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 must continue to pursue a bold, bipartisan comprehensive infrastructure package to put Americans back to work and to rebuild our country. A significant feature of this infrastructure plan will include renovation and new building design and construction. This will require federal funding through direct investment, as well as public-private partnerships to drive a strong economic recovery post the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. The existing proposed bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate can serve as the blueprint for reducing water and energy use in federal facilities, with an overall focus upon mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering (MEP) and system designs for MEP retrofitting of existing buildings and new construction.

 

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,

i. Embracing new technologies regarding clean energy production and consumption and incorporating these technologies into the MEP design and construction 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?

 

At the core of my beliefs are fighting for justice and equality for every American. This includes ensuring every American has access to affordable, quality, safe housing. Housing is a basic need of all human beings. We spend the majority of our lives indoors, within a man-made structure that must be constructed to provide a healthy and safe environment. By creating these healthy, safe indoor environments to live and work, in the long run this will save money regarding utility costs, negative effects on the environment and climate change, health care costs and our overall well-being.

 

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 must invest in the American workforce for training, internships, and job placement programs required for a transition to clean energy jobs of the 21st century. These sustainable clean energy jobs can be found in public, private, joint partnerships, and nonprofit employer sectors focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass and hydrogen). I will support grants and other financial incentives for these companies to ensure that workers transitioning from fossil fuel production jobs receive priority opportunities for training and employment within these energy efficiency and renewable energy companies.

 

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 support and advocate for sustainable building policies and work in a bipartisan manner to ensure the building sector has adopted and implemented these required changes.

 

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.)?

 

As a homeowner, our family has implemented home efficiency improvements, such as utilizing energy efficient LED bulbs; additional insulation; installing an efficient water heater; installing ceiling fans to enhance air conditioning; use of low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets; and ensuring that our appliances are operating efficiently.

 

15TH DISTRICT

Robert Williams

Democratic

U.S. House, Pennsylvania 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?

 

The best way is to hire experts and work with them to build sustainable buildings for the future.

 

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,

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

 

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?

 

Provide incentives to builder's to work with low income families in rural communities so that the rural homeowner has the same benefits as urban homeowners.

 

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

 

School, education, working with industry leaders to train and educate the communities that they service.

 

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 pledge to work with the building sector, but I won't commit to joining caucuses that won't benefit my constituents. When elected I will work for the people, each and everyone of them, and their needs being met will be my only responsibility.

 

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, but i will surround my self with knowledgeable persons on the subject matter.

 

18TH DISTRICT

Luke Negron

Republican

U.S. House, Pennsylvania 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?

 

Ideally, this is an initiative which would be given to each state legislature. Individual states have a much greater ability to accurately regulate their own energy production and bring about localized change. Federal mandates from the US House risk being ineffective government overreaches into a topic which states could handle better from a local level.

Ensuring that all federal buildings use modern and efficient forms of energy consumption is a movement which I would support as a member of the US House.

 

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

 

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?

 

Ensuring that taxes are not raised, pushing for a flat tax, and protecting free market principles with upward economic mobility are key. By empowering citizens economically through our great free market system, we can ensure that the very best housing options are always attainable for the consumer and are desirable business investments for the property owner.

 

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

 

This is another topic better left to state legislatures - it is not the role of the federal government to mandate exactly how each state trains their public workers.

A role that I can support is the federal funding of research and implementation (where appropriate) of efficient, clean, and renewable sources of energy. This includes but is not limited to: wind, solar, recycling of greenhouse gas, and nuclear.

 

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 support making federal buildings self-sustaining and energy-efficient. Without any pork added to the bill, this initiative could easily be passed as a simple, short, and bipartisan bill.

 

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 have researched the viability of in-home energy sources such as solar and Geothermal energy and have toured homes which implement both of these new and innovative technologies.

 

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.)

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