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In Focus

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Election 2020:

Where the Presidential Candidates Stand

With the 2020 election season well underway, there are scores of policy proposals flying around, particularly on environmental issues like climate change, energy efficiency and resilience from natural disasters.


But what about buildings? Buildings account for more than 40 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 70 percent of electricity use. Any comprehensive policy proposal on the environment should include the built environment as part of the solution.


BuildingAction reviewed the candidates’ websites to find out where they stand on sustainable building issues. Read on to see what each candidate says (or does not say) about green buildings. 

  • Senate
    MARK W TURLEY Independent U.S. Senate, Delaware 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? By incorporating all aspects of renewable technology available we can reduce energy and water use. Also by researching and using renewable energy supplies during and after construction we can save energy and water. 2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED? (YOU CAN CHECK MORE THAN ONE.) 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, Support the continuation of the current ITC by extending it out five more years at 30% 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 socioeconomic levels can benefit from using sustainable technologies in building and construction. An example would be incorporating solar gardens and community solar projects into all building construction. 4. IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS? Enhance training programs to get people prepared for jobs in the renewable and sustainable markets. Offer companies incentives for creating job opportunities with the sustainable arena. 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, being an Independent candidate I intend to bring both sides together in this process by educating them on the benefits of building sustainable and retrofitting current public buildings. 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 in the supply chain for renewable products for the past 20 years. I directly have supplied products and services to large commercial renewable sites like Nevada Solar 1 in Henderson, Nevada and currently supply many of the leading renewable technology companies through manufacturing across the country.

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 with any suggested corrections.)

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