In Focus

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Election 2022:

Where Candidates for Congress Stand

Wisconsin

3RD DISTRICT

Brad Pfaff

Democratic

U.S. House, Wisconsin 3

 

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'm no expert in this field by any stretch of the imagination, but I think some of the policies below is a good place to start.

 

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?

 

I will support policies (like the ones above) to ensure that this happens.

 

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

 

I believe we have a golden opportunity to do this since the current administration passed the CHIPs Act. We are brining back manufacturing jobs to communities that have been wiped out due to bad trade policies and even more impressive is that these jobs are largely in the green energy field. But we can expedite this process by investing in our manufacturing economy and our trade schools that will prepare the workforce for these good-paying jobs.

 

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'll be straight with you in that I'm no expert in this field. But I share the same values and beliefs that you do regarding making our buildings more energy efficient. So I will certainly work with anybody to ensure that existing buildings can be modernized so that they'll be more sustainable. 

 

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'm a state Senator and have a record of supporting renewable energy. I will always be a proponent for programs that will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the burden on small businesses (regarding their own energy costs).

5TH DISTRICT

Mike Van Someren

Democratic

U.S. House, Wisconsin 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?

 

Providing funding for research and development of new energy and water consumption and tax rebates to help pay for retrofitting existing buildings.

 

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

 

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?

 

Tax rebates for single-family home owners and multifamily owners as well as direct dollars for schools and other institutional buildings will ensure that most Americans benefit from healthy and sustainable buildings at home, work, and school, and regardless of whether people own or rent their homes. I would also look to provide low interest rate loans for more substantial improvements as well as an education program so people understand the cost-benefit of implementing sustainable building 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?

 

I truly believe we need more certified apprenticeship programs and technical or vocational programs and we need to allocate more funding for these types of education. I would also offer a tax deduction for legacy energy companies to fund workforce training for green energy jobs since many of these companies are themselves seeking to transition into more sustainable energy production. Finally, I would offer grants to unions that are seeking to implement apprenticeship and other training programs for sustainable building practies.

 

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. As a real estate attorney I understand that real estate is complementary to the rest of the economy. Further, building and the construction thereof are responsible for 36% of US carbon production each year. I will look to work with those in Congress that want to find practical solutions that will allow us to implement sustainable building practices in a cost-effective and economically viable way. 

 

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 with a number of clients that construct buildings to LEED, EnergyStar, and other sustainability standards.

8TH DISTRICT

Jacob VandenPlas

Libertarian

U.S. House, Wisconsin 8

 

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?

 

Allowing and empowering consumers/buyers to choose the optimum results in their purchases.  Allowiing freer markets than heretofore, without government coercion or mandates, or taxpayer-funded subsidies, to balance product/offerings with consumer needs/desires.  This, in my view, will create more efficient equilibrium between supply and demand. Any other way will inevitably lead to waste, corruption, or the need for forceful measures, that takes away consent and distort the laws of supply and demand.

 

2. WHICH 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

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

OTHER: Since the real changes in the habits and behavior of civilization at large come with the laws of supply and demand, consumers and private,  individual choices will set the benchmark on change. Where the Federal government has property, let it set its own

 

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?

 

Eliminate all laws that set up privileges to any group over and above the rights of anyone else. Guarantee that the Federal government remains blind to any distinctions and changes laws that favor, or disfavor, any law-abiding citizen. Treat everyone equally, in fact. What serves the good of the many must serve the good of the one; and vice versa.

 

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

 

Stop all government subsidies and control over education, training, etc. Let the private choices of education reflect the offerings of institutions, as seen by the needs of the labor market. Favor all options by favoring none in particular.

 

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?

 

For existing and future Federally-controlled-and-owned public property, absolutely. For dictating to private property owners, no.  However, I would agree to promote the transformation of buildings, as you describe, by the moral strength of persuasion, without government coercion or publicly-controlled taxpayer funds, as a free and open choice by individuals. 

 

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 run a sustainable and progressive vegetable farm in Green Bay, WI.  I teach veterans, like myself, how to farm in a sustainable and environmentally-economically successful way.

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.)