This week, the Democratic candidates for President face off in their first televised debates. With more than 20 announced candidates, there will be scores of policy proposals flying around, including ones on environmental issues like climate change.

But where to the candidates stand on green-building policy? Do they even see buildings as part of the solution?

CSBE reviewed the Democratic candidates’ websites to find out where they stand on sustainable building issues. (In the coming weeks, CSBE will also look at President Trump’s agenda and record on these issues.)

Click here to see what each candidate says (or does not say) about green buildings. 

Washington Post
June 19, 2019

The Trump administration on Wednesday completed one of its biggest rollbacks of environmental rules, replacing a landmark Obama-era effort that sought to wean the nation’s electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, signed a replacement rule that gives states leeway in deciding whether to require efficiency upgrades at existing coal plants.

Wheeler said coal-fired power plants remained essential to the power grid, something that opponents deny. “Americans want reliable energy that they can afford,” he said at a news conference. There’s no denying “the fact that fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix,” he said. More . . .

June 20, 2019

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday advanced legislation to extend through 2020 a host of tax breaks that expired in 2017 and 2018 or will expire at the end of this year.

The bill, t he Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 3301) , was introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA). Approved on a party-line 25-17 vote, the bill extends through 2020 a number of green building incentives, including the 179D energy efficient commercial building tax deduction and the energy efficient homes credit. More . . .

Daily Energy Insider
June 18, 2019

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced last week a bill to establish energy and water usage reduction goals for federal buildings.

The bill, the Federal Energy and Water Management Performance Act of 2019, is cosponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). It would authorize the program to do this – the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) – through 2030.

“Increasing energy efficiency is an idea we should all be able to get behind, and the federal government can lead by example by consuming less energy and water,” Murkowski, chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said. “Our bill lays out goals for federal agencies through 2030, and for the first time formally authorizes the Federal Energy Management Program. This is a prime example of a no-regrets policy that will be good for American families, communities, and our climate all at the same time.” More . . .

Roll Call
June 12, 2019

With a presence in all 50 states, seven American territories, at least 40 foreign nations and more than 300,000 buildings globally, the U.S. military will not be able to escape climate change or its byproducts of hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and rising oceans.

Still, the Pentagon and Congress seem to be planning for and girding against climate change on an ad-hoc basis, rather than drafting broader and concerted strategies, and responding to the storms that just hit rather than those yet to come.

That lack of preparedness is an issue likely to emerge when the House Armed Services Committee begins its markup of the fiscal 2020 defense policy bill. “If we rebuild something like Tyndall, we should be rebuilding it certainly with a mindset that this will happen again,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlahan , a Pennsylvania Democrat and Air Force veteran who sits on the committee. More . . .


Sponsor: Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Introduced: June 13, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
Introduced: June 18, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)
Introduced: June 18, 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Mike Thompson
Latest Action: Approved by Ways and Means Committee, 25-17 (June 20, 2019)

Sponsor: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Introduced: June 10, 2019


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