Building Legislation Introduced, Supported by Senators
U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.),
have introduced bipartisan legislation that, if passed, would authorize
$50 million over five years to encourage the design and construction
of more "green" buildings.
The High-Performance Green Building Act of 2006 requires the federal
government establish green building standards for all federal facilities.
Additionally, the bill is designed to improve federal coordination
and leadership related to the use of green buildings, expands research
and development of green building technology, increases public outreach
regarding green building activities and encourages schools to improve
the environmental conditions of facilities, among other things.
The High-Performance Green Building Act of 2006 would specifically
authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award a total
of $10 million over five years in grants to states and local educational
agencies to better utilize existing EPA programs and assist schools
in developing environmental quality plans.
The bill would bring together existing federal green building initiatives,
including those outlined in the Memorandums of Understanding and
"The federal government must lead the way in encouraging the
construction and use of safe and efficient buildings. We owe it
to our federal workforce and our taxpayers," Sen. Jeffords
was quoted as saying in a Senate press release.
"We have an urgent need to take steps to combat the causes
of global warming," said Feinstein. "Safe, energy efficient
buildings can be an important part of a comprehensive global warming
agenda. This bill wills save electricity consumption, reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and streamline existing federal regulations. It is
a good first step."
Other Senators cosponsoring the bill are Olympia Snowe (R-Maine),
Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), Barbara Boxer
(D-Calif.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Joseph Lieberman (D-Ct.)
and Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
According to a Senate press release, the American Institute of Architects
(AIA), Healthy Schools Network and the Environmental and Energy
Study Institute are all supporting the bill.