Obama Speaks Out on Green Buildings
President Obama traveled to Penn State University to tour energy efficient labs working on new technologies and to talk about...green buildings. He spoke to his young audience about the need to "make America home to the most energy-efficient buildings in the world."
"Now, that may not sound too sexy: energy-efficient buildings," he continued to some laughter. "But listen, our homes and our businesses consume 40 percent of the energy we use. Think about that. Everybody focuses on cars and gas prices, and that's understandable. But our homes and our businesses use 40 percent of the energy. They contribute to 40 percent of the carbon pollution that we produce and that is contributing to climate change. It costs us billions of dollars in energy bills. They waste huge amounts of energy."
Hey, Mr. President, we've been saying this all along, and, we think--actually we know--green buildings are sexy.
The President's Better Buildings Initiative aims to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by encouraging private sector investment in building upgrades through a series of incentives such as tax incentives and easier access to financing. The program will be paid for by raising taxes on oil and gas companies, who as Obama stated in his State of the Union address, don't need the money. "They're doing just fine on their own," he said. "It's time to stop subsidizing yesterday's energy. It's time to invest in tomorrow's."
"Making our buildings more energy-efficient is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to save money, combat pollution and create jobs right here in the United States of America. And that's what we're going to do."
The green building design community has the knowledge and experience to make all this happen. We're ready, Mr. President.