MARCH 2011

The Center for American Progress releases statement regarding President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative

Bracken Hendricks, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the following statement in regards to President Obama’s recent announcement of the Better Building Initiative:

“President Obama’s unveiling of an array of ambitious and achievable energy efficiency savings measures for our nation’s commercial-building owners could not be better timed. The president’s ‘Better Buildings Initiative,’ will result in thousands of new jobs for construction workers hard hit by the great recession and housing market travails, $40 billion per year in energy savings for United States commercial-building owners and substantially less greenhouse gases escaping into the atmosphere to warn our planet.

“The President called this our generation’s Sputnik moment, and rebuilding America’s offices and commercial buildings goes to the very heart of our economic competitiveness. The building materials and advanced technology that go into energy efficiency retrofits have over 90 percent American domestic content, and the firms that will create these jobs are mostly small businesses. The President’s Better Building Initiative will grow the market for cutting edge clean-energy technologies made here in America.

“Buildings (commercial and residential) account for 70 percent of all electricity consumption in the States and 40 percent of total domestic greenhouse gas emissions today. Yet much of our housing and building stock is old, inefficient, and unnecessarily wasteful. While building codes and green building standards offer a tool for achieving deep improvements in energy use for new buildings, half of the buildings that will be standing in 30 years already dot our landscape.

“The President’s initiative has the right focus on overcoming barriers to financing projects, helping small business and giving consumers better information. When America innovates, we can compete and win in emerging clean energy industries. Better Buildings offers a sound foundation for building a better future.”