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Green Buildings & Schools

Promoting Municipal Financing for Solar Power Investments

As concerns about reliance on foreign energy resources increase and we try to combat climate change by reducing our emissions and expanding renewable energy use, there has been an increase in talk about public financing of clean energy improvements. 

Energy Efficiency Created 1.5 Million Jobs in California; Points to National Economic Recovery Program

Can investments in green jobs and energy efficiency revive our national economy?  A new study, which assesses job creation as a result of energy efficiency policies in California over the last thirty years, argues that it can.

Washington House Passes Bill to Create Green Jobs

The Washington State House has voted to establish a comprehensive "green economy jobs growth initiative" that aims to increase the number of green jobs to 25,000 by 2020. "Green jobs" is the term used to describe the good-paying, sustainable jobs that are created through environmentally sensible projects. For example, increased energy efficiency requirements will require work retrofitting buildings all across America with solar panels, insulation and other weatherizing materials. The federal Green Jobs Act of 2007, which authorized $125 million per year to create green jobs worker training programs, was included in the recently enacted Energy Independence and Security Act.

Aiding States to Stimulate the National Economy

As Congress debates a stimulus to the economy in the wake of the housing bust, many economists are urging federal leaders to make aid to state governments a core part of the package. While direct tax rebates for individuals can help, it will not do much for the economy if states are forced to cut back on critical spending on public works, health care, and education at the same time. As Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who was also chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisors in the 1990s, wrote this week in the New York Times:

Bold Plan for Carbon Tax Introduced in Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon city officials introduced a bold new plan that would require energy efficiency measures in each new home built. The plan would impose a carbon fee on builders for each new home that is not extremely energy efficient and also require an energy efficiency report be done by home inspectors as part of every existing home sale. The plan would also pay cash rewards to developers who built buildings that save at least 45% more energy than the Oregon building code would require. The City Council will start public hearings on the plan in January.

Clean Power Alternatives for Energy Independence

The public is fed up. They know that every barrel of oil we import from the Middle East helps regimes who don't share America's interest. Every gallon of gas burned on America's roadways contributes to asthma for children. And every time we import our energy, we're creating jobs abroad instead of here at home. There are alternatives to America's current dependence on foreign energy supplies. But don't look to the federal government to solve them. Their response to America's energy crisis is to give tax breaks to multinational energy companies raking in record profits -- a solution that is as short-sighted as it is unhelpful.