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Tax Incentives and Revised Building Codes

Multi-State Agenda: Green Buildings

Implementing more robust, or strengthening, state green building standards in new construction projects and renovations can help reduce the impact buildings have on our environment. Green building or sustainable building focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's life cycle, through better design, construction, and operation.

Eye on the Right: Businesses Split over Climate Change

The debate over clean energy is ripping open divisions in conservative business lobbies.  Debate on federal climate change legislation has led an increasing number of businesses to leave the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other business associations because of those organizations' stances against recognizing the scientific validity of climate change. The revolt has been growing ever since a senior Chamber official called for a "Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century" to evaluate evidence of global warming.

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.

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.