Congressional High Performance Building Caucus Formed

Guest Post by Jonathan Lane
J.D. Candidate, 2010
University of Pennsylvania Law School

In an indication that green building policies will be subject to considerable attention in the development of energy and climate legislation in the new Congress, the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus was formed this summer among members of the House of Representatives, and in contrast to many other such caucuses there are already efforts to make the caucus a substantive group that goes far beyond being a list of the names of interested members.

The High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition,  consisting of over 40 industry groups, is working with the Caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) and Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), "to promote and showcase best practices in building design and focus on issues reflecting all aspects of high-performance buildings." Including the co-chairs, there are 16 members currently in the Caucus, 15 Democrats and 1 Republican, though since, as a Carnahan spokesperson told Politico, "this is a largely bipartisan issue," there will be an effort to recruit more Republican members early in the new session of Congress.

According to a new article in Politico discussing the Caucus

 some caucus members are already considering introducing green-building legislation that experts expect say could include tax incentives and implementation of a smart-grid system… Caucus members are also eyeing economic stimulus or climate bills as potential vehicles for green measures… The green buildings issue will likely be one of the easiest energy-related ideas to move through Congress next year.

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