Quantcast

Senate Bill Would Create Thousands of Green Jobs Through Energy Efficient Retrofits

Climate

U.S. Green Building Council

Legislation recently introduced by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)—joined by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) as co-sponsors—would create thousands of U.S. construction and manufacturing jobs by spurring energy efficient retrofits of commercial and multifamily buildings, according to an industry-conservation alliance that includes The Real Estate Roundtable, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Commercial Building Modernization Act (S. 3591) would extend and improve the existing federal tax deduction (Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code) by leveraging vast sums of private sector investment for technology-neutral, performance-based retrofits. Although the deduction has been available for years (enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005), it has been cumbersome and costly for building owners to apply Section 179D for comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. As a result, the current deduction has mostly been used for partial building system upgrades—when used at all.

The reformed 179D tax deduction would generate more than 77,000 construction, manufacturing and service jobs throughout the country—while achieving greater national energy security and independence—according to a 2011 analysis released by USGBC, NRDC and The Roundtable.

“The Snowe-Bingaman legislation is exactly the type of forward-thinking policy America needs right now,” said Jeffrey D. DeBoer, Real Estate Roundtable president and CEO. “Saving energy is cheaper than producing energy. Modest incentives such as a reformed 179D tax deduction give us great bang-for-the-buck in terms of creating jobs, saving businesses billions of dollars on utility bills, and leveraging private sector funds to enhance GDP and jump-start the sluggish economic recovery.”

“This bipartisan legislation demonstrates how tax policy supporting energy efficiency and green building concepts in the places we live and work can create jobs and support innovation in the private sector,” said Roger Platt, senior vice president for Global Policy and Law at USGBC. “Saving money and creating better buildings makes good sense from any perspective, and the potential of 77,000 new jobs and billions in energy savings is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“This is a win-win for the economy and the environment. This bill will give the right people the right tools they need to make our nation’s buildings more efficient, allowing building owners, architects and engineers and other stakeholders to help us reduce carbon pollution,” said Franz Matzner, associate director of government affairs at the NRDC. “By targeting the incentive for retrofits and focusing on real energy savings, this bill will reduce energy bills, create jobs and clean up the air we breathe.”

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Jair Bolsonaro pictured at a presidential debate in Brasilia, Brazil June 6, 2018. REUTERS / Adriano Machado / CC BY-NC 2.0

Despite confirmation this week that the deforestation rate in the Amazon rainforest is at its highest in more than a decade, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro refuses to take the problem seriously.

Read More Show Less
A video shows a woman rescuing a koala from Australia's wildfires. VOA News / YouTube screenshot

More than 350 koalas may have died in the wildfires raging near the Australian town of Port Macquarie in New South Wales, but one got a chance at survival after a woman risked her life to carry him to safety.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A healthy diet may reduce hearing loss later in life, according to a new study. PamelaJoeMcFarlane / E+ / Getty Images

Weight loss aside, there is no shortage of benefits to eating healthier: a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, reduced gut inflammation and preventing memory loss later in life, to name a few. A healthy diet may also reduce hearing loss later in life, according to a new study out of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Read More Show Less
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk discusses vehicle dimensions in front of the newly unveiled all-electric battery-powered Tesla Cybertruck at Tesla Design Center in Hawthorne, California on Nov. 21. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

Tesla just unveiled its first electric truck.

CEO Elon Musk showed off the new design at a launch event at the company's Design Studio in Hawthorne, California Thursday.

Read More Show Less
This study found evidence of illegal hammerhead fins in 46 out of 46 sampling events in Hong Kong. NOAA / Teachers at Sea Program

By Jason Bittel

Authorities in Hong Kong intercepted some questionable cargo three years ago — a rather large shipment of shark fins that had originated in Panama. Shark fins are a hot commodity among some Asian communities for their use in soup, and most species are legally consumed in Hong Kong, but certain species are banned from international trade due to their extinction risk. And wouldn't you know it: this confiscated shipment contained nearly a ton of illegal hammerhead fins.

Read More Show Less