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WASHINGTON, DC-There is an unprecedented amount of legislation pending in Congress that addresses energy efficiency or green building, according to Roger Platt, USGBC’s senior vice president of global policy and law. These bills, twenty or so all together in the House or Senate–including legislation that is pending introduction, would have been unthinkable ten years ago, Platt tells GlobeSt.com. “I can’t imagine having celebrated three or even five pieces of legislation much less ten,” he says.

In the span of a decade, however, there has been a sea-change in legislators’ attitude towards green building. “It has become very much a bi-partisan issue,” Platt says. “The last Administration was also committed to have the federal government lead by example in this area. This Administration has been very vocal about it too. The Energy Secretary, even the President, refers to green building as an important policy goal.”

The stimulus bill, passed a year ago, was the largest piece of legislation passed in this area, providing some $23 billion for energy efficiency or other green building expenditures, he notes.

The federal government’s push for green building comes as the private sector has noticeably backed away from a commitment to green, although Platt says that almost every day there is an announcement that a building has been retrofitted or will be developed with an eye to LEED. Many of these, he acknowledges, began before the financial crisis or are being financed out of expected energy savings. Once the capital and lending markets begin to flow again, he predicts, the private sector will return to earlier levels of such activity.

Following is USGBC’s list of green legislation, most of which are still pending in the House or Senate.



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