By Representative Jay Inslee
In a speech at the 2009 National Clean Energy Summit 2.0, President Bill Clinton said that energy efficiency is "the easiest-to-reach low-hanging fruit that will create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Absolutely true.
Last week, President Obama, with President Clinton alongside, announced $4 billion in federal and private green building investments as part of President Obama's Better Building Initiative, which set a national target of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020. The U.S. Green Building Council has estimated that the broader Better Buildings Initiative has the potential to create up to 114,000 jobs. Energy efficiency opportunities like these create real jobs that will make our country better, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, clean our air, and save money for businesses.
It's great to see that two local initiatives have pledged their support for the Better Buildings Initiative. Excerpted from the White House release:
Green Sports Alliance
The Green Sports Alliance is currently comprised of 35 member sports teams representing over 20 million square feet of sports venues and facilities. Supporting the Better Buildings Challenge encourages professional sports teams and their venues to implement conservation projects that will result in significant financial and environmental performance.
The Seattle 2030 District is a nonprofit organization of more than 60 civic leaders, including building owners and professionals, utilities, Architecture2030, the City of Seattle, and King County, creating the first large-scale, high performance building district in the country. The 2030 District follows along an existing history of progressive energy efficiency action by the city, and includes a set of aggressive reduction goals for building energy use, water use, and greenhouse gases.
Also locally, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) has been creating the Building Efficiency Testing and Integration (BETI) Center and Demonstration Network, which will be a place for innovators in the energy-efficiency field to test their products, designs and services prior to launching them into the marketplace, and learn about their integration with the other aspects of the built environment.
Kudos to these the Green Sports Alliance, Seattle 2030 and PSRC for helping lead the way toward greater energy efficiency in our state, which will equal good paying jobs, cleaner air, and helping businesses save money.