Federal Climate Bill Gets ‘Yea’ in the House, G.R.E.E.N. Act and Location Efficiency Get Integrated
Last Friday, H.R. 2454 – the American Clean Energy & Security Act (ACES), also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill – successfully passed in the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 219 to 212. This Thursday, a Senate counterpart to the plan was officially unveiled by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The bill calls for an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with programs to encourage renewable energy production. This landmark legislation is the first to focus on comprehensive and direct solutions to climate change. The bill successfully targets climate change by focusing on short-term solutions like provisions for creating energy-efficient buildings—solutions that can reduce energy usage and save Americans money.
Additionally, key language from the G.R.E.E.N. Act will be included into the final version of the bill. “The GREEN Act measures will help revitalize our economy by making energy efficiency practices more affordable, accessible and achievable by consumers, businesses and government entities,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).
CNT is excited that Location Efficient Mortgages (LEMs) will be included in this legislation as a tool at integrating housing and transportation savings for first-time home buyers. CNT co-developed LEMs in 1995 with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Surface Transportation Policy Project to help people become homeowners in location efficient communities. When alternative transportation options are available in a community, like walking, biking and public transit, this frees up more money for housing. LEM lenders account for the savings as additional income to go toward the purchase of a home.
By targeting both location and energy efficiency, the federal climate bill contains the ‘meat’ necessary to tackle climate change comprehensively. And the results should benefit the pockets of working families and our natural resources.