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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

PA State Rep. Matt Smith's Green Building Legislation passes unanimously

Great news for Pennsylvania! State Representative Matt Smith's green building legislation will provide tax incentives to both commercial and residential builders for energy efficiency and green design. The full text of the press release is below, here is a brief sound byte from Rep. Smith. I will follow this up with more details as they become available.

HARRISBURG, Dec. 12 – State Rep. Matt Smith, D-Allegheny, said legislation he authored to promote environmentally friendly construction and renovation in Pennsylvania unanimously passed the House of Representatives today during the special session on energy independence.

“This legislation will not only pay off environmentally, but economically as well,” Smith said. “By encouraging the use of environmentally smart materials and building design, we will generate new economic growth and development in an industry that has nowhere to go but up.”

The legislation, Special Session H.B. 5, would provide tax credits to commercial or residential owners or tenants for the construction of “green” buildings, or the renovation of non-green buildings into green buildings. These buildings, known as high-performance buildings, must meet specific size standards in order to qualify, and must also meet specific environmental standards in several areas, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“Green buildings are more comfortable to live and work in, and that increases quality of life at home and productivity on the job,” Smith said. “Green buildings also save on the cost of energy in operating the building over the life of the structure.”

The special session on energy independence was called by the governor over the summer. During the special session, only legislation affecting energy policy can be introduced, debated and passed


A>B said...

This is great news. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to do on the EIS bills when February rolls around. We would all like to have seen them pass before recess.

You know that PennFuture has done a lot of work in the past month to keep the EIS package of bills on the tops of our Senator's and Congressman's minds.

Check out their blog and podcast site, you might find that it is a good supplement to some of things that you talk about.


Schultz said...

I agree and I've been following the progress of the bill since February. It's a shame it wasn't passed this year but we should have done a better job informing the public of the importance of that bills passage - not only to our environment but also the positive economic implications of the bill here in PA.

I will check out your podcasts and blog - contact me if there is any ways in which I can help you guys.

schultzchr at gmail

A>B said...

I think that the real trick at this point is to put enough pressure on our leaders to get these bills pushed through as soon as possible.

We'd all hate to see these bills continually delayed, as the cost of not having them is huge for all residents in the state.

I am particularly interested in seeing the smart meter bills (H.B.217 and S.S. H.B.38) get passed. It's a crime that we don't have the option of putting smart meters on our homes at this point in time. This isn't to say that the other bills aren't important. I'm just partial to that which we should have anyways.

I appreciate your interest in PennFuture. I would say that the best way to help them in their efforts is to utilize them as a source of information about environmental issues in Pennsylvania. I have only interned with the organization for a few months but have learned that they work really hard to address all kinds of prevalent and important environmental issues in the state.

I have book marked your blog. I look forward to checking out your future posts.