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Issue Brief: H.R. 2336 The Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) Act

The Issue

ASLA supports legislation that encourages energy efficiency, conservation and the development of renewable energy sources for residential and commercial buildings.

Background & Analysis

H.R. 2336, the Green Resources For Energy Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) Act, re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 7, 2009, allows mortgage companies to issue energy efficient mortgages, and location efficient mortgages, both of which offer incentives for reducing energy consumption.

The GREEN Act also establishes energy efficient standards for residences constructed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Most notably, Section 15 – “Making It Green” of the bill requires HUD to employ the use of green roofs, tree canopy coverage, and other site planning techniques to help reduce energy use in certain HUD facilities. The bill requires that future HUD projects minimize the impact of construction on existing landscapes, build green roofs on new buildings, and establish a goal of minimum green space and tree canopy cover. Moreover, the legislation requires HUD to consult specifically with ASLA on these techniques and practices.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) introduced S. 1379, a companion bill similar to the GREEN Act, which would encourage energy efficiency and development of renewable energy sources for housing, commercial structures, and other buildings.  However, S. 1379 does NOT include Section 15 – “Making It Green,” which specifically calls for certain housing units to utilize green infrastructure and other landscape architectural techniques to promote energy efficiency. 

Sponsor(s)

H. 2336 - Representative Ed Perlmutter (CO) and co-sponsors.
S. 1379 – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and co-sponsors.

History and Current Status

H.R. 2336 was re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 7, 2009 by Representative Ed Perlmutter.  The Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity held hearings on the measure on June 11, 2009.

On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act by a vote of 219-212. The measure provides a multifaceted approach to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases.  The entire text of H.R. 2336, the Green Resources for Energy Efficient Neighborhoods (GREEN) Act was included in this omnibus measure.  Currently, the Senate has not taken similar action on an omnibus carbon reduction measure.

S. 1379 was introduced on June 25, 2009 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs where it is awaiting further action. 

During the 110th Congress, the GREEN Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of H.R. 6078, the Comprehensive Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act in September 2008. Unfortunately the Senate failed to take action on the legislation and the bill was not signed into law.

Resources

Bill Text: The GREEN Act (H.R. 2336)Press Release: Rep. Ed Perlmutter 5/14/2009
LAND Online: EVP Somerville Tells Hill, “GREEN” Act is Groundbreaking for Landscape Architects – 7/21/09.
ASLA Advocacy News: “Landscape Architects Part of the Solution in the American Clean Energy Security Act” – 6/26/09.
LAND Online: House Subcommittee Reviews Bill Calling for Sustainable Site Practices – 6/23/09.

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governmentaffairs@asla.org 

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