USGBC applauds President Obama's plan for U.S. jobs

USGBC applauds the investment plan advanced by President Obama for getting Americans back to work.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) commended President Obama for his leadership, for taking action to put people back to work and for helping ensure a stronger America.

"It is clear that we must rebuild and modernize our increasingly brittle built environment," says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. "The country's infrastructure - our buildings, our roads, our transit, and our bridges - are in desperate need of investment, and the thousands of building sector professionals and small businesses, hard hit by the struggling economy, can be put back to work overnight. We just need to get on with it, and we offer our full support to President Obama's proposal and to the passage of the American Jobs Act."

"Energy retrofits especially, and the jobs and innovation embedded in this one activity, are a cornerstone to broader economic recovery in every sector," says Fedrizzi. "We know we could be saving $130 billion a year if we had greener, more efficient buildings and create nearly one million jobs in the process. And for every billion dollars invested at home in our infrastructure, we create 25,000 well-paying jobs.

"Specifically in commercial buildings, we know fixing the tax incentive for energy efficient commercial buildings, Section 179D, could create 77,000 additional jobs in energy efficiency. I hope Congress will strongly consider this common sense tax fix," he says.

"Just as importantly, our homes, our neighborhoods and our schools are in need of significant improvement," he says. "In fact, our schools have long been ringing the alarm, and there are thousands of projects out there that are ready to go the minute the funding is available. On average, our schools are more than 40 years old. Nearly a quarter of them require extensive repair just to meet basic health and safety standards, and 15,000 schools have air that had been deemed unfit to breathe. Our kids deserve school buildings that enhance their learning and their health, not compromise it, and this is a way to deliver on that promise."

Fedrizzi continues, "President Obama's proposal puts us on a path to create jobs by focusing on nation-building at home and the things that have always made us strong. By investing in our built environment, we stimulate our economy, we save energy, save people money, put Americans back to work and create a strong foundation for continued global leadership."