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Greening Already Green Buildings

RNC Communications - December 2, 2011

Question: Didn’t the $825 billion stimulus in 2009 spend $4.5 billion to “modernize 75 percent of all federal building space” and make them “more energy efficient” saving “taxpayers $2 billion a year”? Or was that just another failed Obama promise?  

Background:

“The Economic Stimulus Bill Obama Signed Into Law On Feb. 17, 2009, Includes At Least $4.5 Billion To Turn Federal Buildings Into ‘High-Performance Green Buildings.’” (“The Obameter: Reduce Energy Consumption In Federal Buildings,” Politifact, 3/12/09)

  • Stimulus Money Would Go To New Heating Systems, Improved Insulation, And Energy-Efficient Lighting. “That money could go to big-ticket items like new heating and cooling systems, or lesser items like improved insulation and more energy-efficient lighting.” (“The Obameter: Reduce Energy Consumption In Federal Buildings,” Politifact, 3/12/09)
  • The Stimulus Provided $4.5 Billion For Energy Efficiency In 8,600 Federal Buildings. “Prouty heads the U.S. General Services Administration, an under-the-radar government agency that owns or leases more than 352 million square feet of space in 8,600 federal buildings in 2,200 cities and towns. Among other responsibilities, the agency is tasked with cutting costs and emissions in the buildings it controls. The stimulus bill provides GSA with $4.5 billion for energy efficiency.” (David Goldman, “Stimulus: Uncle Sam Goes Green,” CNNMoney, 2/13/09)
  • Flashback: President Obama In January 2009: “That is why I have proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to immediately jumpstart job creation as well as long-term economic growth. … We’ll save taxpayers $2 billion a year by making 75% of federal buildings more energy efficient, and save the average working family $350 on their energy bills by weatherizing 2.5 million homes.” (President Obama, Weekly Address, 1/24/09)
  • Flashback: President Obama In April 2009: “Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we've begun to modernize 75 percent of all federal building space, which has the potential to reduce long-term energy costs just in federal buildings by billions of dollars on behalf of taxpayers.” (President Obama, Remarks By The President On Clean Energy, Newton, Iowa, 4/22/09)
  • Obama: “We’re Creating Jobs Immediately By Retrofitting These Buildings.” “At a press conference last Monday night, Obama defended the measure from critics, saying it's money well-spent. ‘We’re creating jobs immediately by retrofitting these buildings. And we are saving taxpayers,’” Obama said. ‘Why wouldn't we want to make that kind of investment?’” (David Goldman, “Stimulus: Uncle Sam Goes Green,” CNNMoney, 2/13/09)

Obama Issued An Executive Order In October 2009 To Require Federal Buildings To Be More Energy Efficient. “On the federal level, President Obama signed an executive order in October requiring increased energy and water efficiency in federal buildings.” (Kate Galbraith, “Stimulus Aid Is Slow To Reach Energy Savers,” The New York Times, 4/22/10)

Obama’s 2010 Proposed Budget Called For More Funding For “Green” Buildings. “Obama's budget outline for 2010 mentions additional funding for green buildings, though it doesn't specify an amount.” (“The Obameter: Reduce Energy Consumption In Federal Buildings,” Politifact, 3/12/09)

The GSA’s Federal Buildings Fund Was To Be “The Biggest Winner” Of Obama’s 2011 Budget. “The Obama budget for GSA focuses on spending on the federal buildings fund, the public buildings service supply and technology enhancements. The biggest winner under the budget request would be the federal buildings fund, which would increase by some $276 million over its fiscal 2010 level.” (Chalres S. Clark, “GSA Budget Focuses On Selling Property, Green Buildings And Citizen IT,” GovExec.com, 2/14/11)


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