On Tuesday, December 9th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy convened a hearing on H.R. 957, the Green Energy Education Act of 2009 and eight other energy and climate related bills which covered topics from wind energy research to carbon capture technology development incentives, and biofuels for small engines. The Subcommittee hearing is the first Senate action on the measure since the House of Representatives passed the bill on April 22nd by a vote of 411-6.
Introduced by Congressman Mike McCaul (TX), the Green Energy Education Act would call on the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to partner in providing grants to university programs that focus on the design and construction of high performance buildings. The legislation specifically states that priority should be given to university programs with design, architecture, landscape architecture, and city, regional, or urban planning. One of the primary goals of the legislation is to improve the ability of engineers, architects, landscape architects, and planners to work together on the design and construction of high performance buildings.
DOE Under Secretary for Energy Dr. Kristina Johnson testified before the Subcommittee to provide the Administration’s comments and insights on the various pieces of energy-related legislation. While Johnson expressed the Administration’s concerns for most of the bills considered during the hearing, she applauded the goals of the Green Energy Education Act and stated that “preparing the next generation of our workforce is paramount to the Obama Administration.” However, Johnson did state that H.R. 957 could be expanded to address the broader issue of energy education. Subcommittee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (WA) promised to work with Under Secretary Johnson and the Administration on specific ways to improve the measures so that she could continue to move the legislation through the process.
ASLA has reached out to the Office of Congressman McCaul to learn about any proposed changes to the Green Energy Education Act.