Issue Brief: Green Energy Education Act 2009

The Issue

ASLA supports legislation that promotes university curriculum that encourages the design and construction of high performance buildings.

Background & Analysis

Introduced by Congressman Mike McCaul (TX), H.R. 957, The Green Energy Education Act of 2009 would create a partnership between the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation to provide critical funding to university undergraduate and graduate programs that have curriculum focusing on the design and construction of high performance buildings.  A primary goal of the legislation is to improve the ability of design, construction and planning professionals to work together on the incorporation of advanced energy technologies during the design and construction of buildings.  The legislation specifically states that in awarding grants, DOE should give priority to university programs in design, architecture, landscape architecture, and city, regional, or urban planning.  ASLA will continue to work with Congressman McCaul until final passage of this important legislation.

Current Status
H.R. 957 passed the U.S. House of Representatives on April 22, 2009 by a vote of 411-6.  The measure was then referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. On December 9, 2009, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy convened a hearing on H.R. 957, along with eight other energy and climate related bills.


House (H.R. 957): Representative Michael McCaul, (TX) and co-sponsors

Previous Action 

During the 110th Congress, the Green Energy Education Act was introduced as H.R. 1716. The bill was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Science and Technology on March 27, 2007. At the request of ASLA, Congressman Michael McCaul (TX) offered an amendment to the legislation to include “landscape architects” in the section of the bill that calls for improving the ability of engineers, architects and planners to work together on designing high performance buildings.  The amendment unanimously passed the Subcommittee and was incorporated into the final version of the bill.  The bill was then amended and reported by the Committee on Science and Technology on June 5, 2007. 

The bill unanimously passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 416-0 on June 6, 2007.  However, the 110th Congress expired before the U.S. Senate could take action on the legislation.

During ASLA’s 2008 Advocacy Day, members appealed to their senators to contact the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to urge them to take action on this important legislation.


ASLA Advocacy News: Landscape Architecture Education Bill Gets Senate Action, 12/10/09
Bill Text: H.R.957, The Green Energy Education Act
Rep McCaul on Green Energy Education 4/22/2009
LAND Online: Preparing The Next Generation of Landscape Architects: U.S. Congressman Introduces Legislation To Assist University Landscape Architecture Programs.

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