House Democrats to "Green the Capitol"

March 2, 2007
Blog
Speaker Pelosi testified before the Science Committee last month explaining, "for twelve years, the leadership in the House of Representatives stifled all discussion and debate of global warming. That long rejection of reality is over, to the relief of Members on both sides of the aisle." Addressing global warming and protecting the environment are vital to protecting the health of all Americans, particularly our children. For the sake of our future generations, America must provide strong leadership to reduce emissions that are responsible for global warming. Increasing use of renewable energy sources, including biofuels, and energy efficiency will help reduce emissions, protecting future generations from this global threat. And as they say, change starts at home. Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and Juanita Millender-McDonald, Chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration wrote yesterday to Daniel Beard, Chief Administrative Officer, directing the "greening" of Capitol Hill buildings:

The Honorable Daniel P. Beard

Chief Administrative Officer

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Beard:

We are writing to direct you to undertake a critical initiative to address energy conservation, efficiency and cost savings for the U.S. Capitol and congressional office buildings.

The House of Representatives should provide leadership to the nation in providing an environmentally responsible and healthy working environment for our employees.

We request that you, in conjunction with your Senate counterparts, undertake a "Green the Capitol" initiative to ensure that the House institutes the most up-to-date industry and government standards for green building and green operating procedures. This process should include recommendations for benchmarking existing conditions; setting meaningful and measurable goals; timetables for implementing various changes in operating conditions; and measures to report progress on a regular basis.

A preliminary report should be provided by April 30, 2007, with final recommendations submitted to us by June 30. Please undertake this initiative in cooperation with the Architect of the Capitol, U.S. Capitol Police, and other House officers. You should also consult on a regular basis with the House Administration Committee, the Committee on Appropriations, and other House committees as appropriate. We would hope that you can consult with your Senate counterparts to ensure that the improvements you recommend are fully considered by those managing Senate operations and buildings as well.

The Capitol complex should lead the nation in preserving our planet for future generations.

Sincerely,

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker

Steny H. Hoyer

Majority Leader

Juanita Millender-McDonald

Chairwoman, Committee on House Administration