Greening Buildings Should Not Take Priority Over Job Creation, Says Diaz-Balart
Washington, D.C. – The following is the statement of U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart(R-FL), Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management Subcommittee Ranking Member, from today’s hearing to examine federal green buildings initiatives.
Watch Rep. Diaz-Balart’s statement on YouTube.
“Clearly the stimulus has not worked. We were promised unemployment would be capped at 8% if the stimulus passed. We are now at 9.5% and rising.
“We were promised the creation of 3.5 million jobs, but we’ve lost 2 million jobs since the stimulus was enacted.
“Now more than ever, we have to emphasize the need to create jobs for this nation.
“The stimulus included $5.5 billion for the GSA Federal Building Fund and designated $4.5 billion for ‘measures necessary to convert GSA facilities to High-Performance Green Buildings.’
“I support efforts to reduce energy consumption and to examine ways in which the federal government can help minimize the environmental impact of its facilities. This is a worthy goal.
“However, as I have stated before, I believe such efforts must be based on scientifically-proven technologies and done in such a way that supports American industries and creates jobs. I expressed concerns in previous hearings that the focus of GSA funding included in the stimulus is on ‘greening’ federal buildings, instead of creating jobs.
“The two objectives are not mutually exclusive; however, the priority should be job creation.
“I do hope, as Acting GSA Administrator Paul Prouty indicated before this Committee in April, these projects will ‘stimulate job growth in the construction and real estate sectors and long-term improvements in energy efficient technologies….’ However, this has yet to be seen from the stimulus funds.”