Of course, the driving issue in the upcoming elections is economic recovery and stimulus; not America’s carbon footprint. When discussing climate change and sustainability, it seems that most candidates are very rehearsed and uniform in their policies and opinions (excluding the Tea Party’s recent statements denying climate change). We’ve heard them say it plenty of times before: let’s reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increase our use of solar energy. Despite the environment being a secondary issue, there is one noteworthy candidate,that understands the inextricable link between economic and environmental efficiency.
Congressman Baird of Washington’s Third District is campaigning for policies that can create a greener and cheaper trajectory. Rather than spitting out the usual political lingo about investments in solar technology and upping alternative energy, he has come up with an innovative and unprecedented idea.
Acknowledging the financial woes of the average American, Baird believes that the total utility cost of a home should be readily available information to potential new homeowners. By including the total utility cost of a home as part of the buying information, consumers can make an informed/educated decision. Congressman Baird suggests that by having the real estate market both emphasize and publicize information of month-to-month utilities on water, gas, etc, we can slowly reduce our carbon footprint. The enduring effects of implementing this idea could be huge. By keeping buyers informed about these types of expenses, it provides incentive to become energy efficient because of the long term lower operating costs. Check out his ideas here.
Certainly, the US has become extremely jaded and skeptical of politicians in light of the continuously promised, but never fulfilled “change.” Therefore, Congressman Baird’s ideas, in theory, seem extremely promising, but in actuality may never be realized. Planet Forward would love to hear your thoughts and predictions on Congressman Baird’s suggestions for a cleaner, greener, and cheaper America.
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