Create Construction Jobs, Generate Positive Environmental Impacts, and Create Long-Term Savings by Adopting Measures to Spur the Retrofitting of Government and Commercial Buildings
The Jobs Council recommended retrofitting government and commercial buildings for energy efficiency. This will create jobs for the hard-hit construction industry, and save companies up to $40B in energy costs over the long-term.
$4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings.
In December 2011, the Administration announced $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years.
In June, the Administration announced that 36 additional State, local and district partners joined President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, with commitments totaling nearly $300 million. This brings the total commitments to more than 2 billion in square feet in public and private sector building energy upgrades. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector at no cost to taxpayers.
Modernize and Expand the Electrical Grid through Transmission Siting Reform
The current process for siting (i.e., locating and permitting) a transmission line was established in 1935. Now, successfully working through the permitting process can literally take years. Additionally, the United States has among the best clean energy resources in the world, but there is a lack of transmission capacity to fully take advantage of these resources. The Jobs Council recommended reforming and accelerating the transmission siting process under existing federal law.
Announcement of Transmission Projects for Accelerated Permitting.
In October 2011, the Department of Energy announced it would accelerate the permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines. This effort will be led by the Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT).
Strike a Balance on Controversial Energy Developments
Environmental and safety concerns have sparked controversy over specific energy developments, including a pipeline that would transport heavy oil from northern Alberta in Canada to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast, the resumption of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing of shale gas supplies. Estimates suggest that these three streams of private investment, could together support or preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next few years. The Jobs Council urged all stakeholders to make extraordinary efforts to strike an intelligent balance that protects people, safety, the environment, and our nation’s water supplies, while also allowing the economic benefits of these innovations to be realized.
Department of Energy Report on Steps to Improve the Safety and Environmental Performance of Shale Gas Development.
In August 2011, the Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board released a report presenting recommendations that if implemented will reduce the environmental impacts from shale gas production.
Completed oil and gas lease auctions in the Gulf of Mexico.
Seeking to invest in oil and gas while also protecting public safety and the environment, the Administration built on its December 2011 oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico (the first after the Deepwater Horizon explosion) with a June 2012 lease sale on an additional 39 million acres.
The Administration also announced the 2012-2017 Offshore Oil and Gas Development Program, which will make more than 75% of the estimated undiscovered oil and gas resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf available for exploration and development.