My name is Payton Chung, I live in Southwest Waterfront in Ward 6, and I am testifying with regard to the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018. I am also a board member of the District of Columbia chapter of the Sierra Club, which has heartily applauded this bill, and an editor for Greater Greater Washington.
I’m a homeowner in a vulnerable location, just a few meters above the rising tides in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers. Some of my neighbors live in houses that are over 200 years old, which have made it this far, but whose survival in coming decades depends upon the passage of this bill and others like it.
The past few years of weird weather have given us a small taste of what a destabilized climate means for DC. So-called “business as usual” carbon emissions are a misnomer, as they will ensure that business will soon become very un-usual. Instead, businesses need the certainty of knowing that emissions will decline, and therefore that their business can indeed proceed as usual.
Passage of this bill will also cement DC’s position as a leader in green business development. We are the nation’s undisputed champion in the green and energy-efficient building sector, with more buildings certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Energy Star rating systems per capita than any other U.S. city. Green building professionals like myself (a LEED accredited professional in neighborhood development) have risen to the challenge set by DC’s high standards for building energy efficiency, and are capable of helping DC achieve the even more rigorous standards included in this bill. By expanding the SETF and Green Bank, this bill also ensures that all Washingtonians can implement these advanced technologies.
Passage of this bill will also boost expand DC’s already substantial “green dividend” – the economic gains we see from the fact that DC residents spend relatively little on fossil fuel imports, and therefore spend more with DC businesses. Since DC does not produce oil or gas, every dollar spent on these fuels vanishes from our local economy in a puff of smoke. Increasing energy efficiency for our buildings and transportation network directly lowers operating costs, saving businesses and residents money and keeping dollars within DC.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in favor of the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act.