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Santa Monica Wins Kudos for Building Green

By Lookout Staff

August 15 -- Building greener buildings has earned Santa Monica a reputation and notice from a Washington D.C- based Alliance representing 17 million Americans that is dedicated to weaning the nation off of its dependence on foreign oil.

Apollo Alliance recognized Santa Monica’s green building program, which boasts the most certified green buildings per capita in the nation, according to “New Energy for Cities,” a report highlighting several cities’ efforts to use alternative energy and conservation tactics in City planning.

“Santa Monica has done a great job promoting clean energy,” said Carla Din, Western Regional Field Director of the Apollo Alliance, a broad coalition of labor, environmental, business and community organizations. “The city’s comprehensive Green Building Design has helped to set a foundation for a more sustainable way of life.

“It enhances local resources, promotes energy efficiency and energy independence, helps to prevents harm to the natural environment, and strengthens the local economy,” Din said.

“It’s an honor for Santa Monica to be recognized for our work on green building,” said Mayor Bob Holbrook. “We now have the highest number of LEED certified green buildings per capita in the country.”

For a building to be certified sustainable it must meet LEED standards – which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – as set by the US Green Building Council.

“Cities are setting a leadership standard that we hope Washington will one day follow,” Holbrook said. “Santa Monica is encouraging the development of green buildings without burdening developers, building owners or occupants.

“We’re working on solutions that will protect our environment, create good jobs, and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign energy,” the mayor said.

Alliance officials note that the steps cities, such as Santa Monica, are taking now are especially important because the federal government has remained largely silent on energy reform.

“Our cities aren’t holding their breath waiting for leadership from Washington, D.C.,” said Jerome Ringo, president of the Apollo Alliance. “They've declared energy independence by cutting oil use, investing in clean, homegrown power, and designing energy efficient buildings and communities.

“And they’re tying these programs to job quality standards, to ensure the benefits of the new energy economy are enjoyed by everyone, Ringo said. “These investments are paying big dividends in healthier air and reduced dependence on foreign energy.”

For more information, visit www.apolloalliance.org.

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