althOuGh enerGy and cliMate chanGe
leGislatiOn tOOk a Backseat tO healthcare deBates in late 2009, Congress will focus
again this year on passing legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In June 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed
H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act.
The original draft would have: ( 1) required energy audits
for all buildings and homes, ( 2) mandated buildings be
labeled with an energy rating, and ( 3) the label be disclosed at time of lease and/or sale.
IREM lobbied against these provisions and instead
asked Congress to support positive incentives for retrofitting buildings with energy-efficient improvements,
such as those included in H.R. 1778 by Rep. Peter Welch
(D-VT). This proposal was later approved as an amendment to H.R. 2454.
Additionally, the approved House bill does not require
audits; limits labeling to new construction only; and
prohibits the EPA from regulating commercial buildings
under the Clean Air Act. Overall,
the real estate provisions in the
version passed were much more
favorable to the commercial real
On November 5, 2009, the
Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee passed a similar climate bill,
calling for a 20-percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2020. This bill still needs to be
presented and voted on by the full Senate. If the Senate
passes its own version of an energy and climate bill, a
House-Senate conference committee will be held to reconcile differences between the two bills.
IREM and NAR will continue to work with members
of Congress to ensure the provisions in any energy/
climate change legislation remain favorable to the
commercial real estate industry.
The U.S. Department of Treasury announced that five
private investment funds will invest $3.07 billion in the
department’s long-awaited program to purchase toxic
real estate-related assets.
Under the Public Private Investment Program (PPIP),
Five firms agree to fund PPIP
the Treasury will match the $3.07 billion investment dol-
lar for dollar. Additionally, the federal government will
provide debt financing, which will increase the purchas-
ing power of all five groups to $12.27 billion. The five
firms investing in PPIP are BlackRock Inc., Wellington
Management Co., AllianceBernstein, TCW Group and
PPIP, a government program aimed at purchasing
soured assets that have contributed to the tight credit
market, has gotten off to a slow start since it was
announced earlier this year. Nonetheless, the five firms
participating in the program will help banks sell toxic
real estate assets, including commercial mortgage-
backed securities (CMBS), which is an encouraging sign
for the commercial real estate industry.
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