Code and government officials meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina voted to improve the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) standard by 30%. This is a great start on the road that we need to travel for energy neutral buildings. This is action that was not taken by Washington, but by state and local government agencies that see the need.
Buildings are responsible for 50% of the energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the US. Without fixing this we will never become energy independent or truly reduce our greenhouse gas output.
According to Edward Mazria, CEO of Architecture 2030, "By the year 2035, three-quarters of the built environment... will be either new or have been renovated, and that is the opportunity for this sector to basically slow down and reverse the destructive trend of global warming."
See this clip from the PBS show E2 (pronounced E-Squared): The Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious, hosted by Brad Pitt.