Stimulus Bill Injects Green Economy
Thursday, February 12, 2009
On the afternoon of Friday the 13th, Congress appeared poised to pass a stimulus bill of about $787 billion, including almost "$80 billion for clean energy, energy efficiency, public transit, rail and green transportation funding," according to a press release from Environment California.
The nonprofit touts green projects funded by the federal stimulus bill, including:
A three-year extension for existing renewable energy incentives expected to create or protect more than 250,000 jobs;
A renewable energy manufacturing tax credit;
$500 million for the Green Jobs Act, which will train 70,000 workers in renewable energy and energy efficiency for two years;
$4.5 billion to upgrade electricity transmission infrastructure;
$5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, to improve energy conservation and create 375,000 jobs;
$4.5 billion to improve energy efficiency of federal buildings;
$3.1 billion for the State Energy Program, to help citizens and business save energy;
$3.2 billion in block grants for local government energy efficiency and renewable energy projects;
$8.4 billion for public transit, which will create or preserve 252,000 jobs; and
$8 billion for new high speed rail projects.
The bill passed the House of Representatives in the afternoon. The 60th senator needed to sign the bill and advance it to President Obama's desk was on a plane to D.C. Friday night, according to The New York Times.
For many environmentalists, the stimulus feeds hopes of a green economy growing out of the devastating national recession.
The San Francisco Chronicle, however, reports that California lawmakers may use as much as $10 billion in stimulus money to shrink the state's $42 billion budget deficit.