Washington, DC - This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an economic recovery package containing nearly $80 billion in clean energy, energy efficiency, public transit, rail and green transportation funding.
“With the clean energy and green transportation investments in this package, Congress can deliver a green economic recovery that will repower America and recharge our economy,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy advocate, Environment California.
The final bill invests $32.80 billion for clean energy, $26.86 billion for energy efficiency, and $18.95 billion for green transportation. Environment California highlighted the following provisions:
- Extending and “recession proofing” the renewable energy incentives, which will prevent 55.8 million tons of global warming pollution per year by the end of the three year extension and create or protect 254,000 jobs in the near term;
- Creating a renewable energy manufacturing tax credit;
- Fully funding the Green Jobs Act at $500 million over 2 years which will train 70,000 workers in renewable energy and energy efficiency job;
- Invest $4.5 billion to upgrade our electricity transmission system to better take advantage of renewable energy and improve efficiency;
- Providing $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, enough to prevent 9.7 million tons of global warming pollution and create 375,000 jobs;
- Providing $4.5 billion to improve energy efficiency of federal buildings, the nation’s biggest energy user;
- Funding the State Energy Program at $3.1 billion to help citizens and business save energy;
- Providing $3.2 billion in block grants for local government energy efficiency and renewable energy projects;
- Providing $8.4 billion in public transit, which will save 10.3 million barrels of oil and create or preserve 252,000 jobs, with $1.5 billion set aside for expanding capacity and upgrades to existing transit systems;
- Investing $8 billion for new high speed rail projects.
In 2008, the wind energy industry installed enough new power capacity to avoid nearly 44 million tons of global warming pollution and increased U.S. wind industry jobs by 70 percent. Fixing the renewable energy tax incentives was a top priority to keep increasing the development of clean, renewable energy and reducing global warming pollution.
Environment California also commended the House and Senate leaders who removed billions of dollars in loan guarantees from the final bill that could have been used for nuclear power and liquid coal.
“The clean energy investments we need to protect our environment and start solving global warming will create more jobs and stimulate the economy more than the dirty technologies of the past. We urge the Senate to quickly deliver this final bill to President Obama so America can get on the path to a clean energy economy,” concluded Del Chiaro.