How to Stimulate a Green Recovery
photo Cyron @ flickr
Green Recovery. After this week's financial free fall, don't those two words sound great together? The University of Massachusetts' Political Economy Research Institute economists - funded by the Center for American Progress - have a plan! They insist it will cost only $100 billion in investment over the next two years in six areas - building retrofits, mass transit, smart grids, wind and solar and 'advanced' biofuels. That's not exactly spare change, but the last 'non-green' economic stimulus package of April 2008 cost the government $168 billion. Those tax refund checks were nice, of course, but they didn't exactly work. So what do we have to do?
Two million new jobs and a lot of building retrofits
PERI's document suggests that $50 billion in tax credits, $46 billion in direct government spending and $4 billion in loan guarantees aimed at those areas over two years will be the basis of a green recovery. PERI's report also said the investments it recommends could create as many as two million green jobs.
Political will lacking
The problem with the PERI report, as with most reports, is that it doesn't include a section on how to turn the heads of our government leaders. You know, the old 'political will' question. But PERI admits "national, visionary leadership" is needed - right now the best initiatives in these areas are at the state level. Where's that national, visionary leadership when you really need it? But John Podesta at Center for American Progress said real action is already happening at the state levels.
"We see the future in current activity at the state level, we just need to blow it out..." John Podesta, Center for American Progress