Senate Passes Stimulus Bill: Here Are Some of the Clean Energy Provisions


photo: Pittaya Sroilong via flickr

Now that the Senate has passed its version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (all 778 pages of it...) it's worthwhile to take a look at some of the green provisions in it. I've only had a chance to skim through it, and draw on the work of others who have done likewise, so TreeHugger readers, I urge you to do the same and weigh in on what's been included and what's been left out: The full text is now available as a PDF. Here are some things that have jumped out at me, particular in regards to energy:Renewable Energy
$39 billion to the Department of Energy for development of clean energy, including funds for job creation in research, demonstration and deployment.

$8.5 billion in new loan guarantees aimed at renewable energy projectsand for expanded electric transmission.

Dubiously Clean Energy
$4.6 billion for "Fossil Energy Research and Development", which includes 2.0 billion for "one or more zero-emissions power plants", 1 billion for 'clean coal' projects and 1.52 for carbon capture and storage projects.

Electricity Transmission
$6.5 billion of increased borrowing authority to the Bonneville and Western Area Power Administrations for expanding and upgrading electric transmission lines.

$4.5 billion for smart-grid related activities, including work to modernize the electric grid, enhance security and reliability, perform energy storage research, development, demonstration and deployment, and provide worker training.

Energy Efficiency
$4.2 billion in block grants for energy efficiency and conservation.

$2.6 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities to accelerate the development of technologies towards diversification of the energy supply.

$2.5 billion towards repair of federal buildings to increase energy efficiency.

There's a ton of other stuff in there, dealing with development of better car batteries, plug-in vehicles, upgrading government vehicles to more efficient models, etc., but that's going to have to do for now. More digging will have to wait.

Reaction to the bill from environmental groups was generally positive. Melinda Pierce of the Sierra Club said in a prepared statement,

This bill is a win-win for a stronger economy and a healthy environment. With an investment of close to $100 Billion, it will create good jobs for people here in America and reduce our dependence on dirtier energy sources like oil and coal by promoting the shift to wind and solar power, high energy efficiency, low carbon cars and buildings, mass transit, and a modernized water and transportation infrastructure.

Wesley Warren of the NRDC was also positive, but added,

The Senate funding for speculative, long term projects for liquid coal and nuclear energy will not help with immediate economic needs and may never pan out at all. Congress should instead prioritize spending on ready-to-go projects, like transit, fixing our nation's crumbling highways and bridges, and repairing our nation's water and waste infrastructure.

Perhaps more difficult than passing this bill, will be reconciling it with the House version, before passing it on to President Obama. The President has indicated he would like to have the bill by the weekend.

Want to wade into the original text? Here it is: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

via: Huffington Post, Solar Feeds, NRDC, Washington Post
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Tags: Barack Obama | Clean Coal | Congress | Economics | Electricity | Energy Efficiency | Nuclear Power | Renewable Energy

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