House Passes Stimulus Bill with Investments in New Energy Economy
On January 28, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an economic stimulus bill by a vote of 244 to 188. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R.1) includes investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency that, in addition to preserving or creating jobs in the near-term, will speed the transition to a clean energy economy. Among the provisions:
- $3.4 billion for states for clean energy projects
- $6.2 billion for the low-income Weatherization Assistance Program
- $3.5 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program
- $2 billion for clean energy research and development
- $6 billion for improving energy efficiency in federal buildings
- $4.5 billion to modernize the electric grid
- $12 billion of capital investment in public transportation including rail and bus transit and intercity train service (estimated to support 330,000 jobs)
Transit funding was increased from $9 billion to $12 billion, a level in line with an original proposal by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), thanks to an amendment by Reps. Gerald Nadler (D-NY) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR). EESI and other members of the Transportation For America Coalition sent a letter to House leadership supporting this amendment.
The legislation is scheduled for debate on the floor of the Senate on Monday, February 2. EESI will co-host a briefing that day as well, focusing on federal economic stimulus package and state energy activities.