One of the first and most important jobs for the new Congress in January will be to pass an economic stimulus bill to jump start the economy, create jobs, and revitalize American industry – a tall order, which could cost between $500 billion and $1 trillion. Therefore, it is critical for this legislation to fund projects that not only will create jobs and economic activity in the near term but also will strengthen our long-term economic security, and that includes addressing the urgent threat of climate change. “A transition to a clean energy economy will create hundreds of thousands of American jobs in the near term while also stimulating long-term business opportunities for American entrepreneurs, reduce our vulnerability to volatile, global fossil fuel prices, and mitigate the widespread economic impacts of climate change,” said Carol Werner, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). Werner noted that EESI has identified four general components that would stimulate the economy in the immediate and long term:
- Extend renewable energy tax credits and make them refundable
- Provide funds for energy efficiency programs, green jobs, and loan guarantees
- Provide funds for farm bill energy programs and conservation agencies
- Invest in repair of transportation infrastructure and expansion of transit options
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