Blog Post

Proposed Stimulus Includes $54B for Energy

President-elect Barack Obama’s pledge to double renewable energy in three years and make public buildings more energy efficient is getting a significant boost in the stimulus package proposed by House democrats. Of the $825 billion in proposed spending and tax cuts, $54 billion, or 6.5 percent, would be allocated for clean power and energy efficiency, roughly a third of what Obama has said he’d allocate for clean power over the next decade. Only Medicaid, infrastructure, and schools and colleges got a bigger cut.

If the plan is passed, it could prove to be crucial for the near-term survival of the clean power industry, which saw asset financing dry up in the second half of last year, prompting layoffs and the postponement of power plant construction. A report from New Energy Finance earlier this week notes that the return of investments in clean energy relies on two things: how the stimulus bill is allocated and whether or not banks feel comfortable enough with low central bank rates to start lending money again.

Obama plans to tour a plant that makes parts for wind turbines, Cardinal Fastener & Specialty, today, in an effort to gain support for the stimulus plan. In addition to the $54 billion for clean power and energy efficiency, the package called for billions for public transportation, passenger rail, and clean water.

So here’s the breakdown of the energy funds:

  • $32 billion for renewable energy, transmission lines, and smart grid technology.
  • $16 billion to repair public housing and make key energy efficiency retrofits.
  • $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes
  • More specifically:

  • $11 billion for R&D, pilot projects, and federal matching funds for smart grid program
  • $8 billion for Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees
  • $6.7 billion for renovations of federal buildings largely focused on energy efficiency
  • $2 billion for research for clean power and energy efficiency awarded on a competitive basis to universities, companies, and national laboratories.
  • $2 billion for advanced battery loans and grants
  • $6.9 billion for state and local governments to make investments in energy efficient and carbon reductions
  • $2.5 billion for energy efficiency for HUD-sponsored low-income housing
  • $1.5 billion for grants for efficiency for school districts, higher education, local governments, and municipal utilities
  • $300 million for rebates for Energy Star appliances
  • $600 million to replace federal government vehicles with alternative fuel cars
  • $200 million for grant program for electric vehicles
  • $2.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration demonstration programs.
  • $350 million for research for clean power for weapons systems and military bases
  • $400 million for alternative vehicles for state and local governments buses and trucks
  • $500 million for industrial energy efficiency
  • $300 million for grants and loans for local governments to reduce diesel emissions
  • 15 Responses to “Proposed Stimulus Includes $54B for Energy”

    1. January 11, 2009

      TO: President-Elect Barack Obama

      FROM: Ruben Botello, Founder

      Dear Mr. Obama:

      I have been in and out of homelessness since being honorably discharged as a USMC Vietnam veteran in 1969. I wound up homeless then, in and out of homelessness with my two sons in the Eighties, and homeless on my own again in the Nineties.

      I started the American Homeless Society in 1987 while my sons and I were homeless in California. I have been in several hunger strikes, marches and demonstrations for homeless rights since then but have seen little progress.

      My longest hunger strike was 58 days against President Reagan’s “trickle down” economic policies that created much more instead of less homelessness in our country. You now speak about fixing our nation’s economy from the “bottom up” and that should mean you are starting by ending involuntary homelessness at the bottom.

      HUD Secretary Philip Mangano has been promoting 10-year plans to end homelessness in major cities across the country on behalf of the Bush Administration for the past few years. We would hope and pray you make a similar commitment to abolish homelessness but throughout our nation, not just in individual cities because there are far more homeless than these urban plans will ever reach.

      Slavery was abolished in America over a century ago; why not abolish homelessness today, Mr. Obama? Homelessness is just as bad as slavery in several ways and much worse in others.

      Men, women and children from all the races, colors, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, religions and creeds in our diverse society find themselves homeless daily. They are forced to endure harassment, discrimination and persecution in our nation today much like the slaves President Lincoln’s armies fought to free in the Nineteenth Century.

      America’s homeless are also forced to endure nature’s harshest conditions without warm homes or shelter for protection; without good food and nutrition; without essential hygiene, medicine and healthcare; and without the necessary education, training or experience required to qualify for the dwindling supply of jobs in today’s worsening economy. Many of America’s homeless today are even employed but underemployed and unable to afford existing rentals while thousands of others are altogether unemployable.

      How can our great nation permit so many of these poor souls to continue to suffer and die needlessly on our streets? I joined the Marines to fight for my country in the Sixties so that all Americans could have a better life, not just the rich and well-to-do who are receiving all the bailouts today.

      The list of barriers and obstacles facing today’s homeless goes on and on, Mr. Obama. Please, if you are serious about fixing our nation’s economy from the bottom-up, begin at the real bottom by making a firm commitment to end involuntary homelessness throughout our country without further ado.


      Ruben Botello, Founder