Green Building Law Blog

Shortchanging The Environment--Why The New Stimulus Bill Doesn't Get Us Where We Need To Be

Yesterday, the house came out with its allocation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, or the new stimulus package.  This package was supposed to be "green". It is not.

The best indication of this is that the allocation for public transit, $10 billion, was $5.6 billion less than the allocation for a $500 increase in Pell higher education grants. I do not think that higher education grants are wrong, but a $500 increase in individual Pell grants just isn't going to have the impact that, say, $26 billion in public transit funding would have for the environment, jobs, dependence on foreign oil, etc. 

The total allocated dollars for green programs is $95 billion out of $550 billion in expenditures (and another $275 billion in tax cuts). Of that:

Green Stimulus Allocations $b
Energy Transmission 32
Energy Retrofits 22
Public Infrastructure Energy Savings 31
Public Transit 10
Total 95

As the Green Wombat wrote

It’s a start, but that’s less than 7% of the entire stimulus package (or, about enough to pay for the Iraq war for five months, or somewhat more than what the federal government is spending to bail out Bank of America).

Green Wombat calculated the allocation for green as $54b, but even at my more generous $95b, it is simply not enough to be game changing.

Here is  a handy chart with all of the allocations from the New York Times blog.

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wind4me - January 26, 2009 10:33 PM

I guess a start is better than nothing but I was hoping for more in Green Energy. The transmission lines will help the wind industry in a big time way if they are place in the correct places to bring wind power from the prairies to the populated places.

Shari Shapiro, Esq., LEED AP
Suite 300, Liberty View, 457 Haddonfield Road, P.O. Box 5459
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002-2220,