Reply to James Bedell

Thanks so much to James Bedell for his thoughtful response to my Senate stimulus package  piece.  You make the point:

Perhaps we should take the president at his word. That the primary purpose of this bill is to get people to work, to stimulate demand in the economy and break the downward trend. Not fulfill the agenda of the liberal left in one massive bill passed within 3 weeks of taking office.

My difficulty is that once you have passed a $1 trillion (there, I said it, everybody ok?) stimulus package, there will be little capital--fiscal or political--left over to apply to other projects.  Obama will have essentially spent all of his favors passing the stimulus package, and not be able to get solid legislation through on energy efficiency, green building codes, etc.

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Christopher G. Hill - February 10, 2009 1:47 PM

I will be following this discussion closely! Thanks for keeping it going!

Geoff White - February 10, 2009 2:20 PM

Shari, I have enjoyed reading your posts on the green provisions in the stimulus legislation (and your other blog entries as well) and as a commercial real estate attorney that focuses part of my time on green building I also share some of your frustrations and concerns. That being said, the state of the economy is in a position far worse than a pure green building stimulus could fix. While I want as much green building investment as possible, I think that trying to aid the residential real estate market in finally creating a bottom is far more important than you relize as private investment will not flow until that occurs as institutions are unable to value their assets, toxic or not, unless we can encourage a market to re-emerge. True, long term recovery cannot take place until we reach that point. Hopefully some of those housing tax "credits" will help that happen.

My thought following the Senate vote today is that this stimulus is likely a band aid and I think another band aid may need to be applied later this year, probably in the third quarter, which will likely be with a 60 seat democrat majority in the Senate if President Obama gets his way regarding New Hampshire. The green stimulus plan might be more palatable at that time as the economy will likely still be struggling at that point and there will be true "green" shovel ready projects that have already been proposed. Those of us in the green building field should really focus on making sure we have a seat at the table for that next stimulus plan, which could really prove to stimulate the economy at a critical time later this year.

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