Just how ambitious will Barack Obama’s clean energy package be? During the campaign, he pledged to invest $150 billion in new projects over the next decade and create 5 million well-paying green-collar jobs.
While there was some trepidation about whether Obama, facing an ever-worsening economic crisis, would keep his word, the release of the long-awaited $825 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 last week seems to have quelled most doubts.
To no one’s surprise, a large chunk of the stimulus – over $90 billion – will go to funding “shovel-ready” transportation and public infrastructure projects.
Thirty-two billion dollars will be used to create a “smart electricity grid” to cut waste, and over $20 billion will be devoted to renewable energy tax cuts and credits for research and development on energy efficiency and energy conservation.