Economic stimulus a down payment on our clean energy future

by Steven Biel

January 16, 2009


Greenpeace Global Warming Campaign Director Steven Biel released the following statement on the economic stimulus package released by the House leadership and Obama administration.

“With over $50 billion in new investments for clean energy, the economic stimulus package represents an important down payment on America’s clean energy future. We congratulate the Obama administration and House leadership for their efforts and urge members of Congress to pass the bill.

“This economic stimulus package represents a significant victory for the environment. President-Obama promised change we can believe in, and that’s exactly what this is.

“Highlights of the proposal include:

  • $11 billion for development of a modern “Smart Grid” that will be needed to move clean, renewable energy across the country and end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels.
  • Extension of the renewable energy production tax credit.
  • $6.7 billion for improving the energy efficiency of federal buildings.
  • $6.2 billion for weatherization of the homes of low-income families.

“The proposal isn’t perfect. Specifically, Greenpeace urges Congress to remove the $2.4 billion in funding for the carbon capture and sequestration, a technology that has received billions in public subsidies and has yet to produce any results whatsoever.  Rather than being squandered on 1 gigawatt of purely hypothetical power in the distant future, those funds would be better spent building 1.2 gigawatts of real, clean wind energy today.  Greenpeace also urges Congress to put greater emphasis on public transportation and repairing our existing roads and bridges and less for new construction.  We should use this stimulus not just to fix the problems of yesterday, but to build the America of tomorrow.

“Also, while the issue is not explicitly addressed in the proposal, we urge Congress and President Obama to reject calls to waive enforcement of the National Environmental Policy Act for stimulus projects.”

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