House Stimulus Plan Has $54 Billion For Cleantech

Jan 16 2009 | 1:08am ET

The economic stimulus package that Congress hopes to send President-elect Barack Obama shortly after his Tuesday inauguration includes $54 billion towards clean energy projects.

Democrats in the House of Representatives yesterday unveiled their stimulus plan, which features more spending and fewer tax cuts than the one proposed by Obama. Still, Obama offered supportive words for the effort, and will continue to push for the stimulus today in a speech at an Ohio wind-turbine manufacturer.

The $825 billion plan would inject $11 billion into electrical grid improvements, $8 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and transmission projects, $6.9 billion to “green” federal buildings by making them more energy efficient, $2 billion in loan guarantees and grants for advanced battery projects and $1.5 billion in loan guarantees and grants to make schools more energy efficient.

About $550 billion of the package would be for spending on the cleantech initiatives, building new schools and highways, healthcare investments and benefits for the unemployed. The rest would go to tax cuts. Obama’s original plan totaled $775 billion, with $300 billion earmarked for tax relief.

Republicans quickly denounced the plan, with House Minority Leader John Boehner pronouncing himself “shocked” and “disappointed.” And Congressional Republicans aren’t likely to be any happier if the stimulus plan continues to balloon in cost as many expect.

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to vote on the bill next week, with the full House voting on Jan. 28. The Senate is expected to consider the bill during the first week of February in the hopes that it can be sent to Obama’s desk by the middle of next month.

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