The Skywriter

Obama makes a green recovery the law of the land

17
Feb

Obama makes a green recovery the law of the land

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About an hour ago, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in Denver, CO. The $787 billion economic stimulus bill contains the largest amount of green investments ever--a whopping $87 billion!

As Jason blogged last week, the bill invests heavily in public transit (including high-speed rail--how cool is that?), weatherization, a smart electric grid, tax breaks for renewable energy, and other green priorities.

If it hasn't sunk in yet, today was a historic day for the climate movement. And it happened largely because of your your nonstop calls through our website--the equivalent of more than 5 days of nonstop calling--and the flood of emails unleashed on Congress by our awesome allies across the movement.

So about a half-hour ago we launched an online action to thank President Obama and the 306 members of Congress who voted for the recovery bill. Please take a moment to send the President and the bill's supporters a 'thank you' note today.

This is only the first of many steps in solving the climate challenge and ushering in a clean energy economy. Which means that there will be even tougher votes ahead in the future--including enacting strong caps on carbon pollution and a moratorium on dirty coal power plants. If we want our leaders to take bold action in the future, we need to let them know we have their backs today. Take a minute to thank President Obama and the bill's supporters for taking bold action!

Here's a portion of Obama's remarks in Denver today where the talks about the bill's green components:

Because we know we can't power America's future on energy that's controlled by foreign dictators, we are taking a big step down the road to energy independence and laying the groundwork for a new green energy economy that can create countless well-paying jobs. It's an investment that will double the amount of renewable energy produced over the next three years and provide tax credits and loan guarantees to companies like Namaste Solar, a company that will be expanding, instead of laying people off, as a result of the plan I am signing.

In the process, we will transform the way we use energy. Today, the electricity we use is carried along a grid of lines and wires that dates back to Thomas Edison, a grid that can't support the demands of clean energy. This means we're using 19th- and 20th-century technologies to battle 21st-century problems like climate change and energy security.

It also means that places like North Dakota can produce a lot of wind energy but can't deliver it to communities that want it, leading to a gap between how much clean energy we are using and how much we could be using.

The investment we are making today will create a newer, smarter electric grid that will allow for the broader use of alternative energy. We will build on the work that's being done in places like Boulder, Colorado, a community that is on pace to be the world's first Smart Grid city. This investment will place Smart Meters in homes to make our energy bills lower, make outages less likely and make it easier to use clean energy.

It's an investment that will save taxpayers over $1 billion by slashing energy costs in our federal buildings by 25 percent and save working families hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills by weatherizing over 1 million homes. And it's an investment that takes the important first step towards a nationwide transmission superhighway that will connect our cities to the windy plains of the Dakotas and the sunny deserts of the Southwest.

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