The recovery bill will only work if it goes green
Right now, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering the economic recovery package. This is a pivotal opportunity to invest in green jobs and clean energy infrastructure, which will give our economy a jump start and invest in the fundamentals of a new clean energy America.
But Congress is still debating all the details and then it will go to the U.S. Senate, probably before President’s day. You can bet you’ll hear about it in President-elect Obama’s first few presidential speeches. It is not just important to him, it is important to us too. And, the details matter. Not just any old recovery package will do. Because this is an irreplaceable chance to green the economy. We are pushing Congress to support an economic recovery package that has some key principles:
- Invest in the folks who need it most: We want it to help those that need it most. We want a recovery that includes as many people as possible - specifically as many low income people as possible. More should go to those who have less.
- Think big and green: Size does matter. As of today (January 15, 2009) our legislators are talking about $825 billion for a recovery package. But that number will change over the next few weeks. Without a crystal ball, I cannot tell you where it will end up. I can tell you that the part for a transition to a green economy needs to be big: At least $200 billion. A significant portion of the recovery must go to fast-tracking the massive deployment of clean energy infrastructure and green job training. A smart recovery package will not only get the economy up and running, it will transition us to a new economy.
- Cut the carbon: We want the recovery package to be part of the solution and not part of the problem: the recovery must invest in renewable energy and not carbon pollution. The recovery package should also demonstrate concern for the global warming pollution generated—or abated—by each investment. Legislation to diminish global warming is inevitable. This means that thinking long-term, if the recovery invests in fossil fuels – and especially in coal – it will eventually hurt the parts of the country dependent upon the fuel. For example: if you are in coal country, and you live near coal fired power plants you will be hurt by having to pay higher prices for dirty coal. Why invest in coal at all? With a carbon price appearing politically inevitable, investments in dirty energy now will short-change regions of the country that most need to change to clean, renewable energy. All stimulus and recovery investments should move our nation boldly away from fossil fuel dependence.
1Sky and our allies want you to help educate your Member of Congress and your Senators and ask them to do the three things listed above (help those that need it most, ensure at least $200 billion in green investments, and steer clear of carbon). They need to know that the details matter to you! We will be sending call to action soon so stay tuned.