Obama Embraces 'Green Path' in Stimulus Plan to Aid Environment
Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- President-electBarack Obama¬†is considering a stimulus package that will include a heavy dose of spending on environmentally friendly projects aimed at creating “green-collar jobs”Ě and saving energy.
While the package will focus on short-term outlays for traditional infrastructure projects to jumpstart an economy now officially declared to be in recession, it will also include longer-term measures to safeguard the environment.
“Clean energy is going to be a foundation for rebuilding the American economy,”Ě said¬†Bracken Hendricks, an analyst at the Democratic-leaningCenter for American Progress¬†and an adviser to the presidential-transition team. Generating jobs in concert with cutting pollution will be “a major component”Ě of any economic-recovery plan, Hendricks said.
Obama wants to enact a recovery package soon after his inauguration as “evidence suggests the pace of this downturn is accelerating,”Ě¬†Lawrence Summers, the president-elect’s pick for White House economic adviser, said yesterday. Opinions vary over how big the stimulus should be, with Senate Majority Leader¬†Harry Reid¬†saying $500 billion would be sufficient, while Senators¬†Dick Durbin¬†of Illinois, Obama’s closest Senate ally, and¬†Charles Schumer¬†of New York argue that an infusion of as much as $700 billion is warranted.
Obama adviser¬†Jared Bernstein¬†and other economists say that money could help fund at least $50 billion in environmentally sound infrastructure projects that could be up and running within a few months. Among the steps along the “green path,”Ě Bernstein said, could be a requirement that repairs made to public buildings be environmentally friendly.