After the Senate passed the stimulus bill, environmental and green energy groups came forward with praise for the House's version of the bill, and hope for moving forward. "Shovel-ready" is the buzzword of the day. Here's what they had to say:
Greenpeace: A new ICF analysis commissioned by Greenpeace shows that the House version of the stimulus package would be more effective in fighting global warming, cutting approximately 12 million metric tons more greenhouse gas emissions than the Senate version. Furthermore, the House version’s energy package would save government and consumers approximately $3 billion more in utility bills annually ... “The fact that the federal government could spend so much money and actually help slow global warming means we’ve really turned the page as a country,” said Kert Davies, Greenpeace’s Research Director. “This is a real sign that we’re starting to move beyond the era of fossil fuels.”
Natural Resources Defense Council: Said Wesley Warren, director of programs for the NRDC, "The Senate funding for speculative, long term projects for liquid coal and nuclear energy will not help with immediate economic needs and may never pan out at all. Congress should instead prioritize spending on ready-to-go projects, like transit, fixing our nation’s crumbling highways and bridges, and repairing our nation’s water and waste infrastructure."
National Wildlife Federation: "We can put millions of Americans back to work installing solar panels and windmills, greening our schools and modernizing our power grid," said Adam Kolton, senior director of congressional and federal affairs for the NWF. "As the two versions of the bill move to conference committee, we hope Congressional negotiators maintain the House bill's strong investments in education, clean energy and America's natural resources - all proven ways to stimulate shovel-ready projects and rapidly create jobs.”
Sierra Club: Though the Sierra Club supports the passage of the bill, they've highlighted a few areas of concern below:
- $50 billion in loan guarantees that could go to risky investments like nuclear power plants, liquid coal and other coal facilities that were included in the Senate bill should be eliminated because they will not provide short-term economic stimulus, are harmful to the environment, and place taxpayers at significant and unnecessary financial risk.
- Only the House version provides clean energy developers the opportunity to trade the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for Department of Energy grants at a reduced value. Providing this flexibility is critically important in the current financial climate. Congress must retain this crucial provision from the House bill.
- The Senate version reduced funding for public transportation despite the higher number of jobs created by transit. Congress should again defer to the House version.
- The Nelson-Collins amendment cut funds for efficiency, a smart electricity grid, weatherization and retrofitting of federal buildings. Full funding for these kinds of job-creating and money-saving programs should be restored.
American Wind Energy Association: “Last year, projects were coming on so fast that everyone was concerned about a manufacturing backlog. That’s been replaced by a drying up of capital and financing due to the national credit crisis,” said Greg Wetstone, AWEA’s Senior Director for Governmental Affairs. “The wind industry is ready to do its part for the economic recovery, and with the right policies in place, we’re ready to lead the nation’s economic recovery and to meet President Obama’s vision of doubling renewable energy production in the next three years.”