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For Immediate Release: February 13, 2009
Contact: David Willett, 202-675-6698


Sierra Club Hails Historic Investment in Jobs Through Clean Energy

Washington, DC: The Sierra Club today hails Congress for following President Obama's roadmap for economic recovery based on investments in clean energy.

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that has now passed both Houses of Congress is a historic and unprecedented investment in clean energy, green jobs and green infrastructure. This monumental bill revolutionizes our government's approach to clean energy and will finally transform our economy into something that works for the 21st century," said Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club's lead advocate for the bill and Deputy Director of National Campaigns.  "With these investments and incentives in clean energy, efficiency and smarter infrastructure, we will be able to literally rebuild the American economy in a way that not only creates jobs but sets us on the path to a clean energy future."

"As President Obama has so often underscored this week, this approach is a win-win for a strong economy and a healthier environment," said Pierce. "With tens of billions of dollars in green investments, this bill will create good jobs for people here in America and reduce our dependence on dirtier energy sources. The Sierra Club praises Congress for promoting the shift to wind and solar power, high energy performance low carbon cars and buildings, mass transit, and a modernized water and transportation infrastructure."

From the Congressional Summary of the Bill, Highlights include:

  • $4.5 billion for repair of federal buildings to increase energy efficiency using green technology.
  • $11 billion for smart-grid related activities, including work to modernize the electric grid.
  • $6.3 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grants.
  • $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • $2.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research.
  • $2 billion in grant funding for the manufacturing of advanced batteries systems and components and vehicle batteries that are produced in the United States.
  • $6 billion for new loan guarantees aimed at standard renewable projects such as wind or solar projects and for electricity transmission projects.
  • $1 billion for energy efficiency programs including alternative fuel trucks and buses, transportation charging infrastructure, and smart and energy efficient appliances.
  • $8.4 billion for investments in public transportation. .
  • $9.3 billion for investments in rail transportation, including Amtrak, High Speed and Intercity Rail.
  • $4 billion to the public housing capital fund to enable local public housing agencies to address a $32 billion backlog in capital needs -- especially those improving energy efficiency in
  • $250 million is included for energy retrofitting and green investments in HUD-assisted housing projects.
  • $6 billion is directed towards environmental cleanup of former weapon production and energy research sites. - $6 billion for local clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements.
  • $1.2 billion for EPA’s nationwide environmental cleanup programs, including Superfund.
  • $1 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and to ensure adequate water supply to western localities impacted by drought.
  • $1.38 billion to support $3.8 billion in loans and grants for needed water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas.
  • $2 billion total for Science at the Department of Energy including $400 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E).

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