American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Signed by President Obama; Recovery.gov Launched

Today, President Barack Obama signed economic stimulus legislation — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), in a ceremony at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  As described previously on Green Collar Blog, this legislation contains investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs.  Links at the end of this post provide access to the complete bill text.

The signing ceremony included comments from Vice President Biden, Colorado Govenor Bill Ritter, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Namaste Solar CEO Blake Jones.  A number of these speakers highlighted the impact this legislation will have on creating green jobs.

In addition, the White House today announced the launch of Recovery.gov, which will provide information on where the funds from the legislation are going.

For more information:

Economic Stimulus Legislation Approved by U.S. Senate and Sent to President Obama

Update: This bill was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

Today, the U.S. Senate approved the compromise version of economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1). This version was created by a House-Senate conference committee that met earlier this week to resolve differences between the different versions of the bill that had been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

As this legislation has already been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives it will now be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign it by Monday, February 16.

As described previously, this legislation contains investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs.  The following links provide access to the complete bill text and related documents:

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Conference Committee Version of Economic Stimulus Legislation

Update: This bill was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the compromise version of economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1). This version was created by a House-Senate conference committee that met earlier this week to resolve differences between the different versions of the bill that had been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

This legislation contain investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs, including:

Smart Grid/Advanced Battery Technology/Energy Efficiency

  • Provides more than $30 billion for energy initiatives such as a new, smart power grid, advanced battery technology, and energy efficiency measures, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • Transforms the nation’s electricity systems through the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable.
  • Supports U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems through loans and grants so that America can lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.
  • Helps state and local governments make investments in innovative best practices to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce energy usage.
  • Spurs energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs

  • Provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years.
  • Includes a three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and marine facilities (through 2013).
  • Provides grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market concerns.
  • Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
  • Provides a tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars. 
  • Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments.
  • Establishes a new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in advanced energy facilities, such as facilities that manufacture components for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and other innovative next-generation green technologies.

Landmark Energy Savings at Home

  • Provides $5 billion for landmark provisions to improve the energy efficiency of more than 1 million modest-income homes through weatherization.
  • This will save modest-income families on average $350 per year on their heating and air conditioning bills. 

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits to HUD-Assisted Housing

  • Provides more than $4 billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally-supported housing programs.
  • Specifically, establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.
  • Also invests in energy efficiency upgrades in public housing, including new windows, furnaces, and insulation to improve living conditions for residents and lower the cost of operating these facilities.

Summary provided by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nanci Pelosi

For previous Green Collar Blog coverage of the economic stimulus legislation, please view these posts. The following links provide access to the complete bill text and related documents:

Economic Stimulus Legislation Approved by U.S. Senate and Sent to Conference Committee

Update:  A later version of this legislation was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

Today, the U.S. Senate approved its version of economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1). This version (referred to as the Collins-Nelson Amendment or Amendment 570) differs from the legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. A conference committee will now be convened to create a single bill that will be presented to both chambers of Congress for consideration.

As highlighted in these posts on Green Collar Blog, both versions of the bill contain investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs.  To view the complete bill text:

Text of U.S. Senate Economic Stimulus Legislation; Voting Expected This Week

Update: A revised version of this legislation was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1). The U.S. Senate version (referred to as the Collins-Nelson Amendment or Amendment 570) differs from the legislation recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  If the U.S. Senate approves its version, a conference committee will be convened to create a single bill that will be presented to both chambers of Congress for consideration.

The U.S. Senate version of economic stimulus legislation contains a variety of investments and tax credits to support clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs.  A summary of some of these investments (as prepared by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee) are:

$39 billion to the Department of Energy for development of clean, efficient, American energy. The Bill invests in boots-on-the-ground projects and activities that get people back to work as well as energy research, demonstration, and deployment that will provide for our future and assure a cleaner environment.

  • A total of $2 billion is provided in grant funding for the manufacturing of advanced batteries systems and components and vehicle batteries that are produced in the United States, including advanced lithium ion batteries, hybrid electrical systems, component manufacturers, and software designers. Batteries are central to our efforts to decrease the oil dependence of our vehicles.
  • An additional $2.6 billion is for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities to accelerate the development of technologies that will diversify the Nation’s energy portfolio and contribute to a reliable, domestic energy supply. Biofuels, geothermal, water, wind, solar, and efficiency projects will be deployed to demonstrate and improve our use of renewable energy.
  • $4.2 billion is provided for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grants.
  • $1.6 billion is provided for grants to make schools and hospitals, significant users of energy, more energy efficient.
  • $2.9 billion is available for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • There is $4.6 billion for Fossil Energy research and development, including $2 billion for one or more near-zero emissions, $1 billion for the Department’s Clean Coal Power Initiative Round III  Funding Opportunity Announcement and $1.6 billion for a competitive solicitation for projects that demonstrate carbon capture from industrial sources.
  • The Bill provides $350 million for grants administered through the Clean Cities program of the Department for acquisition and alternative fuel or fuel-cell vehicles once again decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.
  • The Bill provides $200 million for grants to states to plan and deploy electrical infrastructure projects that encourage the use of plug-in electric drive vehicles and for near term large-scale electrification projects aimed at the transportation sector, including seaports.
  • The State Energy Programs are provided $500 million.
  • The bill has a significant focus on the transmission system. This is in recognition of the fact that over the past decade electricity demand has grown by 20%, but transmission capability has only increased 5%. Further, as we push to get more renewable energy sources on line we will need to build out our bulk transmission lines to get stranded renewable energy on line. These stranded renewable resources are mainly in the west and the Great Plains.
  • With this recognition the bill includes $4.5 billion for smart-grid related activities, including work to modernize the electric grid, enhance security and reliability, perform energy storage research, development, demonstration and deployment, and provide worker training. A smart-grid will help create greater energy efficiency, reliability, and security.
  • A total of $8.5 billion is provided for new loan guarantees aimed at standard renewable projects such as wind or solar projects and for electricity transmission projects.
  • $6.5 billion of increased borrowing authority is provided to the Bonneville and Western Area Power Administrations ($3.25 billion each) to pursue the construction of new transmission and upgrading of electric power transmission lines and related facilities necessary to deliver power generated by renewable energy resources. WAPA and BPA will be critical entities in our push to bring large new sources of renewable energy on to the grid.

GSA Federal Fleet: $300 million to replace older motor fleet vehicles owned by the Federal Government with alternative fuel automobiles that will save on fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Green Buildings: $2.5 billion for repair of federal buildings to increase energy efficiency using green technology. Funding will help eliminate the backlog of $8.4 billion in building repair projects.

$613 million for energy efficiency upgrades and construction of alternative energy projects, including wind and solar power and photovoltaic roof systems, at Department of Defense facilities. The Department of Defense is the largest consumer of energy in the Federal government, and has made energy conservation a key component of new construction. As well as contributing to energy efficiency and innovation within the Department of Defense, energy-related military construction funding has the potential to stimulate construction and manufacturing jobs in the energy and alternative energy industry. Defense Department energy construction funding includes the following:

  • Energy Conservation Investment Program: $118.5 million for energy conservation projects, energy upgrades, and construction of alternative energy projects such as wind power and photovoltaic systems at military installations Department-wide.
  • Navy Energy Construction and Improvements: $494.4 million for Navy energy efficiency upgrades and construction of alternative energy projects, including wind and solar power and photovoltaic system installation.

$400 million for rural business initiatives including development of renewable energy.

  • Biorefinery Assistance: $200 million for loans and grants to assist in the development of new and emerging technologies for the development of advanced biofuels.
  • Rural Business Programs: $150 million to support $3 billion in loans and grants to support income and employment expansion through improved business opportunities in rural areas. These programs serve as the primary USDA tools for business development in the rural sector and are made available to rural areas with a population of 50,000 or less. As sources of private credit have become more restrictive the demand for these programs has gone up. Additionally, the Small Business Administration has reduced its lending, shifting interest to these programs. It is estimated these funds will create 34,600 private sector jobs.
  • Rural Energy for America Program: $50 million for loans and grants to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy development for agricultural producers and rural small businesses. These funds are used by agricultural producers, rural small businesses, and rural schools to become more energy efficient and to use renewable energy technologies and resources through investments in renewable energy systems and other energy efficient systems. It is estimated these funds will create 1,600 private sector jobs.

For more information:

Economic Stimulus Bill Approved by U.S. House of Representatives; Includes Investments in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Green Jobs

Update: A revised version of this legislation was signed into law on Tuesday, February 17.

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved economic stimulus legislation (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, H.R. 1).  This legislation, which still needs to be considered by the U.S. Senate, includes investments in clean energy, energy efficiency, and green jobs, including:

Smart Grid / Advanced Battery Technology / Energy Efficiency ($32 Billion)

  • Transforms the nation’s electricity systems through the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable.  This will jumpstart smart grid demonstration projects in geographically diverse areas, increase federal matching grants for smart grid technology (20% to 50%) including “Smart Meters” that give consumer more choice in their energy consumption at home, and spur research and development.  Build new power lines that can transmit clean, renewable energy from sources throughout the nation.
  • Creates temporary loan guarantees for up to $80 billion for renewable energy power generation and electric transmission projects that begin in the next two years.  These would help ease credit constraints for renewable energy investors and spur new private sector investment over the next three years.
  • Supports U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems through loans and grants so that America can lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.  Also includes other initiatives to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles by federal state and local governments.
  • Helps state and local governments make investments for innovative best practices to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce energy usage, including building and home energy conservation programs, energy audits, fuel conservation programs, building retrofits,  and "Smart Growth" planning and zoning. Also encourages states to adopt updated energy-efficient building codes and regulatory policies to encourage utility-sponsored gains in energy efficiency.
  • Spurs energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities at universities, companies, and national laboratories to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, and cut utility bills.
  • Provides consumer rebates to buy energy efficient appliances to replace old ones to lower energy bills.
  • Makes key investments in carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects to work toward making coal part of the solution and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from industrial facilities and fossil fuel power plants.

Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs ($20 Billion over 10 years)

  • Three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy and marine facilities (through 2013).  Also permits businesses that place new renewable energy facilities in service during 2009 and 2010 to claim either a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) instead of the production tax credit, or apply for a grant of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility from the Energy Department.  These provisions will help speed up investment in new facilities and will address current renewable energy credit market concerns.
  • Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.  Increases the credit from 10 percent to 30 percent of the cost of the investment and raises the credit cap from $500 to $1,500, helping American families save money on their energy bills.
  • Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments, electric cooperatives and public power to finance facilities that generate electricity from renewable resources and qualified energy conservation bonds for State and local governments to make a variety of energy conservation investments.
  • Establishes an enhanced R&D tax credit for research expenditures in the fields of fuel cells, battery technology, renewable energy, energy conservation technology, efficient transmission and distribution of electricity, and carbon capture and sequestration, in 2009 and 2010.  
  • Increases incentives to install pumps that dispense alternative fuels including E85, biodiesel, hydrogen, and natural gas. 

Repair Public Housing and Make Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits to HUD-Assisted Housing ($7.5 Billion)

  • Establishes a new program to upgrade HUD sponsored low-income housing (elderly, disable and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and furnaces. 
  • Invests in energy efficiency upgrades in public housing, including new windows, furnaces, and insulation to improve living conditions for residents and lower the cost of operating these facilities.

Landmark Energy Savings at Home ($6.2 Billion)

  • Landmark provisions to improve the energy efficiency for more than 1 million modest-income homes through weatherization, expanding the number of families (from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty income levels) and the aid level (from $2,500 to $5,000 per household) to keep up with the rising prices of these upgrades;
  • This will save modest-income families on average $350 per year on their heating and air conditioning bills.

Green Job Training and Energy Efficient Schools

  • Provides $500 million to train workers for green-collar jobs.
  • Creates new modernization, renovation, and repair programs for schools and colleges, with a minimum of 25 percent of the funds focused on green building projects.
  • Energy sustainability and efficiency grants and loans to help school districts, colleges, local governments, and some hospitals become more energy efficient. 

Modernizing Federal and Public Infrastructure to Lower Energy Costs

  • Makes an historic investment in upgrading federal buildings and making them energy efficient — as part of an effort to modernize more than 75% of federal building space and save taxpayers $2 billion per year in lower federal energy bills.
  • The federal government is the world’s largest consumer of energy.
  • This will help spur jobs in the green building industry as well as save taxpayer money.

For more information: