The Environmental Defense Fund has listed the seven provisions that should be included in the final bill, if this truly is to be a green energy bill to jump start our economy and decrease our dependence on foreign energy.
Please TAKE ACTION by sending an email to your members of Congress asking them to support these seven green steps.
From the House bill:
1) Help heavy industry turn waste heat into electricity. The House bill provides $500 million to encourage energy-intensive factories such as steel, cement and chemical plants to convert their waste heat to electric power.
2) Rebates to encourage consumers to buy Energy Star products. The House bill devotes $300 million to state programs that help people buy energy-saving home appliances. Many of these products are made in the U.S., so the program will create American manufacturing jobs.
3) Connecting people to their jobs. Expanding transit (subways, light rail, trains, and buses), along with building bike paths and sidewalks, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates jobs. The House bill provides $12 billion in transit funding, including $2.5 billion in funding for new projects; $2 billion to modernize existing subways, light rail, and similar facilities; and funding to help bicyclists and pedestrians.
4) Expert help for American manufacturing. The House bill provides $30 million for a smart program (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) that can help American manufacturers develop clean-energy and energy efficiency products -- and become more energy-efficient in the process.
From the Senate bill:
5) Intercity rail and multimodal transportation projects. The Senate bill provides $2 billion for high-speed rail and $1.1 billion for intercity rail, including Amtrak. Its $5.5 billion competitive grant program could fund roads, rail, transit or port projects. Of course, it would be best if the funds are allocated to boost U.S. energy independence.
6) Making Defense Department facilities more energy-efficient. The Senate bill provides $3.2 billion to renovate Defense Department facilities -- and make them much more energy-efficient. Much of the necessary products (heating and air conditioning equipment, windows, insulation) is made in the U.S., so the Senate version will create jobs not just for workers who do on-site installation but for American factory workers as well.
7) The Senate bill would allocate 40% of formula highway funding to local governments. This would put transportation dollars to work on urgent local needs as determined by local governing bodies.
Please TAKE ACTION to support these seven steps to a green stimulus bill.