Thursday, May 28, 2009

Obama: Stimulus Money Is Already Creating New Green Jobs

Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced the release of a report that provides early incite into role that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has played in creating new jobs across the nation.

“In these last few months, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs -- jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, making homes and buildings more energy efficient,” according to Obama. “They're the jobs of teachers and police officers and nurses who have not been laid off as a consequence of this Recovery Act. They're the jobs fixing roads and bridges, jobs at start-ups and small businesses, and jobs that will put thousands of young Americans to work this summer.”

The report, entitled Recovery Report: 100 Days, 100 Projects, provides a small sampling of the job creating projects and programs that have been funded by the federal stimulus package to date. Among them are a number of projects designed to create new green jobs by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and environmental conservation.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

“Using $27 million of Recovery Act funding, a public housing development in Washington, D.C., the Regency House, has undergone a green retrofit. As part of this upgrade, the building installed solar panels, a ‘green’ roof, a rainwater collection system, energy-efficient lighting as well as water conserving toilets, showerheads, and faucets. The greening of this building will allow the Regency House to save money in energy costs, while lessening their impact on the environment.”

“The Housing Authority of Laredo, Texas, has begun using $1.5 million in Recovery Act funds to implement “green” improvements at a number of older developments. The work will entail installing energy-efficient windows; weatherizing the exterior roofs, vents and siding; installing Solar Attic Fans; installing Solar Security Lighting; and, installing Energy Star Appliances throughout the developments. Combined, these improvements will drive down energy costs for the developments, while also lessening their impact on the environment.”

“The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will receive $64 million in federal stimulus money, with most of the funds going toward roadwork. The park’s trails, cemeteries, public restrooms and other buildings also will be improved. The park has already hired its own temporary workers for the projects.”

“A federal stimulus grant worth $17.5 million will fund the development of a solar fuels research center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the university said Wednesday. The five-year grant, which comes from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will fund research on how to use artificial photo¬synthesis to produce low-cost and efficient solar fuels. The research at UNC would study how to use the sun’s energy to make fuels from water and carbon dioxide that could be used for heating, transportation or energy storage.”

“Elgin Community College, in Illinois, will use Recovery Act funds to create a summer jobs program for 16-to-24-year-olds. The program offers participants a chance to serve their community by working on green projects, earn a salary, and receive educational resources.”

“$20.6 million in Recovery Act funding is accelerating cleanup at the Iron Mountain Superfund site near Redding, California. These additional funds will make it possible to dredge, treat, and dispose of heavy-metal contaminated sediments in the Spring Creek arm of the Keswick Reservoir, a project originally slated to take three years that can now be completed in 18 months.”


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