Tuesday, February 3, 2009

American Recovery & Reinvestment Plan: Comparing House & Senate Spending on Green Jobs Initiatives

Since first entering office a few weeks ago, President Barack Obama has spent much of his time urging members of the House and Senate to work quickly to pass an economic stimulus package designed to create millions of new jobs for America. If early signs are any indication, many of the jobs created by the stimulus package will be green jobs.

The House heeded Obama's call last week, passing the American Recovery & Reinvestment Bill of 2009. This week it’s the Senate’s turn. The Senate Committee on Appropriations has released a summary of its own version of the stimulus package, calling it the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Both versions of the stimulus package contain funding for numerous policies designed to create new green jobs by investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental conservation.

The following summary compares figures for proposed spending on a few of the green jobs initiatives found in both versions of the stimulus package:

Advanced Batteries:

Senate: $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.

House: $2 billion for the Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee and Grants Program, to support U.S. manufacturers of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems.

Clean Water:

Senate: $6 billion for local clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements.

House: $8 billion for loans to help communities upgrade wastewater treatment systems and for drinking water infrastructure.

Clean Water: Rural

Senate: $1.4 billion to support $3.8 billion in loans and grants for needed water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas. 

House: $1.5 billion to support $3.8 billion in grants and loans to help rural communities fund drinking water and wastewater treatment systems.

Energy Efficiency Grants

Senate: $4.2 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grants.  

House: $6.9 billion to help state and local governments make investments that make them more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.  

Energy Efficiency: Department of Defense

Senate: $3.2 billion to be used to invest in energy efficiency projects and to improve the repair and modernization of Department of Defense facilities to include Defense Health facilities.

House: $1.8 billion for efforts to make our military bases more energy efficient, beyond benefits that will come from replacing and repairing facilities.

Energy Efficiency: Home Weatherization

Senate: $2.9 billion is available for the Weatherization Assistance Program.  

House: $6.2 billion to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes and make our country more energy efficient.

Energy Efficiency: Government Buildings

Senate: $6 billion for repair of federal buildings to increase energy efficiency using green technology.  

House: $6.7 billion for renovations and repairs to federal buildings, including at least $6 billion focused on increasing energy efficiency and conservation.

Energy Efficiency: Public housing

Senate: $5 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 aging buildings

House: $16 billion to repair public housing and make key energy efficiency retrofits. 

Energy Efficiency: Schools

Senate: $16 billion to repair, renovate and construct public schools in ways that will raise energy efficiency and provide greater access to information technology, and $3.5 billion to improve higher education facilities.

House: $20 billion, including $14 billion for K-12 and $6 billion for higher education, for renovation and modernization, including technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements.

Energy: Smart Grid

Senate: $4.5 billion for smart-grid related activities, including work to modernize the electric grid.

House: $11 billion for research and development, pilot projects, and federal matching funds for the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid making it more efficient, secure, and reliable and build new power lines to transmit clean, renewable energy from sources throughout the nation. 

Environmental Clean-Up

Senate: $1.4 billion for EPA’s nationwide environmental cleanup programs, including Superfund.

House: $800 million for Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup to clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites that threaten health and the environment.

Senate: $6.4 billion is directed towards environmental cleanup of former weapon production and energy research sites.  

House: $500 million for nuclear waste cleanup at sites contaminated as a result of the nation’s past nuclear activities. $300 million for cleanup activities at closed military installations.

Public Transportation:

Senate: $8.4 billion for investments in public transportation.

House: $13 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.


Senate: $1.4 billion total for National Science Foundation (NSF) Research.

House: $3 billion for National Science Foundation, including $2 billion for expanding employment opportunities in fundamental science and engineering to meet environmental challenges and to improve global economic competitiveness.

Senate: $1.2 billion total for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

House: $600 million for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for satellite development and acquisitions, including climate sensors and climate modeling.    

Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Research:

Senate: $2.6 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research. 

House: $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, and cut utility bills.

You can learn more about the two existing versions of the stimulus package by visiting the following links:



Let your representatives in Congress know that you want green jobs to play a central role in the economic stimulus package:

Sierra Club: Urge the Senate to Support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Green Jobs Now: “I’m Ready” Petition