The Obama administration today announced plans to invest $3.2 billion in energy efficiency and conservation projects across the country as part of the economic stimulus package.
“These investments will save taxpayer dollars and create jobs in communities around the country,” Vice President Biden, who is overseeing the spending, said in a statement. “Local leaders will have the flexibility in how they put these resources to work – but we will hold them accountable for making the investments quickly and wisely to spur the local economy and cut energy use.”
The grants -- nearly $1.9 billion for cities and counties and nearly $770 million for states and territories -- will pay for energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings, the development of advanced building codes and inspections, and financial incentive programs for energy efficiency improvements.
Other programs that are eligible for funding include projects to reduce and capture methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, renewable energy installations on government buildings, and energy efficient traffic signals and street lights.
UPDATE: Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry announced today that $42.2 million of that money will flow to Massachusetts.
“Now and in the years ahead, environmental protection and energy efficiency are more important than ever to our families, the strength of our economy, and the future of our planet,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I’m proud to work with President Obama and Senator Kerry to strengthen our economy and our national commitment to energy reform. The President is right to make it a central part of his economic stimulus plan.”
“These recovery dollars will create green jobs, reduce our energy use, and cut polluting emissions. From every angle, this means more money in the pockets of working people in Massachusetts. Anytime you can create jobs and save taxpayers money, it’s a smart investment,” Kerry added.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.