Vice President Biden and Energy Secretary Chu today detailed a chunk of the $787 billion in stimulus cash -- $8 billion in state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts that they say will put 87,000 Americans to work and save families hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills.
The first installment of the funding – about $780 million -- is to be released in the next few days, they announced.
Massachusetts will eventually get $177 million of the $8 billion, enough to create more than 6,500 jobs in the Bay State, Representative Ed Markey's office said.
The Malden Democrat said the spending would reduce energy bills for consumers, cut global warming pollution, and put people back to work building a clean energy economy. “These funds are the ultimate triple play for the Bay State,” Markey said in a statement. “Thousands of Massachusetts workers will be hired, families’ energy bills will be permanently cut by hundreds of dollars a year, and global warming pollution will be reduced.”
Senators John F. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts jointly announced that $122 million will be used for weatherization programs and $55 million for state energy programs.
“We passed an emergency economic recovery package to create jobs, help those who are struggling, and invest in job creators today that also strengthen our country for the long term. This investment in weatherization achieves all three of those goals. Making homes and businesses more energy efficient means lower heating and air conditioning bills for years to come. It means that thousands of Massachusetts families won’t be forced to choose between paying their energy bills and putting food on their tables,” Kerry said in a statement.
“Countless families in the Commonwealth have been struggling with sky-high costs to heat their homes this winter and are being forced to cut back on food, health care, and other necessities just to stay warm, and businesses face a similar squeeze,” Kennedy added in a statement. “These funds to weatherize homes and businesses are an important part of the solution. I was proud to work with Senator Kerry to make sure this initiative was part of the economic stimulus legislation, and I’m optimistic that these funds will make a real difference for families throughout our Commonwealth next winter.”
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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.