The New York Times reports that a senior Obama aide said a green-jobs program will probably include the weatherizing of hundreds of thousands of homes, the installation of “smart meters” to monitor and reduce home energy use, and billions of dollars in grants to state and local governments for mass transit and infrastructure projects.
The green component of the much larger stimulus plan would cost at least $15 billion a year, and perhaps considerably more, depending on how the projects were defined, aides working on the package said.
During the campaign, Mr. Obama supported a measure to address global warming by capping carbon emissions while allowing companies to buy and trade pollution permits. He said he would devote $150 billion of the revenue from the sale of those permits over 10 years to energy efficiency and alternative energy projects to wean the nation from fuels that are the main causes of the heating the atmosphere.
But the Obama adviser who discussed the green energy project said Mr. Obama would not await passage of a global warming bill before embarking on the new energy and infrastructure spending. House and Senate supporters of a climate bill said they would continue working on legislative language but did not expect quick action on a cap-and-trade law because of the economic emergency.
That means that the green-jobs program would not be financed with pollution credits bought by power generators and other carbon emitters, but instead would be added to the budget deficit.
Congressional officials working with the Obama administration said the stimulus program was also likely to involve tax breaks or direct government subsidies for a variety of clean energy projects, including solar arrays, wind farms, advanced biofuels and technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants.