Learn more about the energy-related items in President Obama's 2009 stimulus package. (Video: Two Minutes for the Planet)
The economy has fallen and the government’s trying to pick it up. But out of the ashes of failed businesses, foreclosures, and a plummeting Dow, President Obama is trying to regrow our fiscal system based on technology that will preserve our ecosystem as well as our financial system. The New Act creates large amounts of rewards and incentives for you if you make environmentally-friendly choices. For example, it removes all caps on tax credits on home renewable energy systems. If you invest in solar energy panels or geothermal heat pumps, the government will pay 30 percent. Electric cars are also being fueled by the government dollar. If you buy one, you get 10 percent back on your taxes. If you buy energy efficient appliances under the Energy Star program, you are now eligible for added rebates. $600 million dollars of spending those incentives. But the main purpose of the stimulus package is to create jobs. For the first time in history, there aren’t only blue collar jobs and white collar jobs, there are also green collar jobs. The president is calling them shovel-ready jobs. Of the total $1.2 billion, 20 percent, must be used for green infrastructure. The Environmental Protection Agency is getting more than $7 billion in stimulus funding. With it, the EPA is planning to fund projects to provide cleaner drinking water, purer air, and environmentally-friendly urban and rural redevelopment. The Department of Energy received some bright news as well. Nearly $17 billion, 10 times the funding they receive now, will go towards renewable energy. The DOE has been tasked with analyzing the nation’s entire electrical grid in order to find places to save. They must then report back to Washington their findings and recommendations. So now, eco-friendly programs aren’t just good ideas. They’re good ideas that are funded. With your 2 Minutes for the Planet, I’m Joe Washington.