The White House Green Agenda

The Obama Administration has received policy recommendations from just about every trade association that represents green interests. Since they usually focus on energy efficiency, renewables and green buildings, here’s what Green America (formerly Coop America) suggests, which also includes support for green business in general.

Read about what some of our thought leaders suggest for Obama’s first 100 days at
Environment 360.

Check out the Presidential Climate Action Project and the Apollo Economic Recovery Act.

If you haven’t seen the details of The White House Green Energy Agenda, here it is. It’s posted on the White House Website. We’re also including details of Obama’s Green Stimulus Plan.

Green America met with the Obama Transition Team, along with several of its members, including Priya Haji, World of Good CEO, Jeffery Hollander, Seventh Generation CEO, Seth Goldman, Honest Tea, Amy Domini, Domini Social Investments, Tim Freundlich, Calvert Foundation, and Don Shaffer, RSF Social Finance. They were impressed with the Transition Team members’ deep listening and smart questions about the priorities we see for a sustainable economy. All of the following priorities resonated with the members of the Transition Team, who asked for follow-up details.

1. Green energy and green jobs: Besides Obama’s current proposals, up the ante and challenge Americans to cut 50% of their energy bill over the next five years – that’s just 10% a year. Better than a one-time tax reduction, this would provide American families and businesses savings annual savings. Ditto on rapid, large-scale deployment of energy efficiency, solar power, and plug-in electric vehicles, and development of a "smart grid" to enable these deployments.

2. Clean Energy Victory Bonds: Modeled after World War II victory bonds, Americans would buy long term bonds that would help fund energy efficiency, renewable energy and green energy infrastructure projects. The interest rate would be partly based on the energy and energy savings the bonds generate. Americans bought over $185 billion in bonds during WW II, equivalent to nearly $2 trillion in today’s dollars.

3. Green Business Expansion Fund: this new fund for small business grants and loans would help green companies survive and thrive, while assisting all businesses to go green – and hire all those people getting trained for green jobs.

4. Health Care Reform: Since many of the most expensive, chronic conditions are preventable through diet and exercise, "health care coaches" would help patients and their families regain their health, while saving billions of dollars a year in health care costs.

5. Transformational Economic System Thinking: Rather than having a goal of "fixing" the economic crisis to "get back to the way things were," this crisis marks the end of an era and the opportunity to move forward with new economic thinking. After stabilizing our economic situation, begin moving on transformative system changes including: the short-term focus of our markets, the structure of the monetary system, and the dependence on debt and consumerism as the engines of our economy.

White House Agenda: ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. Our addiction to foreign oil doesn’t just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment — it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. President Obama and Vice President Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

The Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan will:

  • Help create 5 million new green jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next 10 years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
  • Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
  • Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
  • Ensure 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025.
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Energy Plan Overview

Provide Short-term Relief to American Families

  • Crack Down on Excessive Energy Speculation.
  • Swap Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices.

Eliminate Our Current Imports from the Middle East and Venezuela within 10 Years

  • Increase Fuel Economy Standards.
  • Get 1 Million Plug-In Hybrid Cars on the Road by 2015.
  • Create a New $7,000 Tax Credit for Purchasing Advanced Vehicles.
  • Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
  • A "Use it or Lose It" Approach to Existing Oil and Gas Leases.
  • Promote the Responsible Domestic Production of Oil and Natural Gas.

Create Millions of New Green Jobs

  • Ensure 10 percent of Our Electricity Comes from Renewable Sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • Deploy the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Energy Source – Energy Efficiency.
  • Weatherize One Million Homes Annually.
  • Develop and Deploy Clean Coal Technology.
  • Prioritize the Construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.

Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80% by 2050

  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
  • Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change.

Stimulus Bill Includes $100 Billion for CleanTech

The House Ways & Means Committee released the following details of President Obama’s $825 billion economic stimulus bill, which includes over $100 billion for Clean Energy & Environment. Over the next 10 years:

Energy Technology Tax Credits: $19.96 Billion

3 Year Production Tax Credit Extension (PTC) — $13.14
Extension of Tax Credits for Improvements to Energy Efficiency on Existing Homes — $4.28
Removal of Limitations on Investment Tax Credit (ITC) — $0.87
Additional Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds — $0.80
Additional Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) — $0.58
Temporary Permission to claim the ITC instead of the PTC — $0.22
Tax Credits forInstallation of Alternative Fuel Pumps — $0.05
Increased R&D Credit — $0.02
Grant Program for ITC and PTC — NA

Energy Technology Spending: $53.75 Billion

Electrical Grid Investments — $11.00
Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees — $8.00
Local Government Energy Efficiency Block Grants — $6.90
Federal Buildings Energy Improvements — $6.70
Low-income Home Weatherization — $6.20
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Efficiency Improvements — $2.50
Carbon Capture and Sequestration Projects — $2.40
Energy Technology Research Grants — $2.00
Advanced Battery Loans and Grants — $2.00
Scientific Research, Department of Energy — $1.90
Energy Efficiency Grants and Loans for Institutions — $1.50
Replacement of Federal Vehicles — $0.60
Industrial Efficiency Projects — $0.50
Advanced Buses, Trucks for local governments — $0.40
Department of Defense Energy Research — $0.35
Smart Appliances Rebates — $0.30
Diesel Emissions Reduction — $0.30
Electric Transportation Grants — $0.20

Water & Environment Spending: $18.27 Billion

Clean Water State Revolving Fund — $6.00
Corps of Engineers-Environmental Cleanup — $4.50
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund — $2.00
Rural Water and Waste Disposal — $1.50
Reducing Wildfires Threats — $0.85
Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup — $0.80
Bureau of Reclamation- Rural Water and Recycling Projects — $0.50
Nuclear Waste Cleanup — $0.50
Watershed Infrastructure — $0.40
NOAA Habitat Restoration — $0.40
Cleanup at Closed Military Bases — $0.30
International Boundary and Water Commission — $0.22
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks — $0.20
Brownfield Grants — $0.10

Indirect Spending: $42.36 Billion

School Construction (energy efficiency improvements) — $20.00
Purchases of New Buses and other Transportation Equipment — $6.00
Public Housing Capital Fund (energy efficiency improvements) — $5.00
Jobs Training and Employment Services (green Jobs) — $4.00
National Science Foundation (environmental research) — $3.00
HOME Investment Partnerships (green technologies) — $1.50
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance — $1.00
Veterans Medical Facilities (energy efficiency improvements) — $0.95
Native American Housing Block Grants (energy efficiency improvements) — $0.50
NASA Climate Change Research — $0.40
Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Program (energy efficiency improvements) — $0.01


Stimulus plan details Reprinted with permission from Ardour Capital.

Source: House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Summary of "The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan"; Committee on Appropriations Report on "The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan."

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