Saturday, February 14, 2009

The energy portion of the stimulus roughly triples the money for a range of programs, including weatherizing homes and building transmission lines.

It provides $6.3 billion in block grants to states for energy projects; $5 billion for weatherization; $4.4 billion for "smart grid" projects to help control energy use; $4.5 billion to make federal buildings more efficient; and $4 billion to finance loan guarantees for renewable energy projects.

To spur links between populous areas and areas rich in wind and solar potential, the bill sets aside $2 billion to cover loan guarantees to prompt new electric transmission lines and authorizes $6.5 billion in low-cost federal loans for transmission. It also sets aside $3.4 billion to spur carbon-capture and storage technology to take emissions from coal plants and sequester them in the ground.

It gives $300 million to states and municipalities to buy fuel-efficient trucks and buses; $300 million to the federal government to do the same; $400 million to install infrastructure for charging electric cars; and $300 million to spur "smart appliances" that would give homeowners more control over energy use.

-- Steven Mufson

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