The Economic Recovery Package (aka the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act)
Since the economy took a sharp downturn in the Fall of 2008, United States lawmakers have been crafting a stimulus package to revitalize the economy and create jobs. This stimulus, which President Obama dubbed the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan", will inject billions of dollars into the economy. It has been President Obama and the new Congress's highest priority since taking office.
Greening the Stimulus
Many, including Green For All, have seen this economic crisis as an opportunity to make a down payment on an inclusive, green economy, rather than propping up the pollution-based status quo.
President Obama and the House or Representatives included a number of bold green initiatives in their versions of the plan, such as: $6.2 million for weatherization, doubling renewable energy, and $500 million for training workers in energy efficiency and renewable energy industries.
The Senate version provides half that amount - $250 million - for worker training, and spreads it out across various industries.
The Green Jobs Act
The Green Jobs Act funds partnerships that train workers for jobs in the green economy and has a special focus on creating “green pathways out of poverty.”
If funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects is included in the stimulus – as we demand and expect – then it’s essential that we invest in the skills of the people who will do that work, particularly those who are on the margins and at the smokestack end of the current dirty economy.
In 2007, Green For All and our allies got the Green Jobs Act signed into law, authorized for $125 million. President Bush then appropriated $0 to it in his budget. Throughout the spring and summer of 2008, we fought an uphill battle to secure funding for the Act, with some success. But the new economic and political climate --President Obama's commitment to green jobs coupled with the need for a massive stimulus -- has given the Green Jobs Act a boost.
President Obama and the House of Representatives agreed to fund worker training for energy efficiency and renewable energy industries, as specified in the Green Jobs Act, at $500 million. But the Senate version provides half that amount - $250 million - for worker training, and spreads it out across various industries.