President-elect Barack Obama will make good on his campaign pledge to invest in jobs that improve the energy efficiency of the nation's homes, according to a New York Times story, based on a confidential interview with a top aide.
While the details remain fuzzy, the green portion of the economic recovery plan could be $15 billion (of a possible $400 or $500 billion). That figure -- $15 billion -- is consistent with the vision Obama talked about on the campaign trail, when he stated he wanted to spend $150 billion over 10 years on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
As president-elect, he'd already mentioned renewable energy investments in previous statements about economic recovery. The aide's statements to the Times are the first indication that energy efficiency will also be part of the package.
As the Times points out, the deficit spending would come without a revenue stream to match, which is a switch from his campaign pledge. On the campaign trail, Obama said he'd pay for these investments with money generated by a cap-and-trade regulation for greenhouse gas emissions.
The nation's buildings -- and the energy they demand to keep warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and electrified all year round -- are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Since nearly 50% of the nation's electricity comes from coal, and many northeastern homes rely on oil for heating, improving the energy efficiency of homes directly leads to reduction in pollution. Not to mention cost.
It's a good investment.
In a speech delivered via video to a bipartisan climate summit in California in November, Obama pledged to take strong action to combat global warming. Here's what he had to say:
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