Green-technology advocates estimate that the green component of President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus plan could be $50 billion or 10 percent of the overall package, Wall Street Journal reports.
The stimulus plan would spend about a half-trillion dollars over two years on tax-rebate and an array of green projects, such as building renewable energy plants and installing smart meters that allow consumers to reap benefits from using electricity at off-peak hours. These infrastructure initiatives are expected to create jobs and to take effect sometime in Obama’s second year in the White House.
The Obama team is also debating on whether to appoint an energy czar that is responsible for coordinating policies on climate change and dependence on Middle East oil. The energy czar would run the departments of Interior, and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, which have the biggest impact on energy and climate policy.
However, not everyone is happy about the push for green jobs and a greener energy sector. Rich Lowry of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that “The push for ‘green’ jobs is about creating a ‘negative’ energy sector — hampering the energy sector we already have to create one that requires more labor.”
Lowry writes that ethanol is still only two-thirds as efficient as gasoline and requires about the same energy to produce it as it provides.
EL recently reported that 92 percent of the government’s “flex fuel” fleet of cars, which is supposed to be greener and use ethanol, is actually fueled by standard gasoline.