04 Feb 2009 $8.6 Billion of Stimulus Plan Earmarked for Pet Causes of Environmental Activists Should Be Jettisoned
Washington, D.C. – At least $8.6 billion of President Obama’s proposed $1.2 trillion stimulus plan is meant to fund dubious special interest policy initiatives of environmental activists and should immediately be jettisoned, says Deneen Borelli, full-time Fellow with the Project 21 national black leadership network.
“It’s outrageous that taxpayer money is slated to be used to fund the agenda of environmental special interest groups. These special interest groups are using global warming alarmism to fund dubious projects while discouraging the use of fossil fuels,” says Borelli. “If liberal lawmakers really cared about stimulating the economy, they would remove rules and regulations that block the development of more fossil fuels. This would provide good-paying jobs and lower energy costs for Americans. Instead, they appear only interested in using their combined force of money, power and influence to fleece taxpayers of their money and their freedom.”
Among the green earmarks in the bill legislation cited by Borelli:
* A $2 billion expenditure for “near zero emissions powerplant(s).” This money apparently will be used to revive the FutureGen coal-fired power plan in Mattoon, Illinois. Federal funding for FutureGen was cut off by the Department of Energy in 2008 due in part to excessive construction costs. Reviving funding has been a goal of Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), and is included despite past criticism of coal-based power generation by President Obama, Vice President Biden and Energy Secretary Stephen Chu.
* $600 million set aside to purchase new hybrid vehicles for federal employees. While there is no documented need for the replacement of vehicles in the federal motor pool, hybrid vehicles have been criticized for performance, cost, safety and the environmental risks created through the production and disposal of their batteries.
* In a December 6, 2008 address, then-President-elect Obama called for a “massive effort” for “replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs” in federal buildings. The stimulus bill would earmark $6 billion to address this by, among other actions, changing the use of conventional incandescent light bulbs to riskier compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which pose a risk of mercury poisoning if broken.
Borelli added: “Lawmakers are cramming a feel-good energy and environmental agenda into this so-called stimulus bill. Investing in FutureGen, hybrid vehicles and light bulbs will only stimulate the special interest groups that are inflating the ‘green bubble’ that could be the next thing to threaten our nation’s economic stability.”
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at www.project21.org/P21Index.html.