Obama makes progress on green jobs promise
President Barack Obama promised to kill two birds with one stone on the campaign trail: He'd create jobs and improve the environment by investing in green industries.
So far, Obama has made headway on that promise on several fronts.
For starters, he included major investment in the clean energy industry, energy efficiency initiatives and green transportation in the stimulus package passed by Congress in early 2009. Environment America, a coalition of environmental advocacy groups, said the total investment in green projects topped out at $78.61 billion.
Also part of the stimulus package is $4.5 billion to upgrade the nation's electricity grid. These upgrades are intended to improve energy efficiency. But more importantly, the plan includes a mandate to install millions of "smart meters," devices that allow consumers to track energy use in real time and can lower utility bills and reduce power outages. In a separate announcement, Obama said that some of the money would be used to install 850 sensors meant to incorporate renewable energy, like wind and solar power, into the grid, thus helping to solve the long-standing problem of distributing alternative energies throughout the country.
Do all these investments total to $150 billion or 5 million jobs? Not yet, but it is progress toward his promise of creating a green economy. We'll move this promise to In the Works as a result.
Reuters, Obama plans big smart grid announcement , Oct. 26, 2009
BusinessWeek, Hidden Tech Winners in Obama's Green Stimulus Bill , by Celeste LeCompte, Jan. 23, 2009
Environment America, Clean Energy to Power Economic Recovery , accessed Nov. 25, 2009