Controversial Stimulus Energy Provisions Reduced in Conference

Posted by Wonk Room Sun, 15 Feb 2009 03:57:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

The conferees.
The economic recovery plan agreed to by House and Senate negotiators will “pump billions of dollars into ‘smart grid’ projects,” renewable energy, energy efficiency, and public transit. The conference report reduced some of the more controversial elements that were included by the Senate:


Wonk Room: Senate ‘Improvements For Integration’ Loophole May Make $4.6 Billion ‘Clean Coal’ Fund A Dirty Giveaway (2/12/09):
The Senate version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act adds $2.2 billion to the House’s allocation of $2.4 billion for the development of “carbon capture and sequestration technologies” (CCS). Furthermore, the Senate language adds a dangerous loophole that changes a potentially green investment into subsidy for a dirty industry.

CONFERENCE REPORT: Fossil energy funding is now $3.4 billion, with no specific terms or limitations.


Wonk Room: Senate’s Billion-Dollar Nuclear Weapons Provision Should Be Cut From Recovery Plan (2/10/09):
Buried in the Senate version of the economic recovery plan — despite the “heroic” efforts of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and other centrists to “fr[y] the bacon” — is an allocation of $1 billion to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for “weapons activities.” This provision, divorced as it is from any semblance of national security strategy, should be eliminated.

CONFERENCE REPORT: Nuclear weapons funding has been eliminated.


Wonk Room: Senate Appropriators Add $50 Billion Nuclear Waste To Recovery Plan (1/30/09):
On Wednesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to increase nuclear loan guarantees by $50 billion in the economic recovery package (S. 336). This sum “would more than double the current loan guarantee cap of $38 billion” for “clean energy” technology.

CONFERENCE REPORT: These loan guarantees have been eliminated.


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