Inslee Leads Charge to Keep Stimulus Package Green

By Josh Feit February 7, 2009

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1, WA), the co-chair of a Congressional pack of greens calling themselves the Sustainable Environment and Energy Coalition, sent a letter (signed by 25 members of Congress) to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, 8) yesterday. The letter outlines what the environmental group wants to see in the final stimulus package as the House reconciles its bill with the one that's coming over the from the Senate in the next few days. 

The letter begins: "We applaud your leadership on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, H.R. 1. In order to maximize the stimulative effect on the American economy, we want to ensure that the energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in the legislation are preserved."

The letter cites several items that were in the House stimulus package bill including: 

—$8 billion investment in renewable energy technologies

—a 70/30 split in transportation dollars between roads and transit, respectively (the traditional split has been about 80/20)

—$3.4 billion grant program to create incentives for energy conservation (this is a reference to one of Inslee's pet programs known as "decoupling")

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA, 7), a member of Inslee's new green coalition, also signed the letter.

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