The Biggest Energy Bill in History

At least according to the New York Times, if you pull out the energy-related provisions from the just passed stimulus package, the $80 billion “would amount to the biggest energy bill in history.”

An $80 Billion Start

An excerpt from the NYT editorial:

RENEWABLE ENERGY In addition to new money for research into alternative fuels, the measure provides roughly $20 billion in tax incentives for wind, solar, hydroelectric and other renewable power sources. These incentives, which are crucial for future development, were the subject of endless Congressional bickering last year, and it is heartening to see them enshrined in law.

MASS TRANSIT Federal transportation spending has long favored highways over mass transit by a 4-to-1 margin, even though mass transit is far more effective in reducing oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The package improves this ratio while providing $17.7 billion for mass transit, Amtrak and high-speed rail, nearly a 70 percent increase over present spending levels.

I have spent some time trying to read through the bill and pull out energy related items, but it is quite an undertaking. You can read through the bill, and all of the amendments, summaries, and committee reports here:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

I have yet to see a good summary of the energy provisions. My skimming of the bill indicates that the energy section is primarily just amendments to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and various other energy bills from previous years. I doubt that anyone read through it carefully before passage, and a lot of surprising provisions are likely to be uncovered as people have a chance to digest it all.

9 thoughts on “The Biggest Energy Bill in History”

  1. You mean the “no earmarks” bill that has money for a train from LA to Las Vegas and money for habitat restoration for a mouse in the San Francisco bay area?

    I think API has a version with the energy provisions pulled out. Will see if I can get a copy.

  2. King, you old cynic!
    You mean no earmarks for anybody – excluding present company? I guess present company included Harry and Nancy!

    Seriously, those two are a big threat to Obama getting anything useful accomplished.

  3. The WSJ said that the LA to LV train was a rumor and most of the 8 mil for rail will be spent on upgrading existing lines (chicago to st. louis for example).

  4. Yahoo! Las Vegas baby! We need a “gambler special” from LA to LV.
    Call it “The Elvis.”
    Still better than wasting money onsome poophole in Iraq or Afghanie.

  5. Mafiosa – well the mouse still has his money. Phillipino veterans of WWII get $200 mil. Are you mad because money for the mob museum got whacked.

    Train to Chicago? Anybody we know from there?

  6. $80 billion does sound like a lot of money but how much have we spent on the Iraq war? Can’t one fairly argue that most of that money was spent to secure oil reserves?

  7. @ Brian

    You may recall that you got rid of your loyal White House economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey back in 2002 after, among other sins, he claimed that a war in Iraq might cost as much as $200 billion. At the time, White House staffers sneered that Lindsey was being alarmist. Hardly. One commonly cited estimate of Iraq’s cost, based on an August analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, is $1 trillion, and that’s probably on the low side. A report released last week by the Democratic staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee put the war’s 2002-08 tab at $1.3 trillion.


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