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Stimulus money for green jobs (hopefully) won’t be spent blithely

Published by The Editors | Filed under policy

People are salivating over the opportunity to get some of that money the Obama administration wants to spend for green job creation. Now comes news that the money might not be as easy to come by as some of the bandits would like.

First, the projects must be “shovel-ready”—that is, ready to go immediately. “They told us that for business to get anything, we have to prove there’s a short-term job impact—within six months,” explains Brent Erickson, vice-president of the Biotechnology Industry Assn. , which is pushing for biofuels production incentives. But the projects can’t put Uncle Sam on the hook to spend money for more than a year or two. “They have to be temporary, not creating a permanent need for funding,” says Dow Chemical (DOW) lobbyist Peter Molinaro.

One proposal generating buzz predicts more than 7 million jobs from a $171 billion investment to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and homes. Commercial property owners would get short-term tax reductions, and homeowners could lower mortgage payments if they boosted their energy efficiency or amounts of renewable energy. Homeowners would get their interest rates cut to, say, 3% if they paid for home energy audits and enough insulation and other improvements to cut usage by 75%.

Start looking now for home energy auditors and good home contractors who could make your home more energy efficient.

Resources: BusinessWeek - A Rush to Create Green Jobs

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