Green groups seek Obama largess

By Reuters Staff
December 23, 2008

Obama    Christmas is expected to come late for some green groups, or at least that’s what they’re hoping.
    With President-elect Barack Obama and Congress preparing to offer a collossal economic stimulus package in the new year, alternative energy lobbyists, think tanks, and conservation groups are all sending funding wish lists to Washington.
    Energy projects proposed for the stimulus bill range from the conventional (tax credits for renewable energy) to more  exotic ideas.
    Sapphire Energy, a renewable petrochemical company, is pushing for more government funding for the development of algae-based fuel production, including establishing national centers of excellence in algal research and mandating the U.S. Air Force test the use of algae-based jet fuel.
    A non-profit organization focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector, Architecture 2030, is encouraging the incoming administration to invest $167.3 billion over two years into a plan that links lowering mortgage interest rates with energy efficiency.
    Architecture 2030′s proposal would require people buying new homes or refinancing their mortgages to renovate their homes to meet energy reduction targets to get lower interest rates.
    Other suggestions for the economic stimulus are more symbolic. Leroy Miller of American University urges Obama to enact a 12-month plan to make the White House a zero energy building and to purchase a plug in electric vehicle.
    Not to be left out, many wildlife and conservation groups have weighed in with proposals for the economic recovery plan, which is expected to total between $500 billion to $700 billion or even more.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has a compilation of these green stimulus ideas and more at: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=IssueItems.View&IssueItem_ID=ce27babd-d579-40ce-91e9-7b41510d97d3.

– Ayesha Rascoe

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