President signs stimulus package

By Erin Voegele | February 10, 2009
Web exclusive posted Feb. 16, 2009, at 3:55 p.m. CST

On Feb. 17, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation passed in the House by a vote of 246 to 183. The Senate approved the legislation by a vote of 60 to 38.

The legislation, which includes biofuels and biomass provisions, has an estimated price tag of $787 billion. During fiscal year 2009, the conference agreement is expected to cost approximately $50 billion less than the original House bill and $21 billion more than the legislation originally passed by the Senate.

The renewable energy, biofuels and biomass provisions in the economic stimulus pack include:
  • $16.8 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program, including $2.5 billion for applied research, development, demonstration and deployment activities to include $800 million for projects related to biomass and $400 million for geothermal activities and projects. This particular funding also includes $300 million for the Alternative Fueled Vehicles Pilot Grant Program.

  • A total of $300 million to the Department of Defense for research, development, testing and evaluation, including pilot projects, demonstrations and energy efficient manufacturing enhancements. Funds are for improvements in energy generation and efficiency, transmission, regulation and storage and for use on military installations and within operational forces, to include research and development of energy for fuel cells, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources to include biofuels and bioenergy.

  • $4.5 billion for the Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability program.

  • $150 million in budget authority for rural business loans and grants, which will support $3.01 billion in rural business loans and grants. Of this amount, $2.99 million is for guaranteed business and industry loans and $20 billion is for rural business enterprise grants.

  • $6 billion for the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program for the cost of guaranteed loans authorized by section 1705 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The loan program would provide loan guarantees for renewable technologies and transmission technologies. The $6 billion in appropriated funds is expected to support more than $60 billion in loans for these projects.

  • $15 million to Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management for wildland fire management. The funds should be used for high priority hazardous fuels reduction projects on Federal lands.

  • $500 million to the Department of Agriculture Forest Service for Wildland Fire Management, including $250 million for hazardous fuels reduction, forest health protection, rehabilitation and hazard mitigation activities on Federal lands. The bill allows the Forest Service to use up to $50 million to make competitive grants for the purpose of creating incentives for increased use of biomass from federal and non-federal forested lands.

For more information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit the Library of Congress Web site.
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