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Obama Recovery Plan: Billions of Bucks and Thousands of Jobs for NY?

January 22, 2009

New York, NY — Part of President Obama's proposed economic recovery plan could get thousands of paychecks, and more, flowing in New York. The U.S. House is expected to vote next week on the package that includes billions of dollars for big New York infrastructure and energy projects.

Rob Moore, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, says the state has plenty of shovel-ready jobs for water treatment projects. All that's needed, he says, is the federal money in the $825-billion House version of the plan.

"We know that $800 million is going to be coming to New York State just for water infrastructure; so that's going to serve everything from sewage treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants and storm water collection systems."

President Obama has said investment in clean energy is the best way to grow the economy. Moore says that's a radical departure from the last administration; one which will provide big dollars for New York.

"A very large investment in energy efficiency has been lacking in this nation - everything from investment in public transit to helping build the next generation of wind farms here in New York State. "

Moore's group points to studies showing 40,000 jobs are created in many job sectors for every $1 billion the nation invests in water infrastructure projects.

Critics of the plan are concerned about how much it will add to the national debt. Twenty percent of the federal money is earmarked for making power and water treatment plants more efficient. Moore says that will save local governments, because those costs are a major part of municipal budgets all across New York State.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY