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“Thousands of Green NV Jobs” Pending: Stimulus Heads to Senate

February 2, 2009

Las Vegas, NV – President Obama's $819 billion economic recovery plan heads to the U.S. Senate this week for a vote. Tucked into the clean energy portion of the bill is hope for creating thousands of Nevada jobs. That's the word from conservationists, who say the measure will bolster both the economy and the environment.

Jane Feldman, conservation chair of the Southern Nevada Group of the Sierra Club, says the $100 billion environmental portion of the plan is a down payment on a stronger economy and a clean energy future, including new jobs.

"There's $500 million for the Green Jobs Act. It also extends the Efficiency Tax Credit, which would promote work on weatherization programs for homes. This is a lot of money being spent in the right places."

The House version failed to garner a single Republican vote; its critics say the bill is loaded with too much pork. Feldman says that while some items should not have been included, the environmental community is excited about the plan's overall prospects.

Lydia Ball, regional representative of the Sierra Club, agrees. She notes that Nevada has the second largest renewable energy potential in the nation. As a result, she says, the plan's renewable energy projects will fund plenty of Nevada jobs.

"This recovery plan means federal dollars flowing into Nevada to upgrade the efficiency of our public buildings, and it means investment in public transit systems and incentives for installing solar panels on our homes."

The recovery plan's energy efficiency tax credits are coming just in time, Ball adds, because work has been slowing for local renewable energy installers as homeowners and businesses wait to see if tax breaks offered in the past will be continued as part of the economic stimulus package.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV