Senate Negotiations Cut Stimulus Spending on Environmental Programs

  • Published on February 8th, 2009

During this weekend’s negotiations over President Obama’s stimulus plan, Senators made some cuts in proposed government spending, and many of them are from environmental programs. Here’s what the Senate cut from the bill:

$1 billion from Energy Loan Guarantees –

This program is meant to provide loans to alternative and renewable energy projects.

$3.5 billion from Federal Buildings Greening –

This program is meant to reduce the environmental impact of the government’s buildings by instituting measures like putting in more efficient light bulbs and heating and cooling systems. The amount was originally $7 billion. Some states are already implementing programs like this.

$100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration –

This funding is to go toward federal scientific research, and was at $427 million under the original bill.

$300 million Federal Hybrid Vehicles –

Originally $600 million, this program is meant to boost the fleet of hybrid vehicles in the government.

$25 million from Fish and Wildlife –

This program is meant to help wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and conservation areas.

$200 million from Superfund –

This program, originally billed at $800 million, is intended for the EPA to clean up superfund sites.

$90 million from State & Private Wildlife Fire Management –

Originally $850 million, this program is to provide rehabilitation for forested lands.

Were these necessary cuts? To see a full list of how much the Senate cut from all the spending programs, go here.

See also:
Obama to Critics of Economic Stimulus Package: Are You Serious?
Economic Stimulus Package: Will Obama Push Smart Grid?


Obama Articulates Case for Stimulus Package in First Press Conference

Image: MashGet at Flickr under a Creative Commons License

About the Author

My name is Amanda, and I'm a recent grad from Michigan State University. At MSU I was involved in the environmental journalism program and have written for the school's environmental journal and E, The Environmental Magazine. I'm delving into freelancing now, and will spend the summer in NYC as an intern at NYC Parks and Recreation.


  • Amanda — Thanks for putting this together — I hadn't seen it before. It's a shame folks still don't understand that greening the government to reduce future costs creates jobs and saves taxpayers mega-money in the not-so-distant future. (I can assure folks this money won't go towards $300,000 bathrooms for constipated Bush cronies.) It really hurts to read the comments this report elicited–eight years of no science funding/information creates a very backward population. I have hope we'll emerge from the darkages but meanwhile the oceans are dying.

  • I agree with Paul Krugman, SF Chronicle 2/10 article "The destructive center".

    While trying to work with Republicans in bipartisan,

    it is obvious they are up to their tired, hackneyed "old tricks". We elected Obama to pass an economic package that would stimulate the economy based on input of many prominent economists. The house version of bill is better than Obama's and they shouldn't let the Senate & devisiive Republicans undo it with their rantings of pork, it won't work etc…

    After all we have had to put up with these same naysayers for the past 8 yrs-so why shouldn't we try something new?? Tax cuts are not the answer.

    The same scenario is playing in California politics-all the millions that supported Obama should be emailing their Congressman in support of House bill as the water down version in Senate is not what we asked for & the Republicans already had their chance & blew it-regardless of what Limbaugh, Boener, McConnell state.

    May the force be with Us!!

  • The funding to "green" federal buildings and put more hybrid cars in the federal fleet was nothing short of a public relations stunt. Most federal buildings already have florescent lighting and they have been putting insulation in them for years if not completely replacing them at an enormous cost to the taxpayer.

    The real problem can't be addressed with funding. It's called bad management. Our nation's leaders have, over time, turned our government into a bloated, wasteful entity. Instead of pursuing what is efficient and cost effective for the nation, our elected leaders would rather pursue their personal and political agendas. Many military and other federal facilities could have been shut down long ago. Many federal programs could be carried out with fewer people or even eliminated. Many educated people have estimated that the government could do a better job with a third of the workforce it employs if it were properly managed. It would save tremendous amounts energy. Instead, the Congress and the Pentagon give us a song and dance and too many of us accept it because we don't want to make an effort to call them out. Why send good money after bad? It's time to stop feeding the beast and put it on a diet.

    Regarding the Hybrid Vehicles, they are no more expensive than non-hybrid when purchased in quantity. They actually cost less to fuel and maintain. Lots of government vehicles are replaced every year. For that purpose, all that is needed is better management.

    By the way, almost 20 years ago the government installed video conferencing rooms in it's major facilities to reduce the need for travel. Now, anybody on the Internet can do most of the government's business without leaving their offices. It is a super energy and cost saving option that is grossly underutilized because federal employees, elected officials, military officials ect. love to travel on the taxpayer dime. It's a free vacation with free housing and free food for the traveler. Once again, it results from bad management. The government doesn't want to take any significant action to stop the waste. $300 million is nothing compared to what is wasted because of bad management.

    If you want to save a lot of energy, use some of yours to make the public more aware of the need for change in the way the government does business. It is our tax money being wasted after all.

  • Oops–sorry! I meant to specify the ones you didn't list the original amt. for. Fish & Wildlife is a special interest of mine, so that's the one I really want to know.

  • Re Senate Negotiations Cut Stimulus Spending on Environmental Pgms:

    How much money was left in the Senate bill for spending on these pgms?

    It's not helpful to say only how much was cut without also saying what remains.

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