STIMULATING THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
February 9, 2009
At least $8.6 billion of President Obama's proposed $1.2 trillion stimulus plan is meant to fund dubious special interest policy initiatives of environmental activists and should immediately be jettisoned, says Deneen Borelli, a Fellow with the Project 21 national black leadership network.
Among the green earmarks in the bill legislation cited by Borelli:
- A $2 billion expenditure for "near zero emissions powerplant(s) -- this money apparently will be used to revive the FutureGen coal-fired power plan in Mattoon, Illinois.
- $600 million set aside to purchase new hybrid vehicles for federal employees -- while there is no documented need for the replacement of vehicles in the federal motor pool, hybrid vehicles have been criticized for performance, cost, safety and the environmental risks created through the production and disposal of their batteries.
- In a December 6, 2008 address, then-President-elect Obama called for a "massive effort" for "replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs" in federal buildings; the stimulus bill would earmark $6 billion to address this by, among other actions, changing the use of conventional incandescent light bulbs to riskier compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which pose a risk of mercury poisoning if broken.
"Lawmakers are cramming a feel-good energy and environmental agenda into this so-called stimulus bill. Investing in FutureGen, hybrid vehicles and light bulbs will only stimulate the special interest groups that are inflating the 'green bubble' that could be the next thing to threaten our nation's economic stability," added Borelli.
Source: Press Release, "$8.6 Billion of Stimulus Plan Earmarked for Pet Causes of Environmental Activists Should Be Jettisoned," National Center for Public Policy Research, February 4, 2009.
Browse more articles on Tax and Spending Issues