Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The Obama administration’s original stimulus proposal would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 61 million tons per year, according to an analysis commissioned by Greenpeace from the consulting firm ICF International. (Here’s the summary report and highlights.)

The report estimates that reductions resulting from the Obama plan would be equivalent to eliminating the emissions of 7.9 million American homes or 13 million cars.

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“The fact that the federal government could spend so much money and actually help slow global warming means we’ve really turned the page as a country,” said Greenpeace Research Director Kert Davies. “This is a real sign that we’re starting to move beyond the era of fossil fuels.”

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The report warns, though, that if the $30 billion in the plan for highways were spent on new construction, it would cause 10 to 50 times more greenhouse-gas pollution than if it were spent on highway repair or light rail.

But this is an analysis of the Obama administration’s original proposal. The version the House passed is somewhat different, and the Senate’s is likely to be more different still, potentially eliminating some green funding.

Still, there’s some good news from the Senate for enviros. The rumored amendment from Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) that would have funneled $50 billion more toward roads appears to be dead. And a proposal from Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wy.) to scrap the National Environmental Policy Act review process for some stimulus-related projects failed on the floor.

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