May 7th, 2020
The economic downturn is stirring a debate about how well President Obama’s stimulus package worked more than a decade ago — and whether the federal government should deliver a large infusion of cash for clean energy again.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed in 2009, offered about $90 billion for clean energy, including for companies that grew rapidly like Tesla and for large projects like the planned zero-emissions coal power plant FutureGen, which ultimately was canceled.
With the current makeup of Congress, an ARRA-like package for low-carbon energy is unlikely to appear anytime soon. President Trump has repeatedly nixed the idea of extending lifelines to low-carbon industries, and this week, the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), acknowledged the push for a new stimulus but said his party would resist “unrelated ideological wish list items” (E&E Daily, May 6).