The Jobs Plan Should Emphasize Energy Efficiency
- Apr 13, 2021 4:54 pm GMT
The American Jobs Plan, the name of President Joe Biden’s ambitious infrastructure proposal, is the talk of the town these days. As it stands, the commander and chief is requesting $2.3 trillion of federal cash to be invested over the next eight years in a number of sectors. The idea of the big splurge is to modernize the country while creating jobs and spurring economic development. The proposed investments break down like this: $650 billion in ‘infrastructure at home’, $621 billion in transportation infrastructure, $580 billion in research and development and workforce development and manufacturing, and $400 billion in the caretaking economy.
Although the category names don’t tell us much, news about the plan and the administration’s consistent emphasis on combating climate change leads me to believe this bill could be a boon for energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in America is low-hanging fruit as far as I’m concerned. The technology exists now and it can easily be implemented with a simple infusion of cash. For example, smart thermostats, smart meters, and EE retrofitting are all straightforward measures that promise results. Just throw cash at them.
Legislators would be wise to focus on easily accomplishable and effective initiatives. However, that doesn’t mean they will. There is already way too much bi-partisian enthusiasm for rebuilding roads and bridges, and many commentators are making noise for even more emphasis on the issue. Journalist Matt Yglesis made a convincing argument against such infrastructure investments in a well researched article last week. Let's hope rationality wins out—it would be good for EE and good for the country.
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