Saturday, January 17, 2009

American Recovery and Reinvestment Program

The plan for the new stimulus package, American Recovery and Reinvestment Program, has been released and you can check out the entire package here.

One of the things I found very interesting was this part about the EPA:

Environmental Cleanup

Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup: $800 million to clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites that threaten health and the environment. EPA has 1,255 sites on its National Priority List, selected based on a hazard ranking system. There are many Superfund sites ready for construction, but not funded due to budget shortfalls and over 600 sites with ongoing construction that could be accelerated.

Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: $200 million for enforcement and cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks at approximately 1,600 additional sites. There are an estimated 116,000 sites with the potential to contaminate important water supplies.

Nuclear Waste Cleanup: $500 million for nuclear waste cleanup at sites contaminated as a result of the nation’s past nuclear activities. Accelerating the completion of projects will reduce long-term costs.

Closed Military Bases: $300 million for cleanup activities at closed military installations allowing local communities to redevelop these properties for productive use. The Department estimates that there is a $3.5 billion environmental cleanup backlog at bases closed during previous BRAC rounds.

NOAA Habitat Restoration: $400 million for ready-to-go habitat restoration projects.

Brownfields: $100 million for competitive grants for evaluation and cleanup of former industrial and commercial sites - turning them from problem properties to productive community use. Last year EPA was only able to fund 37% of Brownfields applications.

Hopefully this will start us on some of the cleanup needed in these messes we have around the country left over from the Bush years.

Here is what I referred to earlier about the COBRA benefits:

$39 billion to support those who lose their jobs by helping them to pay the cost of keeping their employer provided healthcare under COBRA and providing short-term options to be covered by Medicaid.

And this is very important I has been neglected so very long. We need our roads and bridges rebuilt.

Highway Infrastructure: $30 billion for highway and bridge construction projects. It is estimated that states have over 5,100 projects totaling over $64 billion that could be awarded within 180 days. These projects create jobs in the short term while saving commuters time and money in the long term. In 2006, the Department of Transportation estimated $8.5 billion was needed to maintain current systems and $61.4 billion was needed to improve highways and bridges.

Something that is near and dear to my heart and should be very important to all of us. We need to make sure this is done and this is probably just a drop in the bucket to what is really needed.

Veterans Administration Facilities

Veterans Medical Facilities: $950 million for veterans’ medical facilities. The Department has identified a $5 billion backlog in needed repairs, including energy efficiency projects, at its 153 medical facilities.

Veterans Cemeteries: $50 million to put people to work making monument and memorial repairs at cemeteries for American heroes.

One of the things Bush was supposed to have done and ignored as he "kept us safe after 9-11" was to secure our ports and borders. Well he neglected to do so. The 9-11 commission instructed him this needed to be done. Yet, he still never did it. Well, it is now going to be done.

Border Ports of Entry: $1.15 billion to construct GSA and Customs and Border Patrol land ports of entry to improve border security, make trade and travel easier and reduce wait times, and to procure non-intrusive inspection technology at sea ports of entry, which is used to scan cargo containers to reduce the risk that containers can be used to smuggle weapons of mass destruction.

Again, this is looking good. The total is big...yes it is. But we as a country are in big trouble. We know that. We, got into a mess, thanks to Bush & Co., Iraq, cutting taxes to the wealthy and spending money on things we shouldn't have. Things were out of control for 8 years.

PE Obama has a great team behind him and he has a good group supporting him. He also has bipartisan support across the country. He is taking office as the most popular president ever.

Again, you can read the entire report here, it is a pdf file. There is much, much more. For education, health care, housing, National Treasure repair and for the Arts.

Check it out. I am sure your favorite thing is there too. If not, write or call your congress person and express your opinion. Now is the time. As long as it isn't something silly, and is something that really needs to be taken care of and is worthwhile, it should be at least looked at.

Remember, PE Obama is OUR President. We elected him, and he wants and needs our opinions and our feedback. That's the only way he knows what is going on.

So, read it, share it and then let me know what you think. I think it is great and it should help get our country going again. And that's what we need, to get our Country going again, to make us strong, safe and secure, something I never felt before, but I am starting to with President Obama.

1 comment:

Mauigirl said...

Thanks for the summary of some of these important programs. I hope this all gets passed by Congress. It's great to see some real vision in our government!