US stimulus bill to create thousands of miles of power lines

Feb 27, 2009 01:00 AM

US Vice President Joe Biden said the $ 787-bn stimulus bill passed by the Senate February 14 will bring "an unprecedented investment in green energy."
Biden, speaking at The White House Task Force on Middle Class Families' first official meeting in Philadelphia, said the stimulus will create tens of thousands of green jobs. He also said investment from the stimulus bill, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would create thousands of miles of new transmission lines.

Transmission lines would bring electricity from the parts of the Midwest where wind farms were being built to centres of population.
"At a time when good jobs and good wages are harder and harder to come by -- it is critical we find new innovative work opportunities for middle class families," Biden said in separate prepared remarks. "That's why we're here today -- to learn and listen about how investing in green jobs can help build a strong middle class," he added.

The task force, Biden said, will ensure that the benefits of the stimulus package do not bypass the middle class. The middle class has been left out of the investment of the past, he added.
The task force will hold a monthly series of town meetings across the US over the next year, Biden said. The first of those, at the Irvine Auditorium on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, saw Biden say that investing in green jobs means that the middle class will earn 21st century wages and have lower energy costs and a better environment.

The task force is seen as a vehicle to "find, highlight and implement solutions to the economic challenges facing the American middle class." It is supposed to work with federal agencies to expedite administrative reforms, propose executive orders and develop legislative and policy proposals that are seen as important to "working families."
Green jobs, the task force said in a report, are generally jobs that can't be "offshored".

"Economic recovery is about more than making sure that Wall Street rebounds or thebig banks survive; a true recovery means an economy that works for middle class families. That's why the Obama-Biden plan to invest in renewable energy and make our homes and businesses more efficient is so critical."
"We can create millions of new jobs, save families money on their energy bills and end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil," Energy Secretary Steven Chu also said in prepared remarks.

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