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Greenpeace: Stimulus package will fight climate change

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(Read caption) Windmills in Palms Springs, Calif. Almost 2 percent of the state's energy comes from wind power.

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An analysis commissioned by the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace has concluded that the economic stimulus package will reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by at least 1 percent, a number that Greenpeace says is a good start but would be better if the transportation provisions focused on public transit instead of highways.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is currently being debated in the Senate, contains about $52 billion worth of energy provisions, which include weatherizing homes, modernizing government buildings, developing a "smart grid" for transmitting electricity more efficiently, guaranteeing loans for renewable energy, and offering rebates for energy-saving appliances. The analysis, conducted by the global consulting firm ICF International, was able to quantify the carbon footprint of about half of this spending.

ICF concluded that this portion of the funds would remove at least 61 million metric tons (67 million US tons) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking 13 million cars off the road.

You can download the full report here.

Greenpeace is saying that the bill could be a landmark in the battle against global warming.

“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 Kert Davies, Greenpeace’s Research Director, in a press release.. “This is a real sign that we’re starting to move beyond the era of fossil fuels.”

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