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The House of Representatives has passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 by a vote of 244 to 188. This legislation includes several measures to promote the use of renewable energy and provide improvements to the country's transmission system.

"Action on this economic recovery package will create American jobs now, lay a foundation for long-term growth through clean energy, innovation and education, and includes strict accountability measures to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and effectively," says House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

According to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, the bill would provide the following:

- $32 billion to transform the nation's energy transmission, distribution and production systems by allowing for a smarter and better grid and focusing investment in renewable technology;

- $11 billion for research and development, pilot projects and federal matching funds for the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid, making it more efficient, secure and reliable; and to build new power lines to transmit clean, renewable energy from sources throughout the nation;

- $8 billion for loans for renewable energy power generation and transmission projects;

- $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions and cut utility bills. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to universities, companies and national laboratories; and
- $350 million for research into using renewable energy to power weapons systems and military bases.

In addition, $4 billion would be used for job training that includes preparing workers for activities supported by other economic recovery funds, such as retrofitting of buildings, green construction and the production of renewable electric power.

SOURCE: U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Office of Senate Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

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