Recovery Through Investment in Energy and the Environment
October 4, 2010
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 made available more than $100 billion dollars for awards in the area of clean energy and the environment. Initially it was thought Ohio would see about $1.031 billion of that sum, but about half-way through the stimulus, almost a billion has already been awarded across the state to many entities, including local governments, schools, universities, companies and individuals as well as to the state, through competitive grants, tax credits, contracts and other awards. A few examples give a sense of the scope of the improvements to Ohio:
• Statewide, almost 19,000 homes have been weatherized, creating thousands of jobs and lowering heating bills.
• In Pike County, up to 1,000 jobs are expected to be created at the Piketon nuclear reservation.
• A $352,600 grant to install a solar electric system at the Wilmington wastewater treatment facility will create construction jobs, cut costs and lower water bills.
• A grant of $173,097 will replace boilers at the Wood County jail, cutting electric bills and hiring local people to install the equipment.
• A few examples of direct benefits to businesses include tax credits to First Solar, AcuTemp and Dow Chemical to invest in Perrysburg, Dayton and Findlay, entering clean energy markets and creating jobs. Smart Paper Holding and JP Leasing will generate electricity on-site, cutting their costs of operations over the long term. First Energy Service Company in Akron will modernize its grid, increasing reliability and efficiency for its customers, employing electricians who will install new smart meters in homes and pushing demand out through American firms that make the smart meters.
Because of these resources, people who would not otherwise be employed have jobs. The work they do benefits the community. The demand for the projects they build or the products they install will pulse through the economy, helping manufacturers recover and grow. As demand spirals back up, firms will find new customers and new markets, tax revenue will expand, people will be re-hired and the Ohio economy should begin to recover.