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News About the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The Bemidji Pioneer (Minnesota) - State receives $6 million more in weatherization aid

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Jim Oberstar (MN- 8)]

The state of Minnesota will receive more than $6 million in additional weatherization aid, the White House said Thursday.

The funding comes through the Department of Energy from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the federal stimulus package -- to continue the state's success and innovation under its Weatherization Assistance Program.

From April to June, Minnesota weatherized more than 2,700 homes. As of June 30, Minnesota has weatherized more than 6,000 under the federal stimulus funding, including 875 homes in June alone.

“This is an excellent investment, this $6 million in Recovery Act funding will create hundreds of jobs in the short term, putting people to work making homes more energy efficient,” U/S Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-8th District, said in a separate statement… [8/27/10]

Associated Press - Biden Touts Stimulus During New Hampshire Visit

…Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that after a slow start, states are on track to weatherize 600,000 homes by March 2012.

…Biden said the total has now jumped to 200,000, with 80,000 homes being retrofitted this summer alone.

'Investing in weatherization is a no-brainer. If we keep up the current weatherization pace, will lessen our dependence on foreign oil by 1.5 million barrels, the equivalent of going out, waving a wand and taking 107,000 automobiles off the road permanently, and saving consumers a lot of money,' [said Biden].

The $5 billion weatherization program is part of about $90 billion in stimulus funds targeted for clean energy and energy-efficiency projects. Biden said it has put more than 13,000 people to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances and improving heating and cooling system -- or about 15 percent of the 87,000 jobs the Obama administration predicts. [8/26/10]

The Deseret News (Utah) - Utah leads in spending highway stimulus funds

Utah leads all states when it comes to the percent of money spent on stimulus transportation projects.

According to a report by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Utah has managed to spend 84.4 percent -- or $180.2 million -- of its $213.5 million allocation from the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Though $213 million is a small part of UDOT's $3 billion construction budget, that money was put to use to do much-needed projects…

The report states that 3,817 jobs…were created or saved between February 2009 and February 2010. [8/26/10]

Springfield News Leader (Missouri) - Columbia group gets $550,000 for home weatherization

Missouri is receiving $550,000 in federal funds to help weatherize homes.

The money will go to Central Missouri Community Action in Columbia. The federal money will allow the agency to install geothermal heating systems in homes.

The weatherization program is part of the federal stimulus package.

Federal energy officials say more than 4,000 Missouri homes have been weatherized.

They estimate the work to make homes more energy efficient has supported 330 jobs in the state. [8/27/10]

Contra Costa Times (California) - Stimulus funding to promote digital literacy in Humboldt County

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Mike Thompson (CA- 1)]

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) last week announced a grant award to Access Humboldt for sustainable broadband adoption. Access Humboldt will receive more than $150,000 in funding and support from ZeroDivide, a San Francisco-based foundation, for the Generation ZD Digital Literacy Program.

The program, which fits into the goals of Access Humboldt's Digital Redwoods Initiative, is aimed at teaching underserved and tribal youth digital skills in new media, such as video and audio, and ultimately promote broadband in the area.

North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who McLaughlin said helped Access Humboldt throughout the grant process, agreed that digital skills are necessary for youth to be competitive.

“In our globalized economy, the ability to access and navigate the Internet is increasingly a must-have skill,” Thompson said in a statement. “The Digital Redwoods initiative will ensure that our underserved communities are able to learn these important skills. This Recovery funding is great news for Humboldt.” [8/26/10]

Reuters - US stimulus infrastructure projects 40 pct complete

[MEMBER MENTIONED: Jim Oberstar (MN- 8)]

Work on more than 40 percent of infrastructure projects spurred by the federal stimulus plan is complete, a Congressional panel said on Thursday…

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said that 19,037 projects representing $35.1 billion of the stimulus funds have been put out to bid and work has begun on 17,820 projects representing $34.1 billion.

'The economic stimulus provided by the Recovery Act has created millions of jobs, and is helping to put the nation back on the road to economic growth,' said Rep. James Oberstar. [8/26/10]

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