Chicago Green Jobs

The Path of Least Resistance
February 20, 2009, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Stimulus Bill

Now that the stimulus bill has been signed into law we can expect to see the money start pouring in for projects here in Chicago and across the country.   $80 billion in green investments and tax cuts is not chump change. But it behooves us to remember that the stimulus bill is intended to create jobs as quickly as possible. That means that much of the stimulus money,  like water, will flow down the path of least resistance:  fixing our crumbling car-focused infrastructure.

Mind you, Chicago has more “shovel ready” green projects than the average city.  Mayor Daley has made it known that he plans to use some of the funds to weatherize thousands of home for energy efficiency, for example.  But we’re going to see a lot of jobs that aren’t really green at all.  The Washington Independent has a great piece on the breakdown of the green vs. old school jobs projected from the stimulus spending here.

My favorite statistic comes courtesy of Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress. Check this out: under current spending plans, roads and bridges hold a 4 to 1 funding advantage over mass transit. The stimulus bill shifts it to 3 to 2 advantage.

That’s a big improvement, and I think it will just be the start. The stimulus bill was always going to be tilted towards “shovel ready” projects, so the fact that 10% of it is for green projects is already a big win.  I think it’s safe to say that we’ll start seeing some serious funding for longer term green investments in this year’s budget.


2 Comments so far
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i am wondering where i can find more information about this weatherizing that the mayor plans ? have you found any articles where it lays out who to talk to / where to apply for funds ? looking to get an old building on the south side up to snuff. thanks.


Comment by sean

Alas, Mayor Daley has not yet announced any specifics with regard to just how the stimulus funds will be spent. He has stated that weatherizing homes to improve energy efficiency is one of the city’s priorities.

As far as figuring out where the funds are for weatherizing buildings, check out this handy two-pager by the Weatherization Assistance Program. I’ll be this org can help you find the right people to talk to.

Comment by keylerwerve

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