After touring green job training sites in Sacramento, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) returned to the House of Representatives for the Second Session of the 111th Congress this week, praising Sacramento's burgeoning clean-energy industry's dedication to and aggressive pursuit of federal grant funding. The federal government made historic levels of grant funding available in 2009 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including the largest federal investment in renewable energy, energy-efficiency, and green job training in our nation's history.
Sacramento has been one of the largest beneficiaries of this funding in the country, largely due to the aggressiveness of local business, government agencies, and non-profit organizations in seeking out and applying for competitive grants. As a result of their efforts and the grants made available through the Recovery Act, our local economy has received $27,126,256 for job training and assistance in clean-energy jobs, and $18,651,100 for energy efficiency improvements and investments. The almost $48 million is in addition to the $127,506,261 million SMUD and their partners are receiving to install a comprehensive regional smart grid system to serve the Sacramento community.
"As I toured the green job-training programs and construction sites of Sacramento last week, I was pleased to see Sacramento's growth in this sector," said Matsui. "Our local agencies, business owners, citizens, and students exemplify a community which is engaged in finding sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient solutions to our nation's energy woes. I also saw the eagerness of our local workforce to gain new skills to take advantage of employment opportunities that are coming as a result of these federal investments. As an emerging clean-tech capitol, Sacramento's economy is poised to become a leader in the green industry for the twenty-first century."
Last month, McClellan Park-based Renewable Energy Institute International (REII) received a $20,000,000 grant in federal funding authorized by the Recovery Act. REII's receipt of this award showcases the opportunities federal agencies have made available through the stimulus bill and is just one example of many Sacramento businesses which have competitively sought after grants.
"We are very happy that the Department of Energy has selected this project to demonstrate the conversion of biomass to renewable diesel fuel," said Greg Tamblyn, REII Executive Director. "The commercial deployment of the technologies that will be demonstrated under this grant have the potential to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing the United States' reliance on foreign oil and creating high quality green jobs."
Congresswoman Matsui continued, "REII is just one of many constituents which I have witnessed succeed in securing federal funding. Last year, over $13,000,000 was awarded in stimulus dollars to Sacramento County, the City of Sacramento and other jurisdictions for energy efficiency improvements and training programs alone. Just this week, the Department of Health and Human Services released $48,660,000 in block grant funding for FY2010 to support the state of California's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). As Congress reconvenes for 2010, I will continue to advocate for federal funding in our region."