Wind energy has more than tripled in the last decade and now generates almost 8 percent of the national electricity. Solar energy, which generated less than 1 percent of the nation's electricity in 2010, now generates about 2 percent and is growing rapidly. Economists generally agree that the Obama incentive, which brought these industries around $ 40 billion in credit and tax incentives, deserves some credit.
But experts also point to a fundamental problem with throwing money on climate change: it's not a particularly effective way to cut emissions from the pollution caused by the warming of the planet. While Obama's green spending created new construction jobs in the weather and helped turn a handful of boutique wind and solar companies into thriving industries, U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases that trap heat have remained roughly the same since 2010, five million tons per year are projected to stay at the same level for decades to come if there are no new guidelines to enforce reductions like taxes or regulations.
Mr Obama had hoped to combine the recovery bill money with a new bill that would limit emissions to warm the planet, but those efforts died in Congress. His administration then passed emissions regulations, but these were blocked by the courts and withdrawn by the Trump administration.
The Restoration Act "was a success in creating jobs but failed to meet emissions reduction targets," said David Popp, professor of public administration at Syracuse University and lead author of the National Bureau of Economics' study on the green incentive of money. “And this new incentive alone will not be enough to reduce emissions.
"If you can't combine it with policies that force people to cut emissions, a high spending bill won't have much of an impact," said Popp.
Frequently asked questions about the new stimulus package
How high are the business stimulus payments in the bill and who is entitled?
The stimulus payments would be $ 1,400 for most recipients. Those who are eligible would also receive an identical payment for each of their children. To qualify for the full $ 1,400, a single person would need an adjusted gross income of $ 75,000 or less. For householders, the adjusted gross income should be $ 112,500 or less, and for married couples filing together, that number should be $ 150,000 or less. To be eligible for a payment, an individual must have a social security number. Continue reading.
What Would the Relief Bill do for Health Insurance?
Buying insurance through the government program known as COBRA would temporarily become much cheaper. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, COBRA generally lets someone who loses a job purchase coverage through their previous employer. But it's expensive: under normal circumstances, a person must pay at least 102 percent of the cost of the premium. Under the Relief Act, the government would pay the full COBRA premium from April 1 to September 30. An individual who qualified for new employer-based health insurance elsewhere before September 30th would lose their eligibility for free coverage. And someone who left a job voluntarily would also be ineligible. Continue reading
What would the child and dependent care tax credit bill change?
This loan, which helps working families offset the cost of looking after children under the age of 13 and other dependents, would be significantly extended for a single year. More people would be eligible and many recipients would get a longer break. The bill would also fully refund the balance, which means you could collect the money as a refund even if your tax bill were zero. "This will be helpful for people on the lower end of the income spectrum," said Mark Luscombe, chief federal tax analyst at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting. Continue reading.
What changes to the student loan are included in the invoice?
There would be a big one for people who are already in debt. You wouldn't have to pay income taxes on debt relief if you qualify for loan origination or cancellation – for example, if you've been on an income-based repayment plan for the required number of years, if your school cheated on you, or if Congress or the President whisper $ 10,000 debt gone for a large number of people. This would be the case for debts canceled between January 1, 2021 and the end of 2025. Read more.
What would the bill do to help people with housing?
The bill would provide billions of dollars in rental and utility benefits to people who are struggling and at risk of being evicted from their homes. Approximately $ 27 billion would be used to assist with emergency rentals. The vast majority of these would replenish what is known as the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which is created by the CARES Act and distributed through state, local, and tribal governments, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. This is on top of the $ 25 billion made available through the aid package passed in December. In order to receive financial support that could be used for rent, utilities and other housing costs, households would have to meet various conditions. Household income cannot exceed 80 percent of area median income, at least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or residential instability, and individuals would be at risk due to the pandemic. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, assistance could be granted for up to 18 months. Lower-income families who have been unemployed for three months or more would be given priority for support. Continue reading.
But, he added, "Spending money is politically easier than enacting emission-reduction policies." If this "builds the energy industry so that it is ultimately cheaper to cut emissions, it could create more political support for it" by making laws or regulations less painful, he said.