Stimulus Fight: Green Vs. Quick

Democrats battle for stimulus in 2009 infrastructure bonanza
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2008 6:52 AM CST
Lawrence Talley fuels up his SUV in Philadelphia, Monday, Sept. 15, 2008. An internal debate about how to spend stimulus money is pitting environmentalists against conservative Democrats.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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(Newser) – As the incoming administration prepares its massive stimulus package, a divide is emerging between environmentalists, who want to prioritize "green-collar" jobs such as wind and solar power, and advocates of ready-to-go infrastructure like roads and bridges. As the Washington Post reports, each side is accusing the other of opportunism: The greens see the traditionalists as money-grubbing, while proponents of "shovel-ready" projects say environmentalists are ignoring the economy.

Environmentalists argue that miles of new roads in hard-hit suburbs would be not only polluting, but a financial waste. But more traditional Democrats say that any green projects should come down the line, via the normal legislative process. "If we're going to call it a stimulus package, it has to be stimulating and has to be stimulating now," says the incoming chairman of the Blue Dog Coalition, the Democratic caucus of fiscal conservatives.