As legislators calculate the right balance on how much to spend on infrastructure and clean energy, they should take stock of both the environmental and the economic gains that everyday Americans earn through the transformation to an efficient, clean energy economy.
And make no mistake: The transition is underway, built up from many small projects and successes. Congress can maintain momentum by funding smart policy choices, such as USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program. In its nearly 20-year history, this program has supported more than 20,000 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for rural businesses and farms. These projects are mostly small in scale and cost, but they add up to a big impact.
The return on these cost-sharing investments can be measured in many ways.