Federal Eco-Stimulus Could Be Boon For Ky.

WASHINGTON — Kentucky could net more than $860 million in federal funds to create eco-friendly schools, shore up the state's budget deficit and preserve jobs if Congress passes an Obama administration-backed economic stimulus package, members of the state's congressional delegation and the National Conference of State Legislatures said Friday.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports in its Saturday edition that the $825 billion stimulus package, which congressional leaders hope to put before the president by mid-February, includes a proposed $9 million for Fayette County schools to convert to solar and geothermal energy, improve Internet connections and address maintenance issues.

The green schools provision, sponsored by Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, is the first measure to dedicate such a massive infusion of funds toward making schools eco-friendly and was strongly endorsed by President Barack Obama.

Chandler's measure requires school districts to publicly report both the educational, energy and environmental benefits of their building projects and the percentage of funds used for projects at low-income and rural schools.

"I'm so pleased and grateful to President Obama for putting this in the bill," Chandler said. "It's wonderful that he feels like this is important not only to economic recovery but that he is also focused on educating our kids."

Chandler's measure narrowly survived a tough congressional fight last year after Republican opponents objected to the proposal's allocation of additional money for a task that traditionally has been the responsibility of local districts and states, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The ensuing back and forth brought to the fore ideological differences about the role of the federal government in education and approaches to addressing environmental issues.

The nation's school districts could gain as much as $14 billion, said Chandler, who sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee responsible for allocating federal funds.

The release of proposed state-by-state figures for the economic stimulus package sent congressional staffers and special interest groups scrambling on Friday as each tried to parse and spin what the numbers mean and how much would be allocated to various counties and government agencies.

Lawmakers cautioned that the figures are an early estimate and are in no way final. Meanwhile, Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats vowed to fight an unprecedented expansion of the national deficit, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright - The Lexington Herald-Leader

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  • by Zatoichi Location: Richmond on Jan 26, 2009 at 08:05 AM
    "9 million for Fayette County schools to convert to solar and geothermal energy"? My sides are hurting from laffing so much about this farce.
  • by m Location: KY on Jan 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM
    All of you are right about oil the US will never totally independent, but this article was not even about that. This article was about the possibility of Fayette money to go green. This is a achool in KY in a great community that has been around since the early 1900s the main staircase is colapsing the rooms are in poor condition, the children are being advised to wear multiple layers of clothing because the heating problems, when it rains water comes in through closed windows. This school in Robertson county can not even get a new school built grant money keeps being pulled and all you people want to complain about id oil. GET OVER YOURSELVES!!!
  • by steve Location: irvine ky on Jan 24, 2009 at 10:10 PM
    Sherry you have been hood winked i am going to sit here and wait on these liars to cut oil out they can't Sherry it won't happen. We can not do without oil sherry if you seen the show on the history channel about what we make out of oil you would drop your jaw we can not live with out oil this is like global warming it is the biggest scam of the 21 century sherry. See if they do away with it in 25 years i bet we will still be using oil don't believe this hogwash people think for yourselves and quit believing these politicians that think they are god they are using you like Al Gore he is a political hack that's got rich off vulnerable people he is not a scientist.
  • by steve on Jan 24, 2009 at 01:58 PM
    This is the biggest crock i have ever heard stupid is as stupid does gees.
  • by anomymous Location: lexington on Jan 24, 2009 at 12:12 PM
    If you look in todays paper (1/24/09)and on page 9, you will see a letter by Dean Ash of Somerset, entitaled "Illegals' huge cost", this will answer your questions about exactly WHY we are in this mess.
  • by M Location: KY on Jan 24, 2009 at 09:30 AM
    Fayette County can get money to go green, but a school in MT olivet that has been aroung since the early 1900s can not even get a new school, this puts our children at risk. I guess being the smallest county in KY we DO NOT MATTER.
  • by sherry Location: FL on Jan 24, 2009 at 08:34 AM
    There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources. Create cheap clean energy,new badly needed green jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel.The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. Oil is finite.We are using oil globally at the rate of 2X faster than new oil is being discovered.We need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail ourselves out of our dependence on foreign oil.If all gasoline cars had plug-in electric drive trains,the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.Jeff Wilson has a really good new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independece Now.
  • by Fred Location: Lexington on Jan 24, 2009 at 06:49 AM
    I'm sure we are at the TOP of Obama's priority list. Especially since we didn't even rate a visit during the campaign...
  • by Jim Location: Annville on Jan 24, 2009 at 05:07 AM
    I would say the politicians in Frankfort are excited. This will be more money that they can steal and put in their own bank account.


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