The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "ARRA" or "Act"), popularly known as the "Stimulus Bill." The Act includes an estimated $787 billion in tax incentives and new federal spending, with more than $43 billion in funding devoted to energy. The Act's energy-related appropriations range from government loans and grants for developing technologies in the areas of carbon capture, alternative fuel vehicles or transmission grid modernization, to funds allocated to public agencies and nonprofit organizations for facility retrofits that improve energy efficiency, to funding for renewable energy research, development and deployment activities, and more. Generally, the Act earmarks substantial funds for investments in energy infrastructure, energy efficiency improvements, and developing renewable energy technologies and resources. The Act also includes significant energy-related tax incentives, including a number of incentives that modify or expand incentives provided by the Energy Improvements and Extensions Act of 2008 ("EIEA").
 
1. Appropriations
 
The ARRA provides unprecedented levels of funding to many existing government programs, in some cases expands or alters the scope of these existing programs, and also creates new ones. The various government agencies that oversee these programs are charged with implementing the requirements of the Act, including distribution of ARRA funds. Agencies are directed to give preference to projects that can be started and completed expeditiously, and to distribute funds in a manner that maximizes job creation and economic benefit. Where the ARRA does not earmark funds for particular programs or projects, agencies can exercise discretion in selecting which projects to finance. Each federal agency charged with implementation of the Act must establish a "recovery website" where it can post information on fund distributions, including the availability of ARRA-funded competitive grants, formula grants, and the awards and allocations of such grants.
 
Although the Act directs funds to a number of agencies for energy-related projects, the Department of Energy ("DOE") fittingly receives the most energy-related appropriations for distribution.
 
 
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