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The Interior West is going to see a fair chunk of that $825 billion total bill, of which $541 billion is going to be allocated to the states. The Center for American Progress has created this nifty map that shows the allocations that can be determined on a state-by-state basis (here's another, that breaks it out per capita). North to south, Montana gets $1.79 billion; Idaho $2.48; Wyoming $1.07; Colorado $7.07 billion; Utah $3.8 billion; Nevada $4.26 billion; Arizona $10.34 billion; and New Mexico $3.46 billion. Rounding out the west, Washington gets $10.39 billion; Oregon $6.34 billion; and the behemoth California $63.37 billion. (The giant sucking sound out here? California.)

What’s in that Stimulus for the West?

The Interior West is going to see a fair chunk of that $825 billion total bill, of which $541 billion is going to be allocated to the states. The Center for American Progress has created this nifty map that shows the allocations that can be determined on a state-by-state basis (here’s another, that breaks it out per capita). North to south, Montana gets $1.79 billion; Idaho $2.48; Wyoming $1.07; Colorado $7.07 billion; Utah $3.8 billion; Nevada $4.26 billion; Arizona $10.34 billion; and New Mexico $3.46 billion. Rounding out the west, Washington gets $10.39 billion; Oregon $6.34 billion; and the behemoth California $63.37 billion. (The giant sucking sound out here? California.)

So where does the mountain states $34.27 billion all go? That’s where it gets complicated. Generally, CAP reports:

These state and local funds include direct tax cuts for working families; increased unemployment insurance and food stamps to help those most in need; new funding to equip the education system for the 21st century; additional funds for existing clean energy programs; state-level infrastructure projects; and assistance that is necessary to protect vital services such as Medicaid.

Many of the other programs in the recovery plan will be distributed through competitive grants to states and localities, or through funding formulas where it is not possible to make estimates at this stage.

Some of programs can be described a little more in depth, however. The Daily Yonder took a close look at the legislation prior to final amendments and found these benefits for rural America–not just the western states.

  • $6 billion to expand broadband internet access “so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy”
  • $30 billion on roads and bridges, some in rural America
  • $20 billion on school construction, some for rural schools
  • $100 million for rural business grants and loans to guarantee $2 billion in loans
  • $1.5 billion for rural water and sewage programs, where there’s a $1.4 billion backlog of requests
  • $4.5 billion to the Corps of Engineers for “environmental restoration, flood protection, hydropower and navigation infrastructure….”
  • $500 million to the Bureau of Reclamation to “provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and to ensure water supply to western localities impacted by drought”
  • $850 million to reduce wildfire threats on public lands, $550 million to states for local projects and remaining $300 million on federal land
  • $500 million to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to “address maintenance backlogs at schools, dams, detention and law enforcement facility and over 24,000 miles of roads”
  • $550 million to modernize hospitals and clinics run by the Indian Health Services
  • $500 million set aside to repair or improve housing units maintained by Native American housing programs
  • $500 million to the Rural Housing Insurance Fund “to support $22 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees to help rural families and individuals buy homes….”
  • $200 million would be set aside to “support $1.2 billion in grants and loans to rural areas for critical community facilities, such as for healthcare, education, fire and rescue, day care, community centers and libraries”
  • $2.4 billion for “carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects”
  • $209 million to the Agricultural Research Service facilities around the country.

Much of this money is just targeted to make up for massive backlogs of projects that have been festering for years. For instance, my pet projects, the National Parks, are allocated a $2.065 billion investment while they have a maintenance backlog of nearly $9 billion. Still, that $2.065 billion, just for Parks, could create more than 50,000 new jobs around the country, many of them in the West.

It’s a good start, but one that might not be adequate for the truly enormous challenge we’ve got facing us now. And it’s just the first step in this process. The Senate has a very different bill, and will most certainly want to put its stamp on the whole process. The Senate bill also differs in some significant ways, like offering just $802 million in Parks funding, but also $1.4 billion specifically for the west for water projects.

Add on top of the differences, we’ve got the politics. Senate Republicans are less likely than House Republicans to completely boycott this effort, to try to turn it into a political football, but that temptation is going to remain strong. We’re less than halfway. Here’s hoping that the bottom of the economy, already dangerously sagging, doesn’t just drop all the way out while they’re debating.

About Joan McCarter

Joan McCarter is a contributing editor at Daily Kos, writing as "mcjoan." She has focused on Iraq, the traditional media, and electoral politics at the blog. During the 2006 election, McCarter focused her writing on Democratic prospects in the west. She traveled throughout the Rocky Mountain states through the last weeks of the campaign, researching and writing about Democratic candidates and campaign strategies. She is currently researching a book on western politics scheduled to be published in spring, 2008. McCarter worked on Capitol Hill for then Congressman and now Senator Ron Wyden. She has broad campaign experience and has been deeply involved in Democratic politics since childhood. She has a master's degree in international studies from the University of Washington and worked as a writer, editor, and instructional designer at the UW from 1995-2006. She is currently a fellow at Daily Kos.

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6 comments

  1. Mercedes McCarter

    Thank you for staying on top of the American Reinvestment and Restoration Act, as it works its way through congress. Perhaps states should look at the findings of the engineers, who have graded our infrastructure a D. That way the money could best be targeted, using information that is credible, and not political.

  2. Soo – how does Simpson and, especially, Minnick’s vote jive in relation to this bill?

  3. I like its looks so far because it seems at least in part to target lower income working folks for assistance. Much to the consternation of the locked in yesterday’s failed ideology Republicans.

  4. What is a carbon sequestration and capture technology project?
    What will it demonstrate? $2.4 Billion is a fair chunk of pork. I want a piece of it. That is $8 for every man, woman and child in the US., citizen, alien, and visitor.

    The great joke about carbon is that most of it is either in gas form, or it is in organic, living or once alive forms. Everything that lives and dies is carbon based. Can you get carbon sequestration and capture by burying the dead in sealed coffins? Will we have to buy carbon credits to get cremated?

    The more microbes and life, wigglers and crawlers, bacteria and fungus, you have in soil, the more carbon there is underground. Are Good Agricultural Practices a carbon capture and sequestration activity? Will you be able to get carbon credits for farming or growing a garden? Does my compost pile give off CO2, making me an environmental criminal?

    A recent literature review and simple mathematical extrapolation process showed that wildland fire on one half of one percent of Oregon forest and range land will produce more greenhouse gas that year than all other human activities in the state. Not by much, but by enough. So, if you cut wildland fire acres burned in half, you would cut green house gas production by 25%. That ought to be worth a grant, a chunk of the $2.4 Billion.

    I have wondered for a long time how much water would be saved, chlorination eliminated, if men were allowed to piss off the front porch at night. All that water not used through the water efficient toilet would be considerable over time, as well as the decline in chlorine use, which would also produce fewer dioxin molecules over that period of less chlorine use. It really is sort of silly that peeing on the petunias is a crime that could have you registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life. But the very large oil paintings, graphic oil paintings, of a man and woman having graphic sex that adorn a public area of Linn-Benton community college in Albany, OR, are protected by the First Amendment. Go figure. Naked, genitals shown, git down humpin’ as art, free speech, and pissing off the porch is criminal. And maybe from the upstairs apartment deck, it should be. But we do waste a lot of water just to make pee flow to the river. We are each our own little tributary. And we each sequester a little carbon every day. somewhere. Off the porch? Urea is a good and stable source of nitrogen, you know.

    If the carbon is not correctly sequestered, will the jury know? Can a third degree Mason sequester carbon? In what form?

    The old man down the street who hasn’t thrown out a book, magazine or newspaper for the last 50 years, can he get a carbon sequestering credit? He is sequestered in his sequestered carbon, with paths through the sequestered carbon. Ain’t his kids got a job on their hands when his carbon is sequestered by the undertaker!!!

    I have spent way too much time in the cold this winter. In case you never figure it out, growing plants is about CO2, and plants allow animals to exist, thus justifying the Endangered Species Act. And warm is good, too. Warm is what it takes to grow plants. I even follow the “degree days of growing season” numbers to guestimate when plants will break bud or whatever. So as I farm, I am looking for warm, and I want CO2, because without either, I can’t grow a thing. And thank god for carbon to lock up those two nasty oxygen electrons, which left to their own devices, want to oxidize something or put on the tie dye and go be free radicals and protestors. The carbon police are pretty good at hooking up with them, and making them a lot more docile. Even the cute ones in the process of joining into some multiplication process like to say “I am in my third sequester.” Sometime they glow. And the oxygens trying to get away from carbon get all hot and bothered, and they do glow…all night. Sometimes for weeks.

    I guess I sometimes find the machinations of legislation and popular causes sort of silly, and parts of the “Stimulus Package” (ours were much more attractive when we were a lot younger) appear and sound silly to me this evening, so I am only reacting in kind. My, don’t we miss Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, who said that a biilion here and a billion there, and you are starting to talk about some real money. You have to wonder what he would think about this Congress and the ones that preceded it. A trillion here and a trillion there. That is real money. So I guess $2.4 Billion for carbon sequestration technology demonstration projects shouldn’t bother me. But it does. That is not urine over the porch railing. That is real money being pissed away. That is half a bonus year for Wall Street banks on the dole. Get serious. $2.4 Billion is 7% of Harvard’s endowment. And more than most of the other universities in this country. by a country mile.
    It is evening. Getting late. I am going to sequester some carbon and send it on an aquatic adventure. Adios……

  5. Unfortunately the Obama administration has fallen for the hoax that anthropogenic co2 is causing global warming. Of course its precisely the opposite. Global warming is causing co2 to increase as it has for a couple of billion years at least. There are only 380 molecules of co2 for every 1 million molecules of the rest of the atmospheric gasses combined. As the earth warms, more co2 is produced by increased biomass growth and less co2 absorption by warming ocean surfaces. The oceans are actually the most important regulator of co2 on the planet. Colder oceans surfaces absorb more co2 and warmer oceans absorb less co2. Since the end of the last ice age about 17 thousand years ago, the sea level has increased by 3 hundred feet and average air temperature has increased by about 16 degrees F. Man had nothing to do with it. Global warming and cooling along with ice ages are caused by the average distance of the earth from the sun which changes over long periods of time due to regular orbital changes and changes in the Earth’s axis of rotation. Unfortunately no administration gets everything right.

  6. I have always wondered if there were an inertia involved with cooling or warming. If you have significantly more area covered with snow, for a longer time, is not more heat lost to the universe as it radiates to eternity? And cold makes more cold. Or heat makes more heat. I sort of understand the different kinds of light and heat, but still, I do see trees absorbing heat and creating a hole in the snow around the bole. I know snow held in limbs and needles is sublimated, and no water is gained for the snow pack or the runoff. I do know that runoff from snowmelt is 0 degrees cent. and ground water from melt comes out of the ground above 6 degree centigrade. So snowmelt lowers stream temps, and ground water raises them. I also know that more snow accumulates on open ground than on thickly timbered ground. I have run grader clearing snow in the spring, and through the timber you push a drift here and there, and it was when you came to a north slope clear cut that you had to bring in a cat to open the road, as the snow was deep on the road, and less so in the clear cut where young trees and brush had allowed for much more melt and less accumulation. All that is life experience. Observed visuals evidence.

    So I have to wonder if over stocked forests lead to drought, and overall tree health problems, which brings fire, which produces open land, which lowers temperatures and allows more reflective surface in winter, more snow to accumulate for a perhaps stronger spring freshet which nourishes the ocean and more plants on the ocean surface, more heat, and more moisture from the ocean to land, and on and on. Back to that natural cycle of things, the complexity of it all, the seemingly wrong headedness of blaming cyclical weather, and climate variations on anthropogenic causes. Sort of ego centric to blame man, or even think we have that much impact. I only think we don’t have all the answers because we don’t know all the questions. The Michael Moore, Al Gore, sort of societal finger pointers are just journeymen boogeymen making a living. No different than producing another “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Fear driven entertainment. Sort of like watching wolves do to an elk cow what you would certainly not want to happen to yourself…and then another IED blows the truck up and there are do degrees of dead. Dead elk. Dead people. Thank god it is not me. But the clarion call to reform man is always with us, and is indeed an elegant and forceful industry, and not always as honorable as one would think. Wolf biologists and Iraq apologists are both in the same situation. And they both have strident support and vocal opposition. Time will tell the outcome. I would predict neither side will like it.