How would you spend $50 billion, Part 3 — Senate Energy panel hearing Wednesday, 9:30 am.

E&E Daily (subs. req’d) has the story:

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will meet Wednesday to discuss energy and public lands measures that Congress and President-elect Barack Obama can include in a planned economic stimulus package early next year….

Schedule: The hearing is Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 9:30 a.m. in 366 Dirksen.

Witnesses: Steve Hauser, vice president, GridPoint; Joe Loper, vice president of policy and research, Alliance to Save Energy (ASE); Malcolm Woolf, director, Maryland Energy Association; Bracken Hendricks, senior fellow, Center for American Progress (CAP)….

I have already posted CAP’s proposals A Strategy for Green Recovery here and ASE’s proposals in Part 2. I’ll post Bracken’s testimony when it is available, and put up the link to the hearing Wednesday morning.

Here’s the rest of the story:

Obama and Democratic leaders have pledged to make energy and infrastructure part of a broader economic measure that is forecast to total hundreds of billions of dollars. They hope to complete a plan that Obama can sign when he takes office Jan. 20.

While details remain unclear, the plan is intertwined with Obama’s pledge to create scores of “green” jobs and may include areas such as home weatherization, mass transit investments and measures to build a “smart” power grid.

“With Congress so focused on economic stimulus, we are building a record of substance on the investments that can be made in the energy and the public lands arenas that both make sense and can help invigorate the economy,” said Bill Wicker, a spokesman for Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), the committee chairman.

“What we learn next week will inform the debate on the next stimulus as well as other legislation that Congress is likely to be considering soon,” Wicker said, noting that Bingaman is planning to introduce a major energy bill early in the new Congress.

Cassandra Moseley, director of the Ecosystem Workforce Program at the University of Oregon’s Institute for Sustainable Environment, said that a significant amount of money could be put into the Forest Service and other public lands agencies to fund hazardous fuels reduction and other forest management projects.

With many of these projects already in the pipeline, complete with environmental studies, Moseley said that they can be both an expedient way to put money in rural communities and catch up on the backlog of management actions needed on public lands.

“These are things that can be jobs tomorrow,” said Moseley, who will testify at Wednesday’s hearing. “These are things lands agencies can invest money in and turn around quickly, but it is also work that can lead to long-term investment in the environment.”

Moseley noted it would not be the first time the federal government mobilized large-scale environmental efforts. The former Civilian Conservation Crops helped impoverished families during the Great Depression and also produced some of the most extensive land management efforts in U.S. history, she said.

Renewable energy groups and other parties are making appeals for inclusion of several types of energy and infrastructure provisions in economic recovery legislation.

Today, two groups chime in with a blueprint that calls for support for local government efforts to battle climate change.

The report includes proposals that could be part of a stimulus plan and other energy bills, such as $18 billion for transit infrastructure and $10 billion in energy efficiency and conservation block grants for local governments.

The blueprint is crafted jointly by Climate Communities, which is a coalition of local governments supporting locally based climate change efforts, and Local Governments for Sustainability.

The Center for American Progress — the liberal think tank founded by Obama’s transition chief John Podesta — has been heavily promoting the notion of a “green” economic recovery package.

A recent paper by the group says an economic package should include money for home weatherization assistance, greater block grant funding for “clean” energy projects to state and local governments, increased funding for mass-transit agencies to cut fares and build ready-to-go rail projects, creating a new “Clean Energy Corps” to train young people for jobs in the renewable and efficiency sectors, and several other steps.

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