The Bottom Line

Can US stimulus funding help shift to clean energy?

The US is considering massive infrastructure spending to combat the economic devastation of COVID-19.

To combat the economic devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States is considering pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the nation’s infrastructure. Is this an opportunity to rebuild the country’s energy grid with renewables?

In the US, fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) provide more than 80 percent of the country’s power needs. Renewable energy – wind, solar and hydroelectric projects – account for about 11 percent.

One idea floating around Washington to jump-start the economy in a post-coronavirus world includes funding for a massive infrastructure renewal project. If this were to come about, would US legislators consider aggressively replacing the current electric grid with renewable sources?

The White House and Senate Republicans pushed back on an attempt to include clean energy funding in the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed last month. President Donald Trump tweeted on March 24:

“This is not about the ridiculous Green New Deal. It is about putting our great workers and companies BACK TO WORK!”

So, is there any chance for change in the near future? Join Steve Clemons and his panel as they discuss the possibilities.


Ernest Moniz – Former US secretary of energy and founder of the Energy Futures Initiative

Sheldon Whitehouse – Senator from Rhode Island

Ellen Williams – Former director of the Advanced Energy Research Group at the Department of Energy, and professor of physics at the University of Maryland