Starting a green revolution

Time magazine is running a good article about how the Recovery and Reinvestment Act is improving America by investing in green technology. The article provides tons of interesting facts about how much money has been invested, is being invested, or will be invested in improving energy efficiency. This bit caught my eye:

The idea [behind the stimulus investments] is as old as land-grant colleges: to use tax dollars as an engine of innovation. It rejects free-market purism but also the old industrial-policy approach of dumping cash into a few favored firms.

Notice those last few words? This money will not simply be going to GE or AT&T or the usual suspects. Instead, it will be funding small businesses and start-ups.

Instead, the Recovery Act floods the zone, targeting a variety of energy problems and providing seed money for firms with a variety of potential solutions. The winners must attract private capital to match public dollars…and after competing for grants, they still must compete in the marketplace.

So instead of blindly funding mainly the big corporations, we are actually funding the companies who are newer or smaller. These companies do not have as much of a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. On the contrary, many of them would benefit from a greener, more technologically savvy United States of America. This is a welcome change indeed.

But the powerful Washington interests remain and we cannot be sure that the money will be invested as well as Vice President Biden (who oversees stimulus spending) says. With Citizens United and an increasing wealth gap, corporate interest groups are more powerful than ever. Help us fight them: