President Obama Makes Energy Key Part of Stimulus Plan

by Steve Handlesman

NBC News

WASHINGTON - Declaring that he will break America's dependence on foreign oil, President Obama Monday reversed some Bush energy polices and pushed for billions in environmental spending.

It's part of his stimulus package that he wants passed by Congress.

The President says he can help save our economy and our environment, if Congress gives him what he wants, but he's making the changes he can by himself.

With a stroke of his pen, President Obama reversed two pieces of Bush environmental policy,
green-lighting tougher auto emissions by states like California, and ordering higher mileage standards by 2011.

Mr. Obama hopes to double America's renewable energy capacity, by spending $20 billion on solar and wind power projects and $32 billion to modernize our electric grid.

The Obama stimulus plan would spend a half trillion dollars on health care infrastructure, education, and the environment, while cutting most people's taxes by about a thousand dollars.

Some Republicans are describing the plan as a bridge to bankruptcy.

"It's a major spending bill," said Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn.  "We all know the best economic stimulus is a job.  We know the best way to generate jobs and jobs growth is to reduce taxes and the burden of taxation on small businesses."

Obama's Treasury Secretary designate, Tim Geithner, is pushing for more spending.

Tomorrow, President Obama will go to capitol hill to lobby for the $850 billion dollar package.

Congressional leaders predict it will pass by mid-February.