U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an archiving company to announce a package of lending initiatives to increase the availability of loans to small businesses, in Landover, Maryland. UPI/Kristoffer Tripplaar/Pool | License Photo
ARCADIA, Fla., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday announced $3.4 billion in stimulus funding for the nation's smart energy grid and pitched energy legislation in Florida.
Speaking at Florida Power and Light's DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Arcadia, Obama announced funding for a range of technologies that he said would spur the nation's transition to a smarter, more efficient and reliable electric system, resulting in energy-saving options for consumers and fostering the growth of renewable energy sources.
Just as President Dwight Eisenhower invested the U.S. highway system in the 1950s, Obama said, "it's time to make the same kind of investment in the way our energy travels, to build a clean energy superhighway ... ."
This $3.4 billion in economic stimulus funds will be in the form of 100 grants that will go to private companies, utilities, cities and others who applied with plans to install smart-grid technologies, Obama said.
"Some of the projects involve modernizing old, inefficient transmission lines that just waste too much energy," Obama said. "But most of the projects that are receiving grants involve the installation of what are known as smart meters, devices that will have a direct benefit for consumers who want to save money on their electrical bills" by monitoring usage.
Energy legislation moving through Congress is critical to the U.S. economy and future, Obama said.
The legislation will "finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America," Obama said, adding it would "make the best use of resources we have in abundance through clean coal technology, safe nuclear power, sustainably grown biofuels and energy we harness from the wind, waves and sun."