So it's finally passed -- a huge chunk of money will be flowing to infrastructure projects that are supposed to be green in nature and reinvigorate a faltering economy. But passing the stimulus was easy compared to what comes next:
In order to accomplish the task ahead, Energy Secretary Steven Chu thinks he'll have to retool his agency, according to WSJOnline.com.
From Commerce to Energy, bureaucrats are wondering how their already limited staffs can accommodate the funding requests that will flood in. Even before the stimulus, projects awaiting approval have been stalled for months and years.
For instance, Massachusetts-based Beacon Power Co. has been waiting 25 months for a $50 million loan guarantee toward an electricity-storage plant, according to the article. Without the loan, Beacon can't break ground.
And that's just at the federal level. The Associated Press reports on the plights of several individual states and summarizes the problem this way:
While many states have made their lists of "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects available online for public review, others have resisted, in part because the limited stimulus funding means only a fraction of the projects will receive money. Watchdog groups say it's likely that state officials fear angering constituents if a project appears on a wish list and then is struck from the final allocation.