USDA Sends More Federal Stimulus Dollars To California

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, June 11, 2009

Some renewable energy projects in California are getting a big financial boost from the federal economic stimulus package.
Two biomass facilities are receiving nearly five-million dollars to create fuel from plant matter. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...

Both biomass plants are located in northern California.  One is in Humboldt County and the other is in Shasta County.  They’ll use the federal funds to convert brush and small logs collected from local forests into energy. 
Kathleen Merrigan is Deputy Secretary of the U-S Department of Agriculture.  She says the projects will reduce the danger of wildfires.  She says these latest federal grants are only a small part of the total stimulus package funds the USDA is sending to California... 
“We estimate that we’re talking somewhere close to 2.1 billion dollars in money that is coming into California both in projects and increased benefits.  California needs this help and we’re pleased to provide it...”
Merrigan says most of that money is expected to go to food stamp programs. She says the rest if for watershed improvement, removal of invasive plant species and rural housing projects.