Vice President Joe Biden says that of first term accomplishments, he's "proudest" of the stimulus. He made the comment in an interview to Rolling Stone magazine.
"The thing I'm proudest of that we were able to get done in the first term was the Recovery Act," said Biden. The "Recovery Act" is also known as the stimulus.
The vice president went on to say that he's particularly proud of the "clean-energy programs" that were part of the the stimulus. "It had $90 billion in clean-energy programs. We had a lot of money going into research and development, and also tax credits for wind and solar energy. Republicans say to me, 'That's not government's role,' and I say, 'Why in the devil do you think we have the investment tax credit you guys get for drilling for oil? How did that start?' The reason it started was six, seven decades ago, we didn't have the technology to know how many dry wells you had to dig before you hit a gusher, so we rewarded people for going out and exploring. We still spend $4 billion a year on that – and they don't even need it anymore. And yet they fight us on renewable-energy tax credits."
Biden kept on talking about what he is doing to fight for the climate:
In terms of conservation, we've doubled the fuel-economy standards, which is going to save hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and about $1.7 trillion over time – without, basically, any Republican support. In the meantime, also, there has been at least a near-term boom in terms of natural gas. Theoretically, it would be nice not to have any carbon fuels. But natural gas is a hell of a lot less polluting. So in this budget, we're continuing to push for the transition from coal-fired plants to natural-gas electric plants. If you moved the trucking fleet in this nation to natural-gas-run vehicles, you'd save hundreds of millions of dollars and cut greenhouse-gas emissions. And you'd reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
But it's been hard to get our arms around, with this Congress, what you know you should be doing. You should be attacking the carbon emissions, period, and whether it's cap-and-trade or carbon tax or whatever, that's the realm in which we should be playing. In the meantime, the president is going to use his executive authority to, essentially, clean up the bad stuff, encourage the good stuff and promote private industry moving in that direction. If we had a different Congress, I think you'd see a more aggressive emissions legislation.