By Gautham Nagesh - 08/24/10 05:59 PM EDT
Biden said the stimulus focused on four areas where the administration hopes to have a broad impact: modernizing transportation, including electric cars and high-speed rail, boosting the wind and solar energy industries, investing in groundbreaking medical research and providing a platform for innovation through investments in broadband Internet access and the Smart Grid.
"Our investments in innovation are creating jobs, creating new industries, making existing industries more competitive, and, in the process, they’re driving down costs for new technologies that are badly needed, and helping our nation reassert our place as the world’s center for inventors and entrepreneurs," Biden said.
Biden said the more than $7 billion in broadband stimulus funds would expand broadband access to roughly 2 million rural households and thousands of community institutions. He said the $4 million invested in the Smart Grid would enable utility companies to receive real-time data on electricity use, enabling them to make efficient energy choices and create a truly reliable network where none currently exists.
Biden also said his trip to a Jeep plant in Indiana Monday convinced him that the administration "did the right thing when we stepped in to help the American auto industry." He rejected the notion that the U.S. can't lead the world in automobile manufacturing in the 21st century and pointed to European automakers as proof success is possible.
"Don’t talk to me about labor costs and all the rest — how come Germany is such a manufacturing giant? I don’t buy it," Biden said, adding that he looks forward to a day when American consumers can buy electric cars built entirely from American-made parts.