Pelosi Defends Solar-Powered Ferry As Stimulus

(Washington, DC -- Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is defending a transportation project in her home district, saying it would help spur the renewable energy industry in the U.S.

Pelosi put the $500,000 earmark in an upcoming transportation spending bill, saying the money would fund two solar-powered ferries from San Francisco to Berkeley, across the Bay.

The project fell under criticism Tuesday from Citizens Against Government Waste, an anti-earmarking group in Washington. "In this instance, going green wastes the taxpayers' greenbacks,"

the group said in a statement

Pelosi told Transportation Nation this week that the project is an example of home-grown renewable energy. "We just don't want it made in China," she said.

The speaker also waxed poetic about the ferry's potential to push green energy ahead in the U.S. She told us that the earmark was meant "to reach for the sun, rather than going into the middle of the Earth for a source of energy. And we think that would be a good model for the nation." Listen: