U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $153 million in Recovery Act funding to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. With today’s announcement, these states and territories will now have received 50% of their total Recovery Act State Energy Program (“SEP”)  funding. The initial 10% of total funding was previously available to states to support planning activities; the remaining 50% of funds will be released once states meet reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones required by the Recovery Act. Transparency and accountability are important priorities for SEP and all Recovery Act projects. Throughout the program’s implementation, DOE will provide strong oversight at the local, state, and national level, while emphasizing with states the need to quickly award funds to help create new jobs and stimulate local economies.  For more information, see http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=196