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Friday, January 08, 2010

President Obama Announces Clean Energy Technology Jobs

Clean Energy Manufacturing Jobs Initiative

President Barack Obama has announced new funding for clean technology manufacturing jobs and plans to get the funding from the $787 billion American Reinvetment and Recovery Act. The employment stimulation plan includes the creation of tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind and efficiency and energy management technologies.

The Section 48C program will provide a 30 percent tax credit for investments in 183 manufacturing facilities for clean energy products across 43 states. This tax credit program will help build a robust high technology, US manufacturing capacity to supply clean energy projects with US made parts and equipment. These manufacturing facilities should also support significant growth in US exports of US manufactured clean energy products. Approximately $2.3 billion in tax credits is being allocated on a competitive basis. Projects are assessed based on the following criteria,: commercial viability, domestic job creation, technological innovation, speed to project completion, and potential for reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

December's unemployment rate was 10%, unchanged from November and an improvement over October's 10.2%. Nonfarm payrolls fell by 85,000 last month, compared with a revised 4,000 gain in November, according to the Labor Department.

Mr. Obama expressed support for a package of clean energy jobs initiatives late last year, and in late fall announced $3.4 billion in investments from the $787 billion economic stimulus package for more efficient "smart grid" electricity distribution projects. In mid-December Vice President Joe Biden announced the administration's support for up to $5 billion in additional funding for a stimulus-related clean energy manufacturing program.

Congress is considering a jobs-creation bill (Jobs For Main Street Act--H.R.2847), which likely will include investments and incentives backed by Mr. Obama to spur clean energy manufacturing jobs. H.R. 2847 has already passed in the House on December 16 by a vote of Passed, 217-212. The Senate will take it up when Congress returns later this month. (WSJ, 1/8/10, Fact Sheet: $2.3 Billion in New Clean Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits, Additional White House Press Release)

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