Spurred by disappointing December jobs figures, President Barack Obama is pressing Congress to spend another $5 billion on tax credits for clean energy manufacturing.
The legislative vehicle and timing of the initiative is still being hashed out, but the White House will “continue to have conversations with Congress in the weeks ahead— about moving forward with the effort, senior administration officials said Friday on a conference call.
News of Obama’s push for more funds in the program comes with the release of poor December employment figures — a 10 percent unemployment rate and 85,000 lost jobs — and as Obama awards $2.3 billion in current funds from the program. The tax credit program is capped at $2.3 billion and has been “substantially oversubscribed,— which reflects “a deep pipeline of high quality clean energy manufacturing opportunities in the U.S.,— administration officials said.
The White House said Friday’s awards translate to 183 projects in 43 states that will create tens of thousands of clean energy jobs. The tax credits are being awarded from the $787 billion stimulus package passed last year.