Obama announces US$2.3 bln for green jobs


WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Friday a 2.3-billion-U.S.-dollar tax credits to create clean-tech manufacturing jobs, marking the government's fresh effort to fight the double-digit unemployment.

According to a White House statement, 183 projects in 43 states will create tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including smart grid, solar, wind and efficiency and energy management technologies.

The new tax credits, funding from the 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus package Congress approved early last year, would create 17,000 new U.S. jobs and would be matched by an additional 5 billion dollars in private capital, said the White House.

"Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future," said President Obama. "The Recovery Act awards I am announcing today will help close the clean energy gap that has grown between America and other nations while creating good jobs, reducing our carbon emissions and increasing our energy security."

"By investing in innovative clean energy manufacturing projects like these, we are not only creating good jobs now, but helping lay a new foundation to keep America competitive in the 21st century economy," said Vice President Biden. "This is what the Recovery Act is all about."

"There is no greater priority for this Administration than getting Americans back to work," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "The awards announced today, together with the more than5 billion dollars in private sector capital spurred by our investment, will drive significant growth in the renewable energy and clean technology manufacturing sectors, good jobs, an energized private sector marketplace and a leadership role for the U.S. in these crucial high-growth markets."

While projects selected for this tax credit generally must be placed in service by 2014, approximately 30 percent of them will be completed in 2010.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate kept unchanged at 10.0 percent in November 2009. But sectors such as manufacturing and construction still suffered job loss. Many economists expect that it will take as long as five to six years for the labor market to full recovery.

Fighting unemployment has become the top priority of Obama administration's economic policy agenda.