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White House proposes tax credits for clean energy

Combining its push for clean energy and new jobs, the White House backs $5.4 billion in new tax credits intended to create tens of thousands of new manufacturing jobs.

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Wind turbine blades from the Siemens Energy blade factory in Fort Madison, Iowa, are transported by rail. A new tax credit for clean energy manufacturers has been announced by the Obama administration.

PRNewsFoto/Siemens Energy

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Pushing its clean-energy and jobs agenda, the White House today unveiled $5.4 billion in new tax credits intended to create tens of thousands of new manufacturing jobs while advancing the president's goal of doubling renewable energy generation over the next three years.

The step, which, it's hoped, will spur private investment for $15 billion in total spending for manufacturing, was announced today by Vice President Joe Biden, who was hosting chief executives as part of an unveiling of a new framework to aid US manufacturing. He characterized it as an investment in the nation's future.

Opinions on the value of the investment were mixed. Some economists said the step will be just "window dressing" as far as job creation goes, while others applauded the move as vital to accelerating US development in clean-energy manufacturing during a weak economy.

"Having tax credits for the production side is going to be very effective because it ends up lowering the price of production – and that will spur US demand," says Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington think tank focused on policies that spur technology innovation. "I definitely see value in this."

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