WASHINGTON (CN) – President Obama called for Congress to pass $5 billion in clean energy manufacturing tax credits on Friday, saying the injection of federal money would create 40,000 jobs and generate $12 billion in private investment, “which could trigger an additional 90,000 jobs.”
“If an American company wants to create jobs and grow, we should be there to help them do it,” Obama told an audience at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
He urged Congress to more than double the $2.3 billion in federal funds made available for clean energy projects last year, through 48c tax credits.
Since the initial 48c clean energy manufacturing tax credits were approved last year, more than 180 projects have received the credits nationwide.
The way the federal program works, for companies that put up 70 percent of the capital for approved clean energy projects, such as electric vehicle makers and advanced battery manufacturers, the government puts up the remaining 30 percent.
Obama said the federal grant program is working. A year and a half ago, the United States held only a 2 percent global share of the advanced battery market, but with federal investment, the global market share is expected to balloon to 40 percent in the next five years.
Obama said the government received 500 applications requesting a total of $8 billion in tax credits after it introduced the program last year.
“There are more worthy projects than there are tax credits,” he said.
The president is billing the measure as a way to catalyze job growth in the private sector, which he has repeatedly said is the key to economic recovery.
Republican Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana and Orrin Hatch of Utah support the tax credit measure.