Obama Pushes Energy Tax Credits For Innovation and Jobs

Brian A. Shactman, Molly Mazilu|CNBC Reporter, Producer

President Obama announced $2.3 billion in tax credits under the Recovery Act on Friday, in an effort to further dozens of clean energy initiatives.

Stimulus Scorecard

The goal: To become a leader in green tech innovation while creating manufacturing jobs on American soil.

In remarks on the economy Friday, the President said he's concerned the U.S. is being outpaced by foreign competition in clean energy innovation.

“Competition is what fuels innovation. But I don't want America to lose that competition. I don't want the industries that yield the jobs of tomorrow to be built overseas. I don't want the technology that will transform the way we use energy to be invented abroad.”

Obama On Clean Jobs

The credits will be matched by approximately $5 billion in private investment, and the projects span 183 companies in 48 states. In total, the expectation is that nearly 60,000 jobs could be created.

There are some big names receiving these credits that could be in your portfolio.

General Electric received help on several projects, including retro-fitting a plant to make more energy-efficient lighting, as well as buying equipment to help make jet engines that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The total value for GE: $110 million.

Other companies receiving credits include:

United Technologies : $110 million

Texas Instruments : $51 million

Dow Chemical  : $20 million

Itron : $5 million

Itron is a company we’ve been following since the Recovery Act was passed. It is firmly rooted in the smart grid space, and it seems the country is moving toward a universal adaptation to an energy grid that provides more flexibility, communication and reliability.

Following Smart Grid Stimulus Dollars

The $5-million credit Itron was awarded is on top of the expected boost the company is receiving from $3.4 billion in economic stimulus funds that went to utility companies late in 2009.

Beyond things like jet engines and smart meters, projects that will benefit from this most recent announcement include wind, solar and geothermal power, as well as appliance production and carbon capture.

Even though the goal is to stimulate domestic job growth, the big-picture intention is to create technology that can be exported.

"We're building the manufacturing capability in the United States that’s necessary to serve the end-use markets," one senior administration official said. "These companies that have the choice to build anywhere around the globe are choosing to build core manufacturing in the United States"

Like many other Recovery Act programs, these clean energy tax credits were oversubscribed which is why the President says he’s calling for an additional $5 billion investment under the jobs package he’s put to Congress.

“Put simply,” he said, “This initiative is good for middle class families . It is good for our security. It’s good for our planet."

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