By Ben Geman and Walter Alarkon - 01/08/10 06:15 PM EST
Overall, the tax credits — which cover up to 30 percent of a project’s cost — support 183 projects in 43 states and will leverage more than $5 billion in private capital, according to the White House.
The companies selected for the projects say the federal incentives will create over 17,000 jobs and the private capital in the projects will likely support an additional 41,000 jobs, the White House said.
The program — jointly run by the Treasury and Energy departments — has received applications seeking a total of $8 billion in funding, far outstripping the $2.3 billion cap in the stimulus law.
The White House is asking Congress to provide an additional $5 billion for the program. “It is an example of something the president believes we should do more of,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Friday.
The extra money could be included as part of a job creation bill that Democrats in both chambers have vowed to pass to help bring down the unemployment rate. The House job creation bill passed last month doesn't include money for the program, but the Senate has yet to take up its version.
Administration officials say the program is aimed at ensuring the U.S. sees an economic benefit from growing efforts to deploy alternative energy sources.
"We have to ask ourselves as a country, Are we going to create those
jobs and create those components, or are we going to import those
components from overseas? The president believes we have an opportunity
to lead the world in this type of manufacturing," Gibbs said.