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U.S. losing out on clean energy manufacturing jobs

The U.S. must ensure that federal clean energy investments create quality, high-paying jobs in the United States and not indirectly subsidize the growth of those activities in low-wage countries such as China that are emerging as key competitors in the race to lead the global clean energy economy. This is the conclusion of Winning the Race: How America Can Lead the Global Clean Energy Economy, a report by the Apollo Alliance and Good Jobs First.

“The United States is currently importing about 70% of its renewable energy systems and components,” said Phil Angelides, chairman of the Apollo Alliance. “If that trend continues, we stand to lose out on an estimated 100,000 clean energy manufacturing jobs by 2015, and nearly 250,000 jobs by 2030.”

“The U.S. needs a comprehensive strategy, including safeguards to ensure that increased demand for renewable energy systems doesn’t simply create manufacturing jobs in low-wage havens,” said Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy. “In the same way Ohio wouldn’t knowingly subsidize job growth in Iowa, Uncle Sam needs to watch the store and ensure a good return on American investments in clean energy."

Winning the Race illustrates this risk by analyzing the recipients of the Recovery Act’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (also known as 48C credits), which President Obama recently proposed expanding funding for by $5 billion due to the program’s success. The report finds that, of the 90 companies that received 48C credits for wind and solar manufacturing projects in the United States, 23 have also been investing in similar production in countries such as China, India, Mexico and Malaysia. The 23 companies, which include both U.S.-based and foreign firms, received a total of $458 million in 48C credits for their U.S. projects.

You can view the report here:

http://apolloalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/wtr3-2010final.pdf

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