More funds for green manufacturing

According to a story in today’s Wall Street Journal, the Obama Administration is greatly increasing funds for the green manufacturing:

The expansion would increase three-fold the $2.3 billion available in the Section 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program, part of the $787 billion stimulus package enacted in February. That program has been over-subscribed. The additional money could go to applicants turned down when the money ran out.

This is good news — the “48C” program is one I have strongly supported (and have been told by Administration officials that it were far more good applications than funds).

It is also a program that can be made even more powerful. As I’ve argued before, the program should be modified from a current tax credit for clean energy technology manufacturing facilities to be an up front payment in lieu so that companies who are trying to build facilities like wind turbine manufacturing facilities can get the start-up cash they need. Such a payment in lieu of tax credits was already created for alternative energy production facilities in Section 1603 of the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act — and can serve as a model for the change.

This will need legislation — I do not believe it can be done through regulations. But there is a tax extenders bill working its way through Congress and there is likely to be a “jobs bill” next year. So, Congress will have an opportunity to take this successful program and make it even more successful. And put us on the path to truly using green technology to spur a renaissance in American manufacturing.

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