WISCONSINREPORT.COM (08/16/2010) - President Barack Obama traveled to Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin today to jumpstart what the president called a homegrown, clean energy industry. ZBB Energy received a loan that is helping to fund an expansion of company operations, enabling ZBB to retain a dozen workers add 80 new employees. The President says he wants to see Made In America stamped on new energy products distributed in this country and around the globe.
The president pointed out that there is a rising demand for advanced batteries, which has encouraged the company to expand to meet that demand.
"All this is due to steps we’ve taken in clean energy that have led to jobs manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels, building hybrid and electric vehicles, modernizing our electric grid so that we have more sources of renewable energy but we can also use it more effectively," President Obama added.
"We expect our commitment to clean energy to lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012. And that’s not just creating work in the short term, that’s going to help lay the foundation for lasting economic growth," President Obama said.
"I just want everybody to understand: Just a few years ago, American businesses could only make 2 percent of the world’s advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. In just a few years, we’ll have up to 40 percent of the world’s capacity," President Obama explained.
ZBB Energy builds batteries to store electricity from solar cells and wind turbines for use in the United States and the rest of the world.
"For years, we’ve heard about manufacturing jobs disappearing overseas. Well, companies like this are showing us how manufacturing can come back right here in the United States of America, right back here to Wisconsin," President Obama said.
President Obama says the damage that was done by this recession was enormous. Eight million people lost their job; 750,000 lost jobs the month Obama was sworn into office; 3 million had lost their jobs by the time his administration took office, and several more million in those first few months of 2009.
"I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, my administration will not rest till every American who is willing to work can find a job, and a job that pays decent wages and decent benefits to support a family, President Obama stated.
A year and a half ago, the economy was shrinking rapidly. The economy is now growing. A year and a half ago, jobs were being lost every month in the private sector. Statistics show that now private sector jobs have been added seven months in a row.
"There are folks in Washington right now who think we should abandon our efforts to support clean energy. They’ve made the political calculation that it’s better to stand on the sidelines than work as a team to help American businesses and American workers," President Obama said while in Wisconsin today.
"They said no to the small business tax cuts I talked about. They said no to rebuilding infrastructure. And they said no to clean energy projects. They even voted against getting rid of tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas so we could give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Wisconsin," President Obama pointed out.
"My answer to people who have been playing politics the past year and a half is, they should come to this plant. They should go to any of the dozen new battery factories, or the new electrical vehicle manufacturers, or the new wind turbine makers, or the solar plants that are popping up all over this country, and they should have to explain why they think these clean energy jobs are better off being made in Germany or China or Spain, instead of right here in the United States", President Obama said.
"When folks lift up the hoods on the cars of the future, I want them to see engines stamped “Made in America,” the President said.
"When new batteries to store solar power come off the line, I want to see printed on the side, “Made in America,” President Obama contined.
"When new technologies are developed and new industries are formed, I want them made right here in America. That's what we’re fighting for. That's what this is about."
President Obama said his administration and progressive-minded elected Senators and Congressional Representatives in Washington, D.C. have been fighting on all fronts, inch by inch, foot by foot, mile by mile, to get this country moving forward again, and "going after every single job we can create right here in the United States of America".
"We’re investing in 21st century infrastructure; roads and bridges, faster Internet access, high-speed railroads; projects that will lead to hundreds of thousands of private sector jobs, but will also lay the groundwork so that our kids and our grandkids can keep prospering", the President said.
"We’ve cut taxes for small businesses that hire unemployed workers. In fact, I’ve signed seven other small business tax cuts so that entrepreneurs can help expand and buy new equipment and add more employees," President Obama said.
"We’ve taken emergency steps to prevent layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers, and other critical public servants in our communities. And I think that Governor Doyle will testify that we have made progress in part because everybody has pulled together," President Obama said.
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