July 4, 2010 in City

Obama sets solar initiative worth $2 billion, new jobs

Julie Pace Associated Press
By the numbers

$2 billion: Amount designated by the Obama administration for solar power projects

5,100: Number of new jobs the administration says the projects will create

9.5 percent: National unemployment rate

$13 trillion: National debt

WASHINGTON – The government is handing out nearly $2 billion for new solar plants that President Barack Obama says will create thousands of jobs and increase the use of renewable energy sources.

Obama announced the initiative in his weekly radio and online address Saturday, saying the money is part of his plan to bring new industries to the U.S.

The two companies that will receive the money from the president’s $862 billion economic stimulus are Abengoa Solar, which will build one of the world’s largest solar plants in Arizona, creating 1,600 construction jobs; and Abound Solar Manufacturing, which is building plants in Colorado and Indiana. The Obama administration says those projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs.

Obama has said that to bring the nation’s economy back from the brink of a depression, it was necessary to add to the country’s debt in the short term.

Republicans have tried to capitalize on that growing sum. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said in the weekly GOP address that the country’s $13 trillion debt is a national security issue that will force future generations to “pay higher taxes to foot the bill for Democrats’ out-of-control spending.”

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