Congressman Joe Sestak unveiled his plan to create new manufacturing jobs when he met with business leaders in Pittsburgh this afternoon. The Delaware County Democrat, who is challenging Senator Arlen Specter in the May Primary, says the Pittsburgh region lost 70% of its manufacturing jobs in the last 30 years and he blames a lot of that on NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) which he says Specter supported. Sestak says investing in clean energy can create higher-level manufacturing jobs including building the turbines for the wind farms and developing the nano-fabrication for solar panels.
Sestak today outlines his "Manufacturing and Energy Enhancement Act" which would increase the new clean energy manufacturing tax credits made available under the federal stimulus package from the original $2.3 billion up to $7.3 billion. Sestak says the original deadline ended in October with more than 500 applications requesting more than $8 billion in tax credits...."if you invest in clean energy as we take this technology into the future, we'll give you a 30% tax credit up through 2014."
Qualified manufacturing facilities would include solar, wind, geothermal or other renewable energy equipment; electric grids and storage for renewables; fuel cells for microturbines; equipment for refining or blending renewable fuels; carbon dioxide capture and sequestration equipment; and, systems for plug-in vehicles.
Sestak says since small businesses create 80% of the new jobs,there needs to be a 15% tax credit for each new payroll position created. He believes that could lead to 5 million new jobs over the next 2 years.