President Barack Obama touted his administration's clean energy initiatives Monday, saying tax credits and loans would help bring 800,000 jobs by 2012.
After touring the ZBB Energy Corporation plant in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Obama told workers that their jobs manufacturing renewable batteries and power systems were part of a necessary transition of the U.S. economy.
"We can't turn back. We've got to keep going forward," Obama said to applause, later adding: "You're pointing us in the right direction. And I am confident about our future because of what I have seen at this plant."
The company is using a $1.3 million Recovery Act State Energy Program loan to help fund a $4.5 million factory renovation. Obama said the renovation is expected to result in the hiring of 80 new workers and triple the capacity manufacture renewable power and storage systems.
In what sounded at times like a pep talk and at times like a campaign speech, Obama said American workers were resilient enough to emerge stronger than ever from a decade-long manufacturing decline and an economic recession.