Obama the Energizer Bunny?
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama is the Energizer Bunny.
There he was again Monday, touting the job-saving, environment-friendly electric battery and telling workers at a battery factory in Wisconsin that "when new batteries to store solar power come off the line, I want to see printed on the side, 'Made in America.' "
The employees at ZBB Corp., which makes advanced zinc bromide flow batteries and intelligent power control platforms, applauded heartily. Which probably assures there's another battery event in the near future.
Obama and his advisers are apparently smitten with batteries. They fit perfectly in his green agenda. The factories are creating new jobs. And with a miniscule share of the market right now, there's nowhere to go but up.
"You guys are at the cutting edge," Obama said in Menomonee Falls. "You're how we're going to strengthen this economy."
Which is pretty much what he said in California last March, when he announced $2.4 billion in funding for advanced battery research.
And what he said in Kansas City, at an electric truck factory, where Frito Lay trucks and others are zipping along with new-fangled batteries.
And, then again, what he said in Holland, Mich., at a battery factory which is making the batteries that may someday fuel a new generation of electric cars.
None of the announcements involve a ton of jobs. At the ZBB facility Monday, Obama said the company plans to hire 80 workers "over time." A loan the government made possible helped the company retain "nearly a dozen" workers.
But that's not the point, the Energizer Bunny told the workers.
"For years, we've heard about manufacturing jobs disappearing overseas," Obama said. "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."
Expect to see more of the same at a battery factory near you soon.
By Michael D. Shear
August 16, 2010; 5:41 PM ET
Categories: U.S. Economy , Unemployment
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