Last week, White Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) staff traveled to SBE Inc. in Barre, Vermont, where a $9.1 million Recovery Act grant is helping the company build a new electric drive component factory. As we toured the construction site with the company leadership, it truly felt as though we were witnessing a brand new American industry rising from the ground. We were happy to be joined by Governor Douglas and representatives from the Vermont delegation as well as members of the community who have been involved in this project since the April 2010 groundbreaking.
The SBE grant is a great example of what the Recovery Act is doing for American communities. Before they received it, SBE was planning to build its plant in China. Now, this American company is going to manufacture its state-of-the-art battery components here, in America. That means that not only is the company helping build a home-grown clean-energy industry — it is also creating or saving more than 100 Vermont jobs over the next three years.
We were inspired and encouraged by what we saw at SBE Inc. and look forward to the day when we can peer inside a plug-in hybrid or electric car and find a battery part that reads Made in the USA.
Article by Jess Maher and Kira Mesdag, White House Council on Environmental Quality.