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States Chase Clean Tech Dollars and Jobs
CNBC.com | March 01, 2012 | 12:44 PM EST

Even as tax credits and funding from Washington dry up, U.S. states remain in a fierce competition for clean energy funding, especially from venture capitalists.

"States are putting all kinds of incentives for firms to open more operations like manufacturing, and that includes clean energy firms," says Roger Ballentine, president of Green Strategies, a consulting firm on energy and the environment.

"They're competing for federal and private-sector funds with tax incentives and loans."

There's even competition among cities within the same state for money, says David Cook, a partner at the law firm of Autry, Horton & Cole and specialist in energy law.

"When states get clean energy money, certain large local governments automatically receive funding, but other state entities have to apply and there can be competition for that," Cook adds.

What's pushing the drive for funds? Jobs, because of the still-rocky economy. Recent estimates show that the solar industry supports more than 100,000 workers across the country , while the wind industry supports some 75,000 to 85,000.

Those jobs, along with tax revenue, have politicians on both sides of the aisle seeing green.

Several state governments, now controlled by Republicans, are pressing ahead with some clean energy programs started by their Democratic counterparts. Arizona and Ohio are two examples.

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